Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers getting eliminated from postseason play in the National League Division Series for a second consecutive year cast some overall doubt on what otherwise had been considered an impressive and successful 100-win regular season.
Having won just one of their last seven playoff games, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman used the term ‘organizational failure’ to describe the team’s shortcomings in October. Since winning the 2020 World Series, the Dodgers have only so much as reached the NL Championship Series once.
Dealing with an array of injuries that eliminated pitching depth, the Dodgers figured to rely on their lineup in the playoffs but that was quieted by Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff.
The Diamondbacks went into the NLDS red-hot from their Wild Card sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, capitalizing on every mistake left in the strike zone. But questions over whether the Diamondbacks heavily adjusted to the Dodgers’ offense have become prominent.
“I don’t think Gallen did. I think it was a very similar approach,” Friedman said when discussing if the Diamondbacks had a different approach against the Dodgers.
“I think from our standpoint, when I go back and look at that series, I think the number of mistakes that each pitching staff made, wasn’t that different. I think they converted at a freakishly high rate and we converted at a freakishly low rate.
“So the question is, why? And getting into that, I think in-game adjustability is always important, whether it’s in June or October. Obviously, it’s more heightened in October, but I think being able to always make in-game adjustments is incredibly important.
“I’m not down in the cage or dugout, but I would bet on our hitting guys being on top of that and noticing those trends, how things are playing out and messaging that. I would bet on that.”
Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman combined to go 1-for-21 across three NLDS games. The Dodgers offense during the regular season was historic, scoring 900 runs for the first time in Los Angeles franchise history.
The rest of the offense looked lifeless throughout much of the series as well, being blitzed on every front by an 84-win Diamondbacks team that finished 16 games behind the first-place Dodgers.
Friedman took ownership of the team’s repeated blunders, and Clayton Kershaw and others refused to place blame on the five-day layoff between the end of the regular season and the start of the NLDS.
Scout disagrees with Andrew Friedman
Following the series loss, Friedman pointed to the offense as a primary reason for the Dodgers’ early elimination. But recently, a rival scout viewed the pitching staff implosion as the largest setback that led to their exit.
Kershaw, rookie Bobby Miller and Lance Lynn all faltered in their NLDS starts, as each failed to take any command in the outings. The trio logged just 4.2 innings pitched, allowing 13 earned runs on 16 hits, surrendering five homers and a .571 batting average.
The lack of length, and inability to halt early scoring, put the Dodgers offense in a deep hole.
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