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!

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 Close Out Record-Setting Season

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2022 regular season has come to a close. The Dodgers finished with a record of 111-51, the most wins ever in team history. They won the NL West by a margin of 22 games, over the San Diego Padres.

They also finished with the best team ERA in the majors at 2.80, WHIP at 1.05, and batting average against, .209. They have four starters who made 20 plus starts, and had sub 2.60 ERAs, the first team to do that since the 1919 Cincinnati Reds.

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Dodgers Playoff Roster: Debating the Best Outfield Combinations

For as high of a ceiling the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense has, it also has an extremely low floor. I’m not necessarily talking about the last handful of games that matter little at the end of the regular season as much as I’m thinking about the consistency over the entire year.

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More Thoughts on Dodgers’ Record-Breaking 2022 Season

For some baseball fans, the concept of a record-breaking season seems unfulfilling unless it’s accompanied by a World Championship, especially if they’re fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s crazy to think that a season that begins with preparations in February and often lasting into November can be forgotten so easily if the team fails to bring home the top prize.

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Early Thoughts on Dodgers Postseason Pitching Options

Two weeks from today ends the 2022 regular season. Two weeks left for the Los Angeles Dodgers to decide who will be on the postseason roster, work out any kinks, and, most importantly, stay healthy.

The Dodgers currently sit at 103 wins, three shy of their all time record. As we’ve mentioned before, that record is bound to fall.

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Has Julio Urias Emerged as National League Cy Young Award Frontrunner?

Although there hasn’t been an overwhelmingly long list of NL Cy Young Award candidates this year, the favorites to win the honor continue to shift as the home stretch of the regular season approaches.

Righty Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins has been a favorite since the beginning. His 1.73 ERA in the middle of July solidified him as the clear leader at the time, but those numbers have changed significantly in the second half of the year, especially after he ran into a few solid teams like the Mets and the Dodgers.

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Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Possible Playoff Rotation

Heading into Saturday’s games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have 19 contests remaining on the regular-season schedule. There’s still plenty of work to do as far as National League and World Series home field advantages go, and there’s still some sorting out to do regarding the roster.

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Dodgers Clinch NL West Title

After a very blip where the Los Angeles Dodgers won 106 games but not the NL West last season, they are once again on top of their division, clinching early and in commanding fashion.

On Tuesday night, led by another stellar Clayton Kershaw outing, and with their magic number at one, the Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 to win the NL West. With 20 games left, the Dodgers have a 20.5 game lead over the second place San Diego Padres.

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Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Potential Postseason Roles

25 games might be the ideal amount of time to prepare for a postseason run in terms of deciding roles, resting starting pitchers and looking at players who previously may not have been considered.

But those 25 days could also be a potential pitfall if any injuries occur to a key player.

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