All it takes is for your team to get hot at the right time to potentially set up a special season. You could end the season losing most of your games, but once you reach the postseason all of the other noise gets tossed out the window and that’s the lightning in a bottle the 2020 Dodgers team had with Corey Seager.
The Dodgers’ talk of a disappointing end to the season won’t be slowing down any time soon allowing Andrew Friedman to reflect on the outcome. Among the considerations remains the intensity of an MLB postseason schedule and how Seager’s amazing 2020 postseason run was what propelled the team to the top (quotes via AM570 LA Sports).
“I mean, in 2020, part of the reason we won 13 games is that Corey Seager turned into Barry Bonds. Last year, one of the reasons we lost in the NLCS is because Eddie Rosario turned into Barry Bonds. You know, Corey Seager in 15, 16, 17 — 18 he missed the postseason — 19, 21 wasn’t nearly as good as he was in ’20. Does that mean he wasn’t clutch enough? There’s so much that’s involved in it that also gets to how well a pitcher happens to execute in that at-bat. Because if a pitcher executes pitch after pitch, it doesn’t matter what your approach is, or whatever. Odds are you are out.”
For reference, Seager hit .328 with 8 home runs and 20 runs batted in (plus a 1.171 OPS) in 18 games during the 2020 title run. Every other postseason game combined for LA, Seager hit just .199 with 5 homers.
There are so many moving parts to a hot postseason team whether it is a hitter being unstoppable or a pitcher being on his A-game. The Dodgers simply did not have that this season. Or last. Or in 2019… or…
Friedman’s comments aren’t a reflection on the team or on Trea Turner for that matter, but highlight what Seager did that much more special. There is no excuse for the Dodgers performing as they did in the postseason after all the hype led them this far, but it truly shows the dynamic needed to win the World Series.
The best team truly doesn’t always win in baseball.
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