For the Dodgers, today is put up or shut up time in away. The club has been outfitted with the bats and the talent — more than enough even — to win a second consecutive World Series title. Andrew Freidman made sure of it when he went out and plucked superstar outfielder Mookie Betts from the Red Sox ahead of the 2020 season and inked him to a megadeal to keep him in LA. Friedman made sure of it when he re-signed Justin Turner this past offseason, and he doubled down when he surprised baseball by picking up all-star Trea Turner from the Nationals.
With a great compliment of veterans and young stars, the talent is more than there for the Dodgers. But the offense has struggled to put it all together consistently all season long.
There’s an adage in baseball that goes you’re only as good as your next day’s pitcher. Well, this October, pitching has not been the problem. Dave Roberts made that known on Monday where, when asked how he felt about LA’s chances in this series if the team can get things back to Atlanta with Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler lined up to start the potential sixth and seventh game, he took a backhanded shot at the offense.
“…for us, it really hasn’t been about preventing runs to be quite honest.”
It’s a fact that the Dodger struggles haven’t been the fault of the pitching staff. The team has surrendered 3 runs or less in 6 of 8 games this postseason. They’ve gone just 4-2 in those games. The offense has scored 23 runs in those games, but 9 runs came in an NLDS game 2 win and 7 came in NLDS game 4.
You know it. I know it. And the Dodgers certainly know it. The offense has been abysmal this postseason. Over 8 games this October, the LA offense has posted a .665 OPS. That’s the worst amongst teams still playing postseason season baseball. Still, it just takes one game to start a winning streak, and Doc is ever the optimist.
“I think that Walker and the guys behind him [in game 3] are going to prevent runs, and we’re going to score more than they will, and I think we’re going to do that in Game 4,” Roberts said pointedly. “I believe we’re going to win this series. I believe we’re going to win tomorrow.”
The Dodgers have been in this spot before. Now you just go out and take it one day at a time and one win at a time, as they’ve preached all season long.