While there isn’t any baseball until late February when pitchers and catchers report to spring training, it doesn’t mean baseball takes a break, as many activities continue year-round. Teams have begun to hire new managers, and soon teams will look to make free-agent offseason splashes. While the winter meetings may not be the same as previous years, baseball fans across the world will be refreshing their Twitter feed to hear the latest rumors as the offseason progresses.
The Dodgers offense finally showed signs of life, but it wasn’t quite enough on Tuesday as Los Angeles dropped Game 2 in the National League Championship Series by a score of 8-7. The Dodgers would come up within 90 feet of tying the game, but A.J. Pollock grounded out to third to end the game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers swept the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night. While Game 3 didn’t provide the anxiety that Wednesday night did, the Los Angeles offense made it look easy, putting up 14 hits. The Dodgers rode to a 12- 3 victory and now will face the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.
Tuesday night will mark the beginning of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. This series will mark the first time the two National League West teams have met each other in the playoffs. They could possibly play five straight days if the series goes the full distance. If that occurred, they would play every day from Tuesday until Saturday.
The Dodgers swept the Brewers 2-0 in a best two-out-of-three Wild Card series. Manager Dave Roberts and his ballclub moved onto the Division Series with relative ease. There wasn’t really wasn’t any point where the Dodgers didn’t look in control. The bullpen pitched a scoreless six innings in the first game and got nice help from Clayton Kershaw in the second game. Kershaw looked like every bit of his three-time Cy Young award-winning self, pitching a scoreless eight innings alongside an insane 13 strikeouts.
Here we are entering the final regular-season series of the year against the Angels. The Dodgers have clinched “home field advantage” throughout the National League playoffs. This season, home field doesn’t directly come to play, but the fact that the Dodgers have a better road record should bode well for the team looking ahead, regardless.
After the Dodgers lead dwindled down to 1.5 games at the beginning of the week, it is now back up to a full four games. The magic number for an eighth consecutive National League West Division title is down to five with only nine games to play. On Wednesday, the Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff berth. The season has breezed by as we all expected a 60-game season to be. As we enter the final week of the season, it would have been exciting to watch this Dodger team over a full 162-game season. But, at least the front office secured Mookie Betts for the next dozen years, which I’d believe 99 percent of Dodger fans would be content with.
With only a couple weeks left in the season, the playoff push is coming down to the stretch. The Dodgers are in a great position with a 30-12 record and dibs on the top National League seed, despite dropping their first series this past weekend against the Colorado Rockies with former Dodger Matt Kemp hitting a game-winning homer.
Clayton Kershaw continues on his dominant run this season, as the future Hall of Famer became the third-youngest to 2,500 strikeouts. He also passed Christy Mathewson for 38th on the MLB’s all-time strikeout list. Kershaw didn’t allow a hit until the 6th inning on an infield single, striking out eight batters while bringing his ERA down to 1.50, which is second-best in the National League after Yu Darvish.
The trade deadline has come and passed, coming at the end of August this year due to the shortened 60-game season. The Dodgers, who usually are big noisemakers at the deadline, didn’t make any big splashes. The only move done was trading away Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later who are not in the 60-man player pool. The deal was announced nearly after the trade deadline concluded.