After seven years of postseason disappointment, it looks like the Dodgers might be on their way to an eighth. Yes, they got cheated in 2017, but outside of that, it’s been more of the same. And no, I don’t think they had that much of a chance against Boston in 2018.
The Dodgers are down 0-2 in the series. They lost to the Braves’ two-best starters in Max Fried and Ian Anderson. They’ve scored runs in just three of 18 innings in the series. The bullpen has looked like non-2017 Dodger bullpens of postseasons past. There’s a feeling of hopelessness. It’s hard to blame anyone for feeling this way.
However, there’s no more time for fucking around. If the Dodgers go down 0-3, the Braves will represent the National League in the World Series. I don’t say to that to be negative, I say that because 97.3% of the teams to go up 3-0 in a league championship series go onto to win said series. The odds are heavily against them if that ends up being the case.
The good news is, the Braves’ starting pitching depth isn’t great. Kyle Wright was good late in the season and threw six scoreless innings against the Marlins, but he’s not yet the pitcher Atlanta drafted him to be. The Dodgers handle right-handed pitching much better than lefties, so that’s also a positive. And if you want to be optimistic about last night’s failed comeback, it seems the Dodgers’ bats might be waking up. I’m not fully sure about that, but it’s more encouraging to see them do that than to see them going down 1-2-3 every inning after being down 7-0.
From here on out, the Dodgers have to play their “A” game if they want to beat the Braves. Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw (hopefully) and Dustin May have to pitch them back into this series. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and Co., have to hit them back into the series. The bullpen has to not implode at seemingly every opportunity. The advantage coming into the series is now a deficit, and when a team doesn’t play up to its standards — and a lot of credit definitely goes to the Braves — the margin for error is non-existent.
I get snarky and pessimistic on Twitter. That’s basically what the platform was invented for. But there are still some glimmers of hope for the 2020 Dodgers. They just have to be almost perfect to come back from this 0-2 hole. It’s going to be difficult, but if any team can do it, it’s the Dodgers, even when you consider their past postseason failures.
It all begins with Urias on the bump and the big-time hitters in the lineup. If Urias falters, the offense may not be able to make up for it. If the offense (continues) to falter, Urias might not be able to make up for it.
So, go out there, play like the 116-win team you were on pace to be. Because if you don’t, you’re basically the 2001 Mariners. Don’t be the 2001 Mariners.
Prove me wrong.