Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had almost nothing go right for them in the National League Division Series as they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team they were heavily-favored to beat.
The starting pitching was historically bad, throwing a combined 4.2 innings while giving up 13 runs. The offense scored a total of just six runs across the three games, which was the same total the Diamondbacks scored before recording an out in the series.
Only the bullpen had a positive impact as they kept the Dodgers in Games 2 and 3, which was ultimately meaningless as the offense showed no signs of life.
After the series loss, Dodgers president of baseball operations pointed to the offense as the primary reason for the early elimination, but at least one rival scout did not agree with that assessment. The scout viewed the Dodgers’ pitching implosion as the biggest reason for the club’s failure, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“The biggest issue was the pitching,” one rival scout said. “It’s amazing how it just fell apart on them.”
The Dodgers pitching staff was an issue for much of the season and they failed to address that need at the trade deadline with quality players. The staff did however perform well down the stretch, but it lacked a true ace and relied on an injured Clayton Kershaw, along with multiple rookies.
While the offense scoring just two runs per game is not going to win many baseball games, Arizona was able to take sizeable leads in both Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS, which put the Dodgers’ hitters in a tough position and likely had them pressing to make something happen.
The struggles still started at the top of their lineup with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman going a combined 1-for-21 in the series. For a club that had shown so much ability to overcome adversity in the regular season, they were not able to find that same magic in the postseason.
Kershaw believes the off days could have played a role in affecting their timing, which just adds to the pressure of overcoming a large lead.
Whether the Dodgers hitting or pitching was more to blame remains up for debate, but it’s clear neither side did their job.
Andrew Friedman takes blame for Dodgers “organizational failure”
After the Dodgers were eliminated last year, Friedman called it an “organizational failure” and said they would try to learn from the loss to try and avoid it in the future. But one year later, the Dodgers found themselves in the same situation.
As the president of baseball operations, Friedman has final say over all baseball-related decisions, including the roster, management and staffing, and reports directly to Dodgers ownership regarding the team.
“A lot,” Friedman answered when asked how much of the Dodgers’ shortcomings he takes responsibility for.
“I think when there is an organizational failure, it starts and ends with me. I didn’t do a good enough job. I’m going to do everything I can this offseason with our group to put ourselves in a position where we are the team that plays in and wins the last game of the year next year.”
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