Last night the Arizona Diamondbacks completed an amazing sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS to advance to the League Championship Series for the first time since 2007. The Dodgers, of course, won the NL West this year with 100 wins, sixteen more than the Diamondbacks. That the series ended this way is actually not a shocker to those who have been paying attention. The Diamondbacks are a hungry and young, talented team that is peaking at peak time while the Dodgers have been decimated by injuries and other issues with their starting pitching. Kershaw got bombed in game one of the series. Ditto Bobby Miller in Game two. Last night Lance Lynn did not come through, to put it kindly. In fact, the Dodgers set a record for starting pitching ineptitude in a postseason series totalling only 4 2/3 innings by all three starters combined! That’s horrible and indictment of the LA front office’s failure to acquire a quality hurler by the trade deadline.
I watch these Dodger failures in the postseason with interest for two reasons. First, as a Giant fan it’s always fun to see the Dodgers go down in agony. It just is. Second, the Dodgers are a big market team that perhaps more than any other embraces the Analytics-first baseball roster and in-game management model. In every postseason but the pandemic-shortened 2020 year the Los Angelenos have disappointed greatly and crashed and burned into infamy. There are many reasons for this, ranging from their big players coming up small to Dave Roberts crazy butcher of the pitching staff (see the 2021 series against the Braves in the NLCS). Here is some fine commentary by a very angry Dodger fan that will help explain why the team in blue down south is simply not built to win in October:
I can’t wait to hear Dodger fans on the radio tomorrow blame Dave Roberts for this debacle, like they always do. It is never Baseball Genius Andrew Friedman’s fault. Don’t criticize him: he is so smart, he got Tampa Bay to the playoffs!! Wow, amazing, nobody else’s ever did that! Oops, what? Lots of other guys have done that before him and since he left? My bad, actually he is hugely overrated. Just like his Genius Buddy Farhan.
Baseball Genius Andrew Friedman (“He Worked at Goldman
Sachs!”) is such a savant he assembled a team that threw out fat ass Lance Lvnn (one of the worst ERAs in MLB) for a series deciding game, gets smoked, because he thinks he can get away with it because he is so much smarter than the rest of MLB? Glad he saved that cap space, amazing! Under budget, just like in Tampa, even though Dodgers attendance and revenues at the top of the league. Andrew, you wasted a great opportunity. This is LA, not backwater Tampa.
The most predictable result of the season.
So great to watch.
If you want to read more Dodger bashing read the LA Times. It’s fun. Here is a snippet from Bill Plaschke:
For the second consecutive year, and third time in five years, the Dodgers lost in their first playoff round despite winning 100 games in the regular season.
For the first time in 17 years, they exited the postseason without winning a game.
This is historic. This is hellacious. From first to worst, from 100 to zero, from great to godawful, again and again and again.
and this gem:
The guess here is that many fans already have their claws out for Roberts and the message from here is, just stop. He did the best managing in his eight Dodgers seasons this summer and, despite his questionable moves Wednesday, he did the best with what he had this week.
What he didn’t have was starting pitching, and that’s not his fault. He’s not the renowned baseball executive who is in charge of building the roster. He is not the respected hardball architect who continually builds tremendous regular-season teams that are completely unfit for the playoffs.
This one is on Andrew Friedman.
For a second straight year, relying on an apparent organization mantra that doesn’t properly value the seven-inning starting pitcher, Friedman failed to outfit his team with the powerful ace needed to succeed.
They obviously couldn’t predict Julio Urías’ legal troubles or the arm troubles of Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. But they should have known Walker Buehler wouldn’t be ready. And there is no way they should have counted on sore-shouldered Kershaw to keep carrying the load.
Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts combined for 1-21 in the series.
The big Dodgers came up small. They had no pitching and somehow they won 100 games in the regular season. It shows you how different playoff baseball is. It shows you how inept the Dodger front office has been in understanding this. Plus, The Arizona ball club is good. It will be an interesting series for the League title. The Phillies won their game last night and have the Braves on the ropes. Should Philadelphia pull off the upset we would be talking about two major disappointments and upsets in one season, two epic failures.
Hopefully the next Giants Manager is taking notes.