Congratulate The Dodgers For A Surprisingly Successful Season
October 27, 2016
A lot of Dodger fans are disappointed that their team didn’t make the World Series again this season.
I see the season in a much different way. The Dodgers were phenomenal in overcoming an eight-game division deficit to finish in first place over the Giants. Then they won their first round playoff series and gave the heavily favored Cubs a battle before losing in the second round.
All of this without the addition of any elite free agent pitchers last summer. They lost one, in fact, when they were outbid for their second best pitcher, Zack Greinke by Arizona.
They didn’t try hard enough for David Price, who went to Boston or Johnny Queto, who went to San Francisco or a few others.
Instead, the Dodgers decided to build up their farm system, which wasn’t a bad idea and spent heavily for Kenta Maeda, who would make their 2016 starting rotation.
Maeda wasn’t bad. He won 14 games but in the playoffs, against the best team in the National League the Dodgers had rookies, first Julio Urias and then Maeda starting Games 4 and 5 against the heavily favored Cubs.
They were no match for veterans John Lackey and Jon Lester, who had plenty of experience in playoff games.
The Cubs won both of those games and
erased a 2-1 series disadvantage. Then they went home and eliminated the Dodgers in Game 6.
Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ only elite starting pitcher, absorbed the loss in a 5-0 defeat. He had missed two weeks of the season with a back injury and did his best in the playoffs but in the final game he wasn’t sharp.
He needs help. At this level of play the Dodgers can’t expect to win unless they have one or two more elite starting pitchers. The Cubs have four.
Now the Dodgers have to decide what to do for next season. First they have to decide which of their free agents they want to keep.
Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen and productive third baseman Justin Turner head the list.
The Dodgers have won their division the last four years but have run into better teams on the trail to the World Series.
We could have a lot worse teams in LA. Let’s be thankful for what we have. The Angels were a last place team this season and the San Diego Padres are a mess.
The Padres spent heavily last season, appeared to be a serious contender and flopped. They were no better this season and discarded most of the star players they acquired a year ago.
One player they traded to eliminate a big salary, former Dodger Matt Kemp, went to Atlanta and hit 30 home runs. The Padres sure could have used him.
Well, on to next season when the Dodgers should improve their starting pitching and let’s see what happens.