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Dodgers: Masters of the Regular Season

October 8th, 2019 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers

It went something like this: I regained consciousness about 6 a.m., and thought the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Washington Nationals ought to be over, back in Los Angeles. And I did not expect good news, especially when I saw the game was tied at 3-3 in the 10th inning.

A few minutes later, it ended 7-3, with the Dodgers relievers having failed, first, to protect a 3-1 lead turned over to them by Walker Buehler in the seventh inning, then giving up a grand slam in the 10th to end it.

Dodgers bullpen, shaky?

Who saw that coming?

Well, we did, right here, back when the Dodgers failed to improve their ‘pen ahead of the July 31 deadline for roster moves.

I’m not happy the Dodgers failed again to win a World Series, for the 31st year running.

So I will let what I wrote back on August 1 stand, with a few small additions.

–The Dodgers continue to labor under the impression that Clayton Kershaw is an elite pitcher. He is not, not anymore. As he showed when he gave up consecutive homers in the eighth inning in Game 5, on pitches that were clocked at about 89 mph.

Kershaw was good-to-great the first decade of his career. He can be entrusted to throw a game pretty much anytime during the regular season but, more than ever, you do not want him around the playoffs. He couldn’t win playoffs game when he was winning Cy Youngs. Why would he suddenly become an October star in the autumn of his career?

–Something to remember about the 2019 Dodgers, who won a club record 106 games: They played in a bad division in the weaker league. That 106-56 record was padded by 19 divisional games each (76 total) against San Diego, San Francisco, Colorado and Arizona, which yielded a 51-25 mark. The Dodgers went 45-21 against the rest of the NL, giving them a composite 96-46 record — when facing the NL.

Against the American League? The Dodgers were 10-10, the definition of mediocre. Including 1-2 versus the Yankees and 0-4 against the wretched Angels.

So, these Dodgers, great — by National League standards. But put them in the American League East and they might not even make the playoffs.

–Last thing: A few months ago I pleaded with the universe to keep the Dodgers out of the World Series, because I figured they had no chance of winning it.

Had they reached the Fall Classic, and lost it, they would have become the first team to lose three consecutive World Series — and the first since the New York Giants of 1911, 1912 and 1913.

We did not get that, from the Masters of the Regular Season.

Thank God for small favors.


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