Well, I’m sad.
Here are my three takeaways from the loss.
The offense was the downfall
For me personally, my biggest concern with the Dodgers heading into October was their offense. Although they had one of the best lineups in all of baseball, we had seen far too many times this team go through ice cold stretches. Well, they had that all postseason, including in the biggest game of their season.
In the Dodgers’ final game of the year, they scored two runs on five hits. They went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Their 1-4 hitters went 1-for-15 at the plate. The offense just simply failed them.
Their biggest chance of the night came in the seventh inning. After AJ Pollock doubled in a run, the Dodgers had runners on second and third with zero outs. The tying run was at second base.
I’m still in shock over what happened next.
Three straight Dodgers struck out. They didn’t even put the ball in play. Albert Pujols, Steven Souza Jr. and Mookie Betts all struck out. That was the dagger right there. The Dodgers’ inability to even make contact and drive in a run cost them not only the series, but a potential championship.
In the 4 games the Dodgers lost, they went 5-for-30 with runners in scoring position. When it mattered most, they just couldn’t deliver. They had their chances... unfortunately it just wasn’t their year.
The 4th inning
This is the inning that decided the game. Walker Buehler was one strike away from getting out of it without any harm. Then, everything just fell apart.
With two outs, Buehler was ahead in the count to Travis d’Arnaud 1-2. He was one strike away from getting out of the inning. Instead, he ended up walking d’Arnaud. Ehire Adrianza followed with a double, putting two on base for Eddie Rosario, the hottest hitter on the planet.
Buehler battled with Rosario, throwing him seven pitches. On the seventh, Rosario crushed one over the right field fence, putting Atlanta up 4-1.
We all can have different opinions on what should have happened this at bat. I’ll just share my two cents instead of going over the different scenarios.
Personally, I would have liked to see Alex Vesia in that spot. Buehler had allowed only one run but he was allowing hard contact all night. It was his third time facing Rosario on the night, and I thought bringing in Vesia would have been the smarter move. Of course, that’s easier said than done after seeing what happened, but I just don’t agree with Buehler remaining in the game.
Even then, I don’t know what exactly happened that at bat. Buehler threw him a cutter six times and almost every pitch was directly in the strike zone. Overall it was just an awful sequence, and it ultimately cost the Dodgers the game.
Winning ain’t easy
The Dodgers on paper were the better team. They had 106 wins and the Braves had 88 wins. But that’s the beauty of baseball. That’s what makes winning the World Series (in my opinion) the toughest championship to win. Sometimes, it’s all about who is playing their best baseball at the right time.
The Braves were the better team, and they deserved to win.
This will be a rough series to swallow for sure. Between the number of injuries and the Dodgers’ blowing chances to win in Games 1, 2 and 6. The Dodgers could have won the World Series. Unfortunately, their season is over and we don’t have baseball until February.
By being eliminated, it has made me appreciate winning last year that much more. It’s so hard to win. It’s so hard. From the beginning of Spring Training all the way through now. It’s a grind.
This wasn’t the outcome we would have liked, but hey that’s just why we tune in every year.
I had a blast this season covering the team. I had a blast interacting with all of you here at TBLA. We had a fun time. I’ll miss these articles, but we’ll be back in no time.
Stay safe everyone.