The Dodgers and Yankees faced off at Dodger Stadium over the weekend, and it didn’t turn out well for the Dodgers. They dropped 2 of the 3 games played as key players struggled. Cody Bellinger struggled, getting just 1 hit in 10 at-bats. Although Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 batters, he gave up 3 HR’s, as well. Hyun-Jin Ryu struggled, and the batters were just not being able to put together consecutive hits, besides Justin Turner’s 2 run home-run. But, fans should not be overreacting over 1 series, and already counting the Dodgers out, from winning the World Series.
Here are 4 reasons why Dodgers fans should not worry about the series loss against the Yankees:
4. Tony Gonsolin
Tony Gonsolin’s performance in the 2nd game of the series was impressive. He had a stat line of: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 K while throwing just 76 pitches. Gonsolin did give up a HR to Aaron Judge, but the Yankees were able to get just 2 hits off of him. The Dodgers’ fourth starter in the postseason is yet to be decided, but Gonsolin made a strong impression to be on the roster, whether it’s as a starter or a reliever. He proved that he could step up in the limelight and performed at a high level.
Joe Kelly and Kenley Jansen were able to take care of business against the Yankees on Saturday, to secure the win. However, Kenta Maeda did not pitch during this series, and the Yankees will see Maeda in the World Series if they make it out of the AL, and Maeda usually dominates as a relief pitcher. The Dodgers bullpen will look completely different in the postseason, likely featuring Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Kenta Maeda, and Julio Urias, amongst others, that will be a nightmare for opposing batters.
2. Constant Lineup Changes
Dave Roberts is known for trying out different lineups, a little bit too much. The Dodger batters won’t be able to get a rhythm going with constant changes to the lineup. One night Chris Taylor has a big game, and the next game, he’d come in as a pinch hitter, for example. So, the batters need to log in consecutive games, for them to get the bats going. In the postseason, Roberts will need to tighten up the lineup, and not make constant changes.
This is not an excuse but more of a fact. The Dodgers had some key players missing due to injury in this series. Some of the notables being Alex Verdugo, David Freese, and Rich Hill. Julio Urias did not play in this series, due to his 20 game domestic violence suspension. Russell Martin did not play in this series due to being put on the bereavement list. The Dodgers are hoping to get those players back by next month, as they should be ready to go in October.
The Dodgers will be fine come October, and they still hold the best record in the league, after a bad series. Don’t expect to see Hyun-Jin Ryu struggle the way he did against the Yankees, from here on out. Walker Buehler did not pitch in this series, he will definitely be pitching next time these 2 teams potentially meet, as well as Rich Hill.
Ryu will likely skip a start in September due to concern over fatigue, and it could partially be due to neck stiffness, that landed Ryu on the 10-day IL, a couple of weeks ago. Clayton Kershaw gave up 3 HR, which was unusual to see. Cody Bellinger went 1-for-10 in this series, that’s not something fans will see every series, either. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Dodgers in this series.
Nevertheless, Dodger fans should not worry about a series loss against the Yankees in August. They will bounce back and learn from this series what they should work on, now that they got a feel of a potential World Series matchup.