The Dodgers ARE in. HOW is the Question…

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!

UPDATE:

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.

I Have Picked the Post-Season Theme Song for the Dodgers

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 55 Comments

  1. Sure glad that “Our Dodgers” made the playoffs again and have an opportunity to win the division for the 6th consecutive season. Pissed that the Senators decided at the last minute to not pitch Scherzer versus Rockies but, I guess that fair competition only goes so far where a dominant team that has kicked your ass, i.e. Dodgers vs. Senators past five seasons is concerned.
    Glad Dodgers are pitching Hill today and saving Buehler for 1st playoff game. Respect Giants for all out effort to dethrone Dodgers and am hoping for a career effort from the starter against the Rockies. Hope that Cubs and Brewers are forced into tiebreaker and Dodgers can avoid win division without 163rd game.

  2. C’mon Dodgers! C’mon Nats! Killer pitching and offensive bats! Today is D-Day show up with your play. Aw well, never mind.

    1. Watford: He’s been around a while. Not bad.
      This may be his Very Big Game debut! And Max
      has as much wear and tear on his arm as anyone in the bigs the
      last three or four years. Think the Nats choice is sound,
      especially because he’s been a wee off his game (not a lot,
      just a wee) the last couple times I’ve seen him.

  3. Just win today boys! These teams that have rolled over for the Rockies, “that’s crap laddie”.

    Hope the Nationals Rookie pitches the game if his life, and the luck dragon does not appear for the Rockies.

    Just win baby! If we do, worse case, we whip em here tomorrow!

  4. Just win today boys! These teams that have rolled over for the Rockies, “that’s crap laddie”. The Phillies were particularly lame (didn’t want Manny to have success here!). Pox on The Phillies!

    Hope the Nationals Rookie pitches the game if his life, and the luck dragon does not appear for the Rockies.

    Just win baby! If we do, worse case, we whip em here tomorrow!

  5. Excited to see the Dodgers in the post season for the sixth year in a row. Huge accomplishment and as a season-long skeptic I now have to give credit where credit is due. The FO and Doc knew this was a marathon and also knew there would be a WS hangover, but the team weathered the storm and got to the post season.

    With 104 wins last year everyone felt the Dodgers were the logical choice to win in all and I kind of like not being the favorite this year. One game at a time, no looking beyond the game at hand and see what happens. Going to need some good AB’s, situational hitting and good relief pitching.

    I see D. Mountain pitching a great game today and then game 163 tomorrow at Dodger Stadium for the NL West. Walker Buehler to win the NL West with Clayton starting Game one of the NLDS. Let’s go Dodgers…..31 years is a lifetime between World Championships. 2018 is the year!

  6. Mark

    I agree with you more often then probably some would think, but although Taylor has struck out way to much this year, he is not the only one that has been striking out way to much, lately.

    Joc has struck out 8 times in his last 17 at bats.

    But you are right, win this game today, and we have a clean slate, whether we have to play in the wild card, or play the Braves.

    And sometimes I think the wild card teams that win that one game, do better then the rest of the teams, that are waiting to play.

    I was thinking today might not be a bad day to start Hill instead of Buehler, because we are in such a big park, and we know Hill’s biggest weakness, is giving up HRs.

    But winning this game today, makes such a big difference in our chances, so I am glad I don’t have to make that decision.

    I don’t think we can count on the Nationals to win this game today, because they don’t have the same motivation the Rockies do, and that third day in Colorado wears players down that are not use to playing there, as much as the Rockies do.

    But like Bobby says, it is going to be quite a few days or couple weeks, so let’s see what happens.

  7. I really don’t care that Scherzer isn’t starting today. We needed Wash to win 1 game this weekend to put this division title back in our hands. We got that win yesterday. Now we control our own destiny and that’s all we want. Now Hill needs to go take it today. If we have to come home tomorrow and play 163, so be it, but it’ll be on our turf.

    What I am looking hoping for is a game 163 between Chi/Mil. Let them burn up their pens tomorrow with a 17 inning game! If we do what we need to do, we’ll have Game 1 on Thursday at home.

    Now, please excuse me while i go work out and get ready for the Bears at 10am, followed by every single mlb game on my laptop, tv, ipad,and phone at 12pm!!

  8. AC:

    I thought you were on the money about Yelich when you posted
    last winter. He looked to me last year like he was ready to zoom.

    And the reliever from the Rangers: I remember you touting him
    often. Great insight (I didn’t know him from Adam:-).

    1. Generally speaking, Americans are less interested and invested in the Ryder Cup than Europeans. There are some diehards but nowhere near the amount of fanatics in Europe. Press coverage will be good but far from overwhelming. I would hazard to guess that most non-golfers aren’t even aware what a Ryder Cup is.
      By the way, congratulations.

      1. Chest-pounding in golf is a ridiculous visual. Recalls The Onion’s “Ping-pong somehow elicits macho posturing.”

      2. Yep Rudy, have to agree with you there. We certainly seem to revel in it over here.
        I think it’s the fact that we always think of ourselves as the Underdogs.
        It’s been wall to wall coverage all weekend.

        Still, my biggest sporting events this weekend seem to be going well in SF.

        Looks like game 163 tomorrow

        1. On to Dodger Stadium.
          As for golf, I’ve played the silly game for 55 years and have yet to get an ace. Nor a foul ball for that matter. Got a puck once off a Marcel Dionne deflection at The Forum however. Cheers.

  9. Today is Game 162. Today FAZ are the Executives of the Year, and Doc Roberts is Manager of the Year. All of the position players (including Dozier) are MVP’s, and all of the pitchers are CY Award winners. We root for this team all season just to get here. I was certainly more comfortable going into the post season last year, but if you cannot get excited for this game, there is something wrong with your excitement genes.
    .
    It is irrelevant that Eric Fedde is pitching for the Nats against the Rockies. He is a former 1st round pick, and has been highly thought of. He was supposedly untouchable with the Eaton trade. The Nats preferred to include Lucas Giolito rather than Fedde in the trade. It looks like Tyler Anderson is pitching for Colorado, so they certainly do not have their best going today.
    .
    The Dodgers have to do it themselves. If they get help from the Nats, all the better. But they have to beat the Giants into submission.
    .
    Things could be much worse. The Dodgers could be in the position of the Cardinals going against the Cubs after being eliminated the day before. I echo Bobby’s sentiment that the Brewers and Cubs tie and have a 17 inning game tomorrow.
    .
    Here’s hoping that Rich Hill pitches as he did against Pittsburgh last summer, except with a different outcome.
    .
    Watford, congratulations to the Euros for winning the Ryder Cup. It seemed appropriate for Francesco Molinari to get the clinching point. 5-0 in Ryder Cup…Pretty Awesome.

    1. AC,

      I enjoyed your final comment on the previous thread.

      I find Roberts has a few too many tropes. Moving too quickly on R/R or L/L matchups, too quick on the trigger with the TTOP.

      But he manages a ridiculously full clubhouse, manages some prickly personalities, and his defensive shifts and lineups are pretty interesting from my POV.

      Let’s hope he is improving, because he’s pretty darn good already.

  10. Dud

    I have found that most any player AC has talked about in the off season, as well, as during the season, turns out well, or stands out later down the line.

    And just think Yelich will be the second outfielder out of that Marlin’s outfield, that wins the MVP award again, this year.

  11. AC

    I didn’t see your last post on yesterday’s thread, but I had to go back there, after I read Bluto’s response.

    I still agree with everything you said yesterday, as well, as today!

    And I will have a question for you, after we hopefully go far into the post season, this year.

    1. it’ll be some fun offseason discussions on here. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t start this week! I want a long October again

  12. I’m pretty certain ‘Workin On a Dream’ was an influence by Roy Orbison in mind. Different singing style from Springsteen’s usual.
    .
    What a scenario for the season’s final day! This is something beyond something and it’s finally just about to make goooooo! Damn this is exciting! And here we go! GO DODGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……..Nats too!

  13. Isn’t this interesting. The Dodgers have 4 runs already, and not a single HR.

    Let me add to that. 6 runs, and hopefully counting.

  14. Yep today is D-day alright. 9-zip in 8 outs and yes Joe did say that! Have the Dodgers been playin possum all season and just now lettin loose?

  15. Interesting comments by the Giant broadcasters today (I do live in the Bay Area); they said come Sept/Oct a managers plays the guys who are hot. Obviously not needed today, but I don’t think Roberts got that memo. Be interesting to see his lineups in the playoffs.

  16. Looking like game 163 tomorrow at Dodger stadium – does Dozier start at second? Does he have to be on the post season roster to do so?

    1. tomorrow we keep our 40 guys since it’s a regular season game

      I’ve not been listening to the Rockies broadcasters (just have the game on mute) so I don’t know who they are going to throw.

  17. Team awards:
    Mvp–turner
    Cy young–ryu
    Rookie–ferguson
    Most improved–muncy
    Coach’s choice–keekay
    Unsung hero–grandal

  18. Not only have the Dodgers hit WRISP today, also both of their HRs came with a runner on base. Could this be a harbinger of things to come, or is it just an anomaly to play with our emotions?

    1. I like him, but it’s his first year and the Colts are very thin. He was trying to steal one, but when it doesn’t work, you are an idiot!

        1. I called my aunt in Indiana today, and she was waiting for that Colts game today.

          And she likes the new coach like Mark does.

  19. I hate the Giants announcers Kuiper and Krukow. They were complaining about a 3-2 changeup Urias threw to Pence in the 9th to get the K. I guess Urias isn’t allowed to work his pitch. Oh well, other than the final Giants game for Pence there really wasn’t anything for the Giants fan to cheer.
    .
    Watching the post game show for the Giants, Hunter Pence was great. He is a class act, and I for one Dodger fan will miss him in a Giants uni. If he does not find another team, he should find a spot as a coach in the Giants organization. Hunter Pence is the equivalent to the Giants as Chase Utley is to the Dodgers. I HATE the Giants, but his talk was great to listen to. There were multiple Dodger fans high fiving him as he went around the stadium.

  20. Like I said yesterday, “We live to play another day”…
    How sweet it is!!!
    Adam, you out there???? Nothing but crickets!!!
    M.T. – Seeing that Kersh is going to hang around do you think he’d be sweetly reasonable in filling in as a LH set up guy???
    Personally I think he’d be lights out, but then there’s the Monopoly $$$ and Ego…

    1. Let’s not get carried away. Calyton was 2/3 of an inning short of qualifing for the ERA title and would have finished 4th in the NL (7th in all MLB). He’s still one of the better starters in baseball.

  21. Going with Striker tomorrow at the Ravine. I agree with what Doc said, “The goal is to win the division”. Having your ace pitching at home in front of a huge crowd is like playing with house money. Plus, the Rockies were pretty nervous last time they played here. Let’s see if they bring their Big Boy pants, because you know the Ravine will be rockin’!!

  22. After Colorado, atlanta is the only team in the postseason we hold home field advantage on. So different from last year. Bring it on.

  23. Well Cleveland was also 91-71. So if we finish 92-71, does that win count to give us home field in the world series vs Cleveland?

    1. The Indians, Dodgers⁠ ⁠ & Rockies all have the same W-L record (91-71) after 162 games

      Home-field advantage in the World Series is determined by best record (tomorrow’s games don’t count).

      Home-field tiebreaker is intradivision record. So advantage Indians if they meet LA or Col

  24. Peter j, I am here lol and thrilled by the team’s play the last few days. I don’t agree with massive platooning but this weekend it worked well. Most importantly we have a winner take all game, pitting our best versus likely their best. Ryu, Kersh and Freeland may have something to say about the last statement but I feel right now Striker and GM are the hottest. Go Dodgers.

    It is playoff time now, and as AC said so well if you cannot enjoy this then why are you following. Disagreements and Comolaints are for offseason and regular season. Let’s go blue!!

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