The Dodgers’ NLDS loss to the Padres does not fall on one person or moment. There are so many people who didn’t do their job, and countless moments that could have gone differently.
One of those moments came well before the NLDS when the MLB’s trade deadline was approaching back in August.
The Dodgers had some decisions to make, mainly in regard to their starting pitching. At the time, it was (at least publicly) expected that Walker Buehler would be returning before the postseason. And it was expected that Dustin May would be returning to a full-time role as a starting pitcher. So there didn’t really seem to be a need for another arm.
But still, the Dodgers were among the teams reportedly interested in adding a starting pitcher, most notably Luis Castillo or Pablo Lopez. The Dodgers ended up getting neither.
“I don’t regret not doing a bad deal for us,” Friedman said in regards to not getting a starter at the deadline. “I don’t think it was our starting pitching, or our pitching in general, that’s the reason we’re here today.”
I do agree with Friedman that the starting pitching was not the issue. However, I do think the trade deadline played a big role in the Dodgers losing this series. While LA mainly stood pat, acquiring just Chris Martin (who was one of the team’s best relievers down the stretch) and Joey Gallo (who didn’t play a second of postseason baseball), the Padres went all-in. They got Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader, and loaded up for a postseason run.
Chris Martin has a 1.80 ERA with the Dodgers pic.twitter.com/ZABK7sA49T
— Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) September 20, 2022
In the 7th inning of Game 4, when the Dodgers led 3-2, the Padres hit a game-tying single. Who hit it? Trade deadline acquisition Juan Soto. And when the Dodgers were down in the 9th in Games 2, 3 and 4, the Padres brought in their closer who completely shut LA down. Who was that? Trade deadline acquisition Josh Hader.
Obviously, the Dodgers didn’t lose by not making a splashy acquisition, but you could argue the Padres won for making theirs. So Friedman may not have regrets about not making a move, but the Padres seem more than happy without their top prospects as they get set to play the Phillies in the NLCS.