As the postseason started for the Dodgers, the biggest worry for many people was how the LA pitching would hold up. It was a problem throughout the regular season, and nobody was sure how the team would perform.
It only took a few batters into the first inning of game one to see that LA was in trouble. Veteran Clayton Kershaw got shelled for six runs and couldn’t get out of the first inning. This set the tone for the rest of the series, and it doomed LA.
In game two, rookie Bobby Miller didn’t perform as badly but gave up three runs of his own early on. He also couldn’t get past the second inning and was taken out. Then in game three, Lance Lynn looked good through two innings, but imploded in the third inning of the game.
Ironically, each pitcher couldn’t get out of their way, just one inning after another in consecutive fashion. But it also was the reality of the struggles that LA saw throughout the year.
President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman revealed that the Dodgers considered using an opener in the postseason and looking back, maybe they should have. If anything, it could have allowed LA to not play from a disadvantage for the majority of the series.
By the time the batters first took swings in games one and two, LA was down a few runs. It set into motion the offense pressing a bit, and they never recovered. Having an opener may have saved them and helped get their starters into a better rhythm.
Unfortunately, we will never know, and hindsight is 20/20 now. But at the end of the day, openers could have worked, but it’s not a sustainable way to win in the postseason.
The tough reality is that LA didn’t have the necessary pitching from their starting rotation to make a real run to the World Series. They may have gotten through the Diamondbacks, but against better teams like the Philadelphia Phillies or either of the American League squads, LA would have gotten exposed.
Maybe another early playoff exit is what this team needed to make some real changes moving forward. Something needs to be done to make sure the team doesn’t underperform again next season, and if things aren’t different, it will be a tough sell to the fanbase to care about next year.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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