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:
- Segedin (I pick Rob over Farmer)
- Locastro (a speedy PR and utilityman who can play all over, at the expense of Ethier)
- Baez (el Gasolino)
- Avilan (at the expense of Watson)
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.