Clayton Kershaw’s implosion in Recreation 1 of the NLDS set the narrative for the Dodgers’ embarrassing exhibiting towards the rival Diamondbacks, because the 100-win membership was swept in three video games by a crew that completed with 84 victories.
Kershaw, the long run no-doubt Corridor of Famer, didn’t get out of the primary inning. Recreation 2 starter Bobby Miller didn’t make it out of the second inning. Recreation 3 starter Lance Lynn was chased within the third, after permitting 4 — FOUR — house runs in that one body, one thing that had by no means been finished earlier than in playoff historical past.
The Dodgers beginning pitching was depressing. However no one anticipated that to be a power heading into this sequence. Outdoors of Kershaw, the remainder of the rotation all the time felt like a roll of the cube, a mixture of kids not but prepared for the stage and veterans previous their prime. And the remainder of the group really did a reasonably good job, particularly in Video games 2 and three.
The largest disappointment on this sequence? Level these blame fingers on the two superstars on the prime of the lineup, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. In the event that they carried out at a degree even remotely near what they did within the common season — what they’ve finished their complete careers, together with the postseason — this sequence wouldn’t be over.
However they failed. They failed themselves and so they failed their teammates. The Dodgers’ roster was missing, and it wanted the kind of enhance that superstars might present. Betts and Freeman, who hit No. 1 and a pair of on the prime of the lineup, provided nothing tangible. The hassle and wish and work was all there, however the manufacturing was not.
Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman come up empty vs. D’Backs
Betts and Freeman have been a mixed 1-for-21 within the sequence. Ouch. The one hit? An infield single by Freeman. To say it was surprising, for thus many causes, is an enormous understatement.
“You recognize what? I do know that these guys are ready,” Dave Roberts advised reporters after the sport. “These are our guys, two nice gamers. It is one of many issues that baseball — I haven’t got a solution, I actually do not.”
Each will end top-five within the NL MVP voting this season. Betts will seemingly get first-place votes, and Freeman was proper in that dialog earlier than dropping a notch behind his teammate and the Atlanta duo of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson. In opposition to Arizona this season, Freeman hit .389 with three homers and a 1.098 OPS. Betts wasn’t fairly pretty much as good, however he did have two homers, a .390 on-base share and an .848 OPS.
And their ultimate at-bats of the sequence — of the season — have been fairly symbolic. The Dodgers trailed, 4-2, heading into the eighth inning of Recreation 3. Kolton Wong, who was picked up after the Mariners dropped him as a result of accidents made his presence vital, labored a stroll to start out the inning. It felt just like the Dodgers had life.
As a result of, positive, Betts and Freeman had struggled all sequence, however one swing of the bat by both star — Betts had 39 homers this 12 months, Freeman had 29 — might have erased the video games of futility and provided the crew an opportunity to flip the script. This was their October second.
Solely, Betts struck out.
Then, so did Freeman.
Wong by no means budged off first base.
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Dodgers stars had alternatives in Video games 2 and three
All of it felt very acquainted. Let’s overlook about Recreation 1. That obtained uncontrolled shortly. However the alternatives squandered by the Freeman/Betts duo in Video games 2 and three will make for sleepless nights all offseason.
In Recreation 2, Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning, however a J.D. Martinez fourth-inning homer minimize that deficit to 3-1, and the Dodgers had one thing cooking within the fifth. A stroll and a single had runners on first and second with one out and Betts, the leadoff man, on the plate. Betts hit .384 with a 1.144 OPS with runners in scoring place this season, numbers which are jaw-dropping.
He grounded right into a fielder’s alternative. Then Freeman, who hit an much more unimaginable .397 with a 1.142 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring place, struck out trying.
Within the seventh, Betts reached on an error by pitcher Ryan Thompson to open the inning, however Freeman punched that reward horse within the mouth, grounding right into a double play.
In Recreation 3, Betts and Freeman made the primary two outs within the first inning, then did the identical factor within the fourth inning. Betts made the final out of the sixth and Freeman made the primary out of the seventh. After which, in fact, the eighth inning whimper that mainly sealed the Dodgers’ destiny.
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I’m undecided there’s any grand lesson to attract from the failure. Betts is among the easiest gamers within the recreation, and so is Freeman. Each have a whole lot of postseason success, and each are signed long-term in Los Angeles. Given the identical alternatives once more subsequent October, one could be silly to guess towards the duo. Postseason baseball is every kind of loopy.
Exhibit A of that loopy: Betts and Freeman, two superstars, going a mixed 1-for-21, and the Dodgers being swept out of the playoffs by the Diamondbacks.