That sucked. There’s no other way to spin it. While the Dodgers put up a solid fight, they were underdogs in this series to the best team in baseball, so it isn’t surprising they lost a six-game series to the Cubs. It is surprising they lost three games in a row in the series, but that’ll happen when the team plays incredibly sloppy.
But the Dodgers did deal with a lot of adversity this season — some of it self-imposed — to come back from an eight-game deficit in the division and to take down the 95-win Nationals in the National League Division Series.
Still, it feels really crappy that for the fourth consecutive year the Dodgers have failed to reach the World Series after winning the division (with two NLCS appearances). And it hurts a little bit more because they were actually up 2-1 in the series against the Cubs. There was hope before the Dodgers decided to play their three sloppiest games of the season in the most important and crucial time of the season. That’s the biggest gut punch, honestly.
There’s no single person in the organization to blame. This was a collective effort. Clayton Kershaw was good and then he wasn’t. The offense was good then it wasn’t. Dave Roberts was good then he wasn’t. The bullpen was good then it wasn’t. And so on.
The offseason promises to be a busy one. There are definitely some strengths on this roster, but there are some glaring deficiencies on this roster, namely the struggle against left-handed pitching and lack of innings from the starting rotation.
I’m sure I’ll get around to laying out some sort of offseason plan that the front office surely won’t follow (as it shouldn’t), but on the surface, the Dodgers need another big bat to use against left-handed ptiching (Ryan Braun, Yoenis Cespedes), they need another innings-eater in the rotation (Chris Archer, Bartolo Colon … seriously), they need to get better and more athletic at second base because Chase Utley wore down and Howie Kendrick isn’t getting any younger — guys like Brian Dozier and Logan Forsythe come to mind on the trade market and possibly Neil Walker on the free agent market (though, he isn’t exactly the most athletic player).
Bottom line is the Dodgers lost again the playoffs, but they’re also set up really well to be a title-contending team for many years to come. Unfortunately, so are the Cubs, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see these two organizations meet in the postseason a few more times in the coming years.
It was a good season that ended in disappointment. It’s hard to win the World Series (or even get there). For now, it’s OK to be sad and disappointed. But, I’m intrigued to see what the Dodgers do in the offseason.
Opening Day is in 162 days, but who’s counting?