A year after the Dodgers exited the NLDS in an embarrassing fashion against the San Diego Padres, the club did it again by getting swept by the 84-win Arizona Diamondbacks. Many factors played a role in the team’s early exit from the postseason — the production, or lack thereof, from the top of the lineup chief among them. The Dodgers’ leadoff hitter and superstar right fielder spoke with the media after Wednesday’s game.
“I can’t speak for all of us but I did absolutely nothing to help us win.”
Mookie Betts will get MVP votes this year after an incredible regular season where he slashed .307/.408/.987 with a career-high 39 home runs. However, this elite production disappeared in the postseason when Mookie went 0-11. Unfortunately for the Dodgers and fans, this was not isolated to just Mookie Betts.
Everything said above about Betts can be said for the Dodgers’ No. 2 hitter and 1B Freddie Freeman. This year he slashed .331/.410/.977 with 29 home runs. Sadly, he too vanished in October going 1-10 with no RBIs. Freeman’s lone hit came on an infield single that he narrowly beat out sliding into first base. The club’s manager Dave Roberts had this to say about his top two hitters going 1-21 this series.
“You know what, I know that those guys are prepared. Those are our guys, two great players. It’s one of the things that baseball — I don’t have an answer, I really don’t.”
It is hard not to empathize with Roberts here and share in his lack of an answer. Two of the best players in the sport, MVP-caliber players, just no-showed in the playoffs. The offense goes as Mookie and Freddie go, and, in this series, they didn’t go.
After a year like 2023, it feels like change is inevitable. Back-to-back seasons of 100-plus wins, and back-to-back seasons with soul-crushing losses in the Divisional Round. Regardless of what does change, rest assured that No. 50 and No. 5 will be on that Opening Day roster.
Photo credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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