The Quick and the Dead

It was only a month ago that many fans and national pundits said the Dodgers were the biggest choke artists in the game The Diamondbacks and the Indians were the hottest teams in baseball and were everyone’s darlings, while the Nationals had the best 1-2 starting punch in baseball which should play well in a short series.  The Dodgers dropped to 4th or 5th in the power polls, even though they had the best record in baseball.  Just a few short weeks later, all of those teams, except the Dodgers are DEAD.  DEAD! D-E-A-D!  Dead!

While I have no inside knowledge, I am sure that Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman’s minions discussed what the Dodgers should do in September.  After all, during the heart of the season, they were the best team in baseball.  Some even called them the best team of all time. They were in position to have the best record of all time.  They could have attained that.  I really believe they could have, but they made a conscious choice not to. They made a conscious decision to deliberately take their foot off the accelerator.  They sacrificed the best record EVER in order to achieve the goal of Winning the World Series.

Baseball is played by human beings.  They are not robots who can just replicate motions and actions over and over in perfect synchronicity.  No, rather they go into slumps, they have hot streaks, they get hitches in their swings, they alter their arm slots,  they lose interest, they get fatigued, injured and mentally tired.  FAZ and Doc keow that,  which is why in late August or Early September, the Dodgers let the inmates run the asylum. They lost 16 out of 17 games and many Dodger fans had them dead and buried.   I am now convinced it was by design.

No, they didn’t just throw the games, but in order for the team to get physically healthy, they sat players and played others who really weren’t as good.  They also understood that playing to win 115+ games a season could mentally fatigue the players and a crash was inevitable. So, they coasted in September and it almost got away from them.  Maybe saying they “flipped the switch” back on is an oversimplification – it was more like “ramping up” again.  It took them a few games to get their mojo back, but they finished the season 8-2, tied with Houston as the “hottest team in baseball” at the end.  That mental and physical sabbatical may be the single most important thing that happened to this 2017 version of the Dodgers.

Timing is everything.  This 2017 version of the Dodgers has several powerful new weapons over the 2016 version:  Bellinger, Taylor, Barnes, Puig, Morrow, Darvish, Cingrani, Maeda and Granderson.  All of those players aren’t “new” but they are new weapons in the way they are now playing.  Last year, the Cubs won 18 more regular season games than the Dodgers.  This year it is reversed: the Dodgers are 18 games better.  This is the matchup the Dodgers wanted.  If you want to be the Champs, you have to beat the Champs.  So be it!

Since their big losing streak totally ended, the Dodgers are 11-2 in their last 13 games.  They know that they are the best team in baseball and they are prepared to prove it.  They have been galvanized by an incredible winning streak as well as a horrid losing streak.  They have been through the fire.  They have experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat… they like the thrill of victory better. Now, sit back and enjoy it as the Dodgers hunt some bear!

The Roster is to be decided, but here is my guess:

  1. Grandal
  2. Barnes
  3. Bellinger
  4. Forsythe
  5. Utley
  6. Seager
  7. Turner
  8. Hernandez
  9. Granderson
  10. Taylor
  11. Puig
  12. Segedin (I pick Rob over Farmer)
  13. Locastro (a speedy PR and utilityman who can play all over, at the expense of Ethier)
  14. Kershaw
  15. Hill
  16. Darvish
  17. Wood
  18. Baez (el Gasolino)
  19. Avilan (at the expense of Watson)
  20. Maeda
  21. Fields
  22. Cingrani
  23. Morrow
  24. Stripling
  25. Jansen

AFL Report

The Desert Dogs won 8-2 on Thursday night as Matt Beaty played 3B and went 3-4.  Diaz was 1-5 and Will Smith was 2-4 with a double and triple. If Smith can hit, the Dodgers may consider moving Kay Bear to LF… maybe? Shea Spitzbarth finished the game , logging and inning with no hits or walks and 1 strikeout.

Legends of the Fall

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 17 Comments

  1. I think Locastro would have been more effective against the Nats catchers. I don’t see the Dodgers running much on Contreras.
    I’d rather have both Watson and Avilan than Baez.
    I see Farmer over Segedin.

      1. Joc’a antics were embarrassing, to say the least. Contreras has a cannon for an arm. I just don’t think Locastro would be worth a roster spot, but you never know.

  2. I would pick Farmer over Segedin, because Farmer can play all over the infield, and he has taken better at bats, then Segindin has.

    Segedin missed most of the season this year, so Farmer is much more prepared, to help the team.

    And Segedin has never really hit, after he has sat on the bench, for a while.

    Also, Farmer allows Roberts to have more flexibility with Barnes, and Grandal.

    With Locastros, I just think if they were really serious about this guy, they should have brought him up a lot sooner, because his talent for stealing bases, doesn’t not make up for his lack of experience, when it comes to the major leagues, and especially, the post season.

    When they put Ethier on the roster last year, Ethier did come through, because he did hit a ball out against the Cubs, at Wrigley, so I think just that, gets Ethier, the roster spot again!

  3. Good post, slight correction: the Cubs won 92 games so the Dodgers are 12 games better overall. I think the position players remain the same and Avilan is added for either Stripling or Baez. After seeing offensive explosions by offenses all throughout the playoffs the pitching coverage is important in a possible 7 game series. Starters just need to go 5 or 6 and in one game Hill was pulled after 4. The Cubs rotation is out of whack and they have to be drained after a tough series, a night of celebration and a cross country trip. If they pitch Hill in game 2 then it goes Darvish, Wood and Kershaw on the road then Hill and Darvish for 6 and 7 with Wood and Kersh in the pen.

    I said during the streaks that Az and Clev peaked too early. They had no time to rest and retool before the playoffs. Houston had their cold streak, got guys healthy, made a big addition in Verlander, finished the season strong and will be a tough nut for the Yanks to crack. I would love to see the Yankees in the WS against the Dodgers but Houston is the better team, rested with home field.

    1. There was a good article in the LA Times yesterday, about how Roberts should take in consideration Kershaw’s struggles, in the seventh inning, in the post season.

    2. You are right. It is 12 games. KEN Gurnick wrote 18 games and I did not check it. Damn fish hacks!

  4. Not quite sure how losing in September relates to winning in October. Hey, if they win it all good show. If not…back to the drawing board.

  5. Would rather see Avilan than either Segedin or Farmer. Cubs have strong LH hitting and we’ll need as man options as possible late in games to shut down rallies.

  6. Scouting report on the Yankees – just bowl the ball to the plate and all their undisciplined batters will swing away.

      1. It must be late, but, I think the way the Yankees could make it, is, if they win 4 games from the Astros !! That’s the ticket, back to the good old days, Dodgers – Yankees World Series. That would be a blast, and a better chance at a Dodgers victory.

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