Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers were sent home with a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series, struggling both on the mound and at the plate, but it’s their offensive difficulties getting a greater amount of attention.
The Dodgers’ offense mustered six runs over the course of three games and got a combined 1-for-21 effort from Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. The conversation surrounding their poor performance has now shifted to look at a larger trend of teams that didn’t play in the Wild Card round and appeared to lose their momentum.
While it’s not necessarily an excuse as to why the Dodgers lost, manager Dave Roberts certainly believes the five days off before the start of the NLDS could have had an effect on the bats given the nature of the sport, via MLB Network Radio:
“I think that ideally, I would love to have one clear answer to remedy it. I think the facts are we didn’t get good starting pitching out of the gate, we didn’t catch a lead in the entire series, and the bats, we just didn’t hit. Then you kind of take the second layer of the layoff. Certainly, not ideal. I think anyone that’s picked up a baseball bat, understands that baseball is a rhythm sport. But when you’re mired in it, you’re in it and you can’t let that bleed into your thought process. You’ve got to make the best of whatever circumstance, and we clearly didn’t.”
Roberts repeatedly has made sure to explain the Dodgers did not play well enough to win against the Diamondbacks and that many of the factors that led to getting eliminated were within their control. But, for Roberts, it’s worth pointing out and starting the conversation about losing rhythm with a week off prior to the NLDS.
That is especially true with the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles also losing their Division Series matchups to Wild Card teams. It’s amounted to Championship Series that features three of the four teams began the postseason by playing in the Wild Card round.
Chris Taylor: No ‘magic answer’ for Dodgers
The Dodgers’ postseason struggles outside of the World Series championship in 2020 has been a mystery. Despite being one of the best regular season teams each and every year of Roberts’ managerial tenure, they have been unable to find consistent postseason success.
Chris Taylor, for one, does not have any answers as to why this has been happening.
“I don’t think there’s a magic answer,” he said after Game 3. “It’s not like, if we did this, we would’ve won. At the end of the day they played better than we did.
“When you get to this late in the season, usually the hot team win. They’re feeling good right now and playing their best baseball all year, I think. And we were probably playing the worst baseball we did all year.”
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