Thoughts on the Dodgers Sudden Exit, Again

Another Los Angeles Dodgers season has come to an end, and fans of the team are once again grappling with a way too early exit.

While many lamented about the lack of pitching depth, in the end, it was once again the offense that failed to show up. The top offense in baseball, they of the +334 run differential, could barely string together any hits. They blew a multitude of chances, stranding runners left an right. There seemed to be a complete lack of urgency and fire throughout the whole NLDS series.

Maybe it was because unlike last season, the team had the division wrapped up by the end of July. There was absolutely nothing to fight for down the stretch, and a six game series at the end of the season wore them into complacency.

Then there was a five day layoff before the playoffs actually happened. Once again, the Dodgers had no real competition. Whatever the fire was to win the World Series fizzled out in the waning weeks before the playoffs.

That is probably partially it. The Atlanta Braves, the team everyone touted as being the hottest team in baseball down the stretch, fell flat on their face against a red hot Philadelphia Phillies team and were also resoundingly bounced from the playoffs.

The Dodgers had to fight tooth and nail last season to advance in the playoffs, and failed to advance because of a combination of injury and exhaustion. Clearly what they need is to be somewhere in the middle.

But the playoffs don’t cater to the best team like that. The ‘best’ team should be able to navigate whatever the playoffs throw at them.

Once again, many fans are calling for a change at the top. Manager Dave Roberts has won the division all but one year he’s been at the helm, with last season losing it only to a fluky good San Francisco Giants team who won one more game than the 106-win Dodgers. The team has always had one of the best record in MLB. But still, there is only one World Series ring to show for it.

I personally am torn on this. There are not many managers that are going to deal with the amount of input the front office has in the day-to-day roster construction, and also navigate the huge superstar names that are in the Dodgers clubhouse.

But, someone needs to get the team ready to go in the playoffs and that indeed does start at the top. Would a shake up at manager help this team?

There was a complete lack of urgency in this team at the end this year and I don’t know if anyone knows why. Maybe they thought they’d just skate on their talent. Maybe they thought it would all just click.

I’ve often thought this team was too vanilla. The clubhouse is put together with good people in addition to good players. And the team does genuinely seem to all get along. But there is not that spark plug.

That player that fires up the team and the crowd. Sure, the manager should help with that, but that also should be on the players themselves. Regardless of the management, the players themselves have to want that win bad enough to make it happen. Or in the very least, show that they want it. That, to me, should be something the front office should address in the off-season.

And so we head into another winter of discontent. The team make up will be different again next season and the Dodgers will try again to get that elusive World Series ring. The regular season definitely was one for the history books and should be remembered as such. But this end of this season and what might have been will linger for a long time.

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We here at ThinkBlue PC thank you for your continued readership and thoughtful and lively discussions about the team. We will be taking a bit of a hiatus from writing for the time being. Wishing everyone good health and fortune in the meantime and Go Dodgers!

Dodgers Face Elimination In 2022 NLDS

Welp, the Los Angeles Dodger season comes down to one game tomorrow. The San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2=1 in Game Three of the NLDS. In what was an embarrassing performance from the Dodger offense.

All Dodger fans following the past decade’s postseason runs are familiar with this. The inability to bring in RISP is quite embarrassing. It was awful. The strike was wide as it is, but the Dodgers rolled over. The Dodgers went 0-19 with RISP, the worst stretch in Dodgers postseason history. They’ve only scored four runs in the last 22 innings.

The Dodgers 3-5 batters went 1-11. You’re not going to win many games like that. The only Dodger hitter with multiple hits was Austin Barnes, who was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning. The pitching was good, only allowing two hits, but the Dodgers offense went missing. The same offense that was the best during the regular season looked nothing alike.

Things started shaky for Dodger starter Tony Gonsolin who only lasted one ⅔ inning. He allowed one run and four hits in that quick start. Left-hander Andrew Heaney followed with three innings giving up a solo home run to Trent Grisham. The bullpen then pitched a scoreless outing, but it didn’t matter how bad the offense was.

The solo home run to Trent Grisham ended up being the sole difference in the game, and The Padres bullpen has dominated the Dodgers offense. It almost seems like they’re complacent. I can’t figure it out. The Dodgers defeated the Padres all season long, and of course, when it matters the most, the Dodgers fold.

The 111-win Dodgers may put up the worst postseason performance by a team with that many regular season wins. They would be the first team to lose the Division Series. Last season, the Dodgers lost to the 88-win Braves; now they’re on the brink of losing to the 89-win Padres.

The atmosphere at Petco Park was unlike any other, and now it will be much turnt up for tomorrow. The Dodgers will rely on Tyler Anderson, who was a late signing. Anderson had a career year with the Dodgers and earned his first All-Star nod. The left-hander went 15-5 and posted a 2.57 ERA. Anderson could pitch a scoreless outing, but why will that matter if the offense can’t do anything?

It won’t be easy for the Dodgers. They will face Joe Musgrove, who posted a 2.93 ERA this season. In a decisive Game Three in the Wild Card series against the Mets, Musgrove went seven innings and only allowed one hit. So yeah no easy task.

The Dodger season comes down tomorrow. Either the offense wakes up, or it’s a wrap for 2022. It ain’t over til it’s over.

Padres Even Series Against Dodgers

What many thought would be a pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish turned out to be a slogfest with the Padres evening the series 1-1, finally pulling out a postseason win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw was not very sharp through the first two innings. He allowed a home run to Manny Machado in the top of the first. In the second, he allowed two hits but dug deep to strike out the final two batters of the inning to escape unscathed.

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Dodgers’ Big Start Downs Padres, 5-3

What was the story of the 2022 MLB season continued even into the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 in Game One of the 2022 National League Division Series. The way they did, it was what they’ve done to Padres righty Mike Clevinger throughout his career. Clevinger against the Dodgers now has a 10.29 ERA and has allowed six homers in 14 innings pitched against the Dodgers this season.

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Dodgers Set to Face Padres in NLDS

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been awaiting the outcome of the Wild Card game on their side of the bracket, and now know their opponents in the NLDS – the San Diego Padres.

The Padres defeated the New York Mets on Sunday night to take the best of three series 2-1. The Mets/Padres series was the only one of the Wild Card series to go the full three games.

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Better NLDS Opponent for Dodgers: New York Mets or San Diego Padres?

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers can relax briefly while preparing for the beginning of the NLDS next Tuesday, there’s still the matter of determining which team they’ll face, as the Mets and Padres fight for the right to advance through the 2022 postseason’s wildcard series.

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