We should know the answer by later in the afternoon (EDT). The Dodgers will play:
- At the Brewers in the Wild Card game;
- At the Cubs in the Wild Card game;
- Verses the Rockies in Game 163; or
- Verses the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS.
It could take me until this evening to explain it all, so we will just wait and see what happens, but the best case scenerio is that the Rockies lose and the Dodgers win. Case Closed. NL West Champs! Then, this crazy season will be behind us. I have been saying that this team is built for the post-season and you can see if I am right about that. According to Pythagorean wins, the Dodgers should have 98… except they don’t. Now the Dodgers can forget about all of that and realize it’s one game, one series at a time… and that they may very well be the most experienced team in the playoffs.
This team has a lot of talent – more than any other other in the NL in my opinion. I believe that they have been too one dimensional this year in trying to hit the HR, but over the last several games I have seen a willingness to cut down on their swings. Of course, we know that JT does it, but now Manny is, Cody is, Joc is, Matt is and Kike is. They even say CT3 is doing the same, but I have not seen that.
What I have seen is a group of players who genuinely like each other and respect the hell out of Doc… and that is much harder to come by in this modern game than you know. If the players absolutely respect Dave Roberts, who are we to say? They are the ones being platooned. Maybe they have fully bought in and there’s nothing more powerful than that.
Forget how they got HERE. The fact that they ARE HERE is what is important! Maybe they came through heaven or maybe they came through hell. It doesn’t matter – they hare HERE! I watched an interview with Yasmani Gradal and he recounted how in St. Louis, Yadier Molina, said “Isn’t this great. This is what you play for.” To which Yasmani said, “Yeah, being up 19 games wasn’t much fun.” My takeaway from that is that for whatever reason, these guys have been on cruise control. The goal was not to win by 20 games. It was to make the playoff… and they almost blew it, but HERE THEY ARE… and I still say this team is built for the Post-Season. By the way, Yasmani Grandal has never become quite what I expected, but he’s damn good and the Dodgers pitchers know they would not be here without him and his strength at the end of the season. He almost looks “fresh and re-energized.”
Alex Wood and Kenta Maeda have settled into the pen and accepted their roles in this. They both were smiling ear-to-ear. They would both rather start, but they know they are a big part of this machine. If he’s healthy, Chicken Strip can be filthy in relief too (I’m a little unclear what is happening with Ross). Ross Stripling is a high integrity person and I think he will deliver. Those three arms change the whole complexion of the bullpen.
Baez has been outstanding the last 14 or 15 appearances. He is actually “pitching.” Then there is Floro (who has been rested a bit after throwing a lot of innings), Alexander (who can be very good… or bad), Ferguson and Fields to go with Jansen. There’s no room for Urias, who should not pitch in back-to-back situations anyway.
Starters: Kershaw, Buehler, Ryu, Hill
Bullpen: Alexander, Baez, Floro, Ferguson, Fields, Stripling, Wood, Maeda, Jansen – There’s probably only room for 12 pitchers, and if so, one has to go.
Position Players: Grandal, Barnes, Muncy, Hernandez, Machado, Turner, Pederson, Kemp, Taylor, Puig, Freeze. I would keep Utley and Verdugo, but it will probably be Dozier over Verdugo.
I am happy with that team! This is the Post-Season Version of the 2018 LA Dodgers. Forget all that you know about this team. This is NEW and it all starts NOW!
By the way: Welcome Tmax, I love a great attitude!
P.S. Did you notice before the Post-Game Celebration that the players were pretty subdued (they know this is not the goal), but they waited for their leaders: Kershaw, Kemp and Doc to get them ready. That’s when Doc gave them the thumbs up. I was just amazed how this has become Matt Kemp’s team again. The players respect him immensely. What a redemption story!
Right from the Dodgers mouth to God’s ears:
Today promises to be an exciting final day of the MLB regular season, with the Dodgers and Rockies entering play locked in a tie atop the NL West. Both teams have already clinched a berth in the Postseason, and depending on today’s outcomes (and a possible Tiebreaker tomorrow), the Dodgers could be either the No. 2 or 3 seed as the Division Champion, or the No. 5 as a Wild Card:
If the Dodgers beat the Giants, and the Rockies lose to Washington:
- The Dodgers are the NL West champions, and open Postseason Play in the NLDS on Thursday at Dodger Stadium vs. Atlanta.
If the Dodgers lose to the Giants, and the Rockies beat Washington:
- The Dodgers are the second Wild Card, and will travel to either Milwaukee or Chicago for the Wild Card game on Tuesday.
If the Dodgers and Rockies both win or lose today, there will be a Tiebreaker tomorrow at 1:09 p.m. at Dodger Stadium:
Rockies @ Dodgers for NL West title, Monday, Oct. 1, 1:09 p.m.
- Winner: Advances to NLDS vs. Atlanta.
- Loser: Plays Tuesday at either Milwaukee or Chicago in Wild Card.
- Tickets: Will go on sale immediately after the conclusion of today’s games at Dodgers.com/Tiebreaker.
- Credentials: The Dodgers will honor BBWAA and Dodger season credentials for tomorrow’s Tiebreaker game, and the application for single-game credentials will remain live through 5 p.m. today on credentials.mlb.com. BBWAA and season credential holders should contact Lauren Douglas at LaurenD@ladodgers.com to secure press box seating.
Other scenarios to watch today:
- Homefield Advantage for NLDS: Entering play today, the Dodgers and Rockies have the same record as the Atlanta Braves (NL East champions). The division winner with the best record will have homefield advantage for the NLDS, and both the Dodgers and Rockies hold a tiebreaker over the Braves by virtue of winning the season series over Atlanta.
- Race for the NL Central: The Brewers and Cubs enter today’s game with identical records, and would play a Tiebreaker tomorrow, if necessary, in Chicago to determine the NL Central champion. The division winner would represent the top seed in the National League, and the runner-up would host the Wild Card game on Tuesday against either the Dodgers or Rockies.