Once again this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves on the brink of elimination.
They needed ninth inning heroics to win the Wild Card game against the St. Louis Cardinals. They took the San Francisco Giants to the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS before securing that series win.
But now, the fight to stay alive is a lot longer, although not unfamiliar. Once again, the Dodgers find themselves down 3-1 in the NLCS to the Atlanta Braves.
Last year, the Dodgers somehow rallied to win three games in a row and beat the Braves to advance to the World Series. This year, the situation seems more dire.
The Boys in Blue were not able to capitalize on the Braves needing to use a bullpen game for Game 4, not getting a hit through the first four innings. Meanwhile, usually playoff-steady Julio Urías gave up three solo home runs, and allowing five earned runs in five innings, in a game when they needed length out of their starter.
But the more pressing issue has also been a familiar postseason issue for the Dodgers – a complete lack of offense, especially when it counts. The Dodgers were able to scratch toe runs across the board in the fifth inning, but that was it for them for the rest of the game. Home runs have stopped, stringing hits together is few and far between, and worst of all, hitting with RISP is almost nonexistent.
Injuries have been the biggest issue for the Dodgers. The loss of Clayton Kershaw to give another starter is really showing in the rotation, as both Urías and Max Scherzer have been used in relief rolls to give the bullpen a little break.
But again, the biggest issue has been with the offense. The loss of Max Muncy on the last day of the season is looming large in the Dodgers lineup. And the figurative loss of Trea Turner, MLB batting champion, is the biggest glaring gap. Weak dribblers, hit into double plays, and flare outs are not indicative of the best hitter of the major leagues.
And now, the Dodgers will be without their stalwart third baseman for however long the season last. Justin Turner pulled his hamstring trying to leg out a hit in Wednesday night’s game and is done for the rest of the season.
Turner will be replaced on the roster, possibly by Billy McKinney or Zach McKinstry. Chris Taylor will presumably be tasked with handing the hot corner, and the Dodgers will have to make a few adjustments in the outfield, and possibly first base if they move Cody Bellinger back out to centerfield.
Despite the issues, this team still could pull of the impossible again. The offense, when they’re on, is one of the best. After the bullpen game Thursday, they have two aces in Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer to send to the mound on normal rest. And as Chris Taylor has stated before, they play best with their backs against the wall. Fans just wish they didn’t have the chance to try to prove that true so often.
9 thoughts on “Dodgers Try to Save Season, Again”
Even though the odds say the Braves should wrap it up tonight, I think we’ll come out on top. But then I expect we’ll lose one of the two in Atlanta this weekend. I have no clue which one.
This year just seems to have been a torturous one to watch as a fan, more so than any other season in the past few. Not sure why, but I’m feeling very weary. I’m sure that’s how the player’s feel also.
I hope they have more energy over however many games are left than I do.
Yes, I fear last year’s 60 game schedule may have made those of us with short attention spans too comfortable. A couple of friends have said to me “Couldn’t we please go back to a 154 game schedule and a more abbreviated playoff schedule?” Baseball should be a warm weather, summer sport.
Something is wrong with this team but I have no idea what. How a team can win 100 plus games and look so bad at times is a mystery to me. But I think their time is run out and we are seeing the end of a dynasty, similar to the braves of the 90’s. Win the season but not able to get it done in the post season. Win or lose we are going to see a completely different looking team next year with a big turnover. We have a lot of holes to fill but I don’t think they will have much money to work with. It’s going to get interesting.
Braves got Soler back.
No problem. We got Andy Burns back.
And Joseph Kelly is our starter.
And it’s about time we won a game.
Well they put the hammer to the Braves. Great games for Taylor and Pollock. Top of the lineup did nothing until Mookie got a hit and was knocked in by Turner. Kelly out for the rest of the playoffs. They are dropping like flies. Scherzer and Buehler the next two games if it goes that far.
Well, before last night I announced that I expected us to win Game 5, but lose one of the games in Atlanta. So far, I’ve been right. Now, I just hope I’m wrong about the rest of my prediction.
When Freeman hit that homer last night, my heart sank. If we lost, we lost, but I didn’t want us to go out by being crushed. Boy did that game turn around. CT, take a bow! We’ve all commented that he and Kike have a number of similarities and similar value to the team. Boston actually managed to sign Kike for 2 years and 14 million. CT’s price is going to be a lot higher and I think part of that will be how successful Kike has been in Boston. I still think we need to do what it takes to keep Taylor here. We didn’t necessarily need both of those guys, but we definitely need one of them. Actually, now that I think of it, Kike would have been well worth 7 mil to us this year. He could have taken all those at bats we wound up giving to Neuse, Raley, Reks, McKinney, Peters, Souza, Burns, etc. etc, etc.
Two games left in this series and we have to win both of them.
Kershaw, Bauer, May, JT, Max, Rios, Kelly, Nelson – all guys we expected to have on our roster for this at the beginning of the year. Now we’ll have to do it without them. Maybe it just isn’t our time this year but if we don’t make it all the way, I hope we go out fighting.
I have a feeling the next game is going to be a lot tighter. Max to the rescue
So you don’t think we’ll win the next game by 9 runs? I would say that’s a pretty safe bet, but this has been such a weird year that anything is possible.