Dodgers Team News

MLB Insider Feels Dodgers Losing to Padres in NLDS Could Be a Good Thing for LA

When you win as many games as the Dodgers did last season and don’t bring home a World Series title, it’s tough. When you don’t even make it to the World Series, that’s bad. And when you don’t even make it out of the first round of the playoffs… well that’s downright embarrassing.

The 111 win Dodgers were gentleman’s swept by the San Diego Padres last year in the NL Division Series and it marked another time the Dodgers had been stunned by an opponent. ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney wondered aloud to our Doug McKain in a recent interview with if maybe the way the Dodgers got beat by the San Diego was a good thing.

“I kind of wonder if getting their butts kicked by the Padres in the postseason last year was a good reminder (for them). I’ve seen so many teams through the years who will feed off the anger, the adrenaline of unexpectedly losing a series. Because you know the Dodgers, having won a World Series in 2020, having all that regular season success last year, they went into the playoff feeling really good about themselves. And they probably were shocked to be at home in the third week of October rather than playing for a championship.

So that fuel, I bet you they’re riding it into this season.”

We’ve seen the chin punch loss work for LA before — recently, in fact. The 2019 Dodgers were a powerhouse that was essentially on a World Series or bust path. That is, until the Washington Nationals got hot at the right time and upended them 3 games to 2 in the NLDS. After working through the frustration, the tears, and a feeling of emptiness all across the clubhouse, a restocked roster came back and won the championship the next season.

Yes, that is the heavily abridged version of the 2020 World Series.

After the 2022 embarrassment at the hands of the Padres in the NLDS once again, the Dodgers went out and retooled and are on a mission to repeat history.

This time, they didn’t go out and add a Mookie Betts type of player. If anything, they let some of the best or most important players walk. Where there was a Trea Turner there’s now a Miguel Rojas or occasional Chris Taylor or Mookie Betts. Where there was a Gavin Lux last year there’s now a Miguel Vargas. And where there was once a Cody Bellinger there’s now a James Outman.

The roster isn’t as plug and play as it was.

“They’re going to have to grind it out because, let’s face it, it’s not as dominant of a team as it was last year. And the Padres are a better regular season team. The Diamondbacks are better. We’ve seen the Giants play better of late… I think that’s going to help them.”

“The best example of a team doing that, I covered the 1998 Yankees who set a record with 125 wins including the postseason. Part of what drove them the whole year was they were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs the year before by Cleveland and it really pissed off the players. And I wonder where there will be times in the playoffs this year where the Dodgers benefit from what happened last year.”

The Dodgers are up two games to one so far in the season series this year. But, as we learned last year, it doesn’t really matter what you do in the regular season. It’s still nice to beat them though.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

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