Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Insider Reveals Coaching Staff Was Concerned Over Stagnant Offense in September

After the Dodgers clinched the National League West on September 13, they played noticeably worse the rest of the year. They went 13-8 after the clinch, which is still very good, but that’s a 100-win pace, compared to the 113-win pace they were on before the clinch.

According to Dodgers insider David Vassegh on SNLA on Tuesday evening, some on the Los Angeles staff were concerned about the relative cold streak heading into October.

“It was on the offense that didn’t do the things to help you score runs, which are at a premium during the postseason. The slug has gotta go out the window. Hitting the ball to the right side. Freddie Freeman was a leader by example all year doing that, and there wasn’t enough of that.

“There was just too much swing and miss in September and quite honestly, guys, I know the staff was concerned in September after the Dodgers clinched the division very early that they were not playing well. And that carried over into the NLDS.

“You look at the hitters on this team after they clinched, Mookie Betts was a .200 hitter. Since they clinched, the majority of these guys were .200 hitters. … They just did not have the edge that we were talking about.”

There are a couple flaws in this argument, of course, with the main one being that multiple studies have shown September performance has no bearing on October performance. We don’t need to look very far for evidence of that, as the Phillies are heading to the World Series after going 15-19 over the final six weeks of the season.

It does seem like the five weeks between meaningful games probably had an effect on the Dodgers, but it’s hard to say how much. The problem wasn’t that the Dodgers played as poorly as they did after clinching — remember, they played like a 100-win team after clinching. The problem was that they lost three out of four games in the postseason. That’s a 40-win pace, which is nothing like how they played in the final month of the season.

The Dodgers vastly underperformed in the NLDS, and their coaching staff and front office will undoubtedly dig in to try to figure out how to avoid a repeat of that next year. Color me skeptical that Vassegh has much insight to offer on that front. And if the staff was so concerned in September, why didn’t Vassegh — whose job it is to report on things he learns as a Dodgers insider — tell us about it before October 25?

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Really? Last year, the team was TIRED and out of gas after chasing the Giants. Now they were too relaxed are winning 111 games. Where is the coaching? Where are the team leaders like JT and Mookie. They went with a six game rotation only to pull their pitchers after 85 pitches and five innings?!? Honestly, all the playoff savy vets didn’t hit, AGAIN in the playoffs!!!

    1. This year was the same as most years. Roberts is given a Mercedes and by playoffs he has turned them into a Pinto. He uses players like a little kid uses toy soldiers and gave them excessive rest in September while Philadelphia and San Diego were preparing for October. He gets too much credit for regular season with the best team and gets a pass on many, many poor post seasons.

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