Friday, September 27, 2013

It's not a lock for the Dodgers...

There have been rumblings about how the Dodgers have a nice, if not clear, path to the World Series.  I wouldn't be so sure.   I think I'd put the Dodgers rotation against any team in the majors, but the funny thing about the last month of the year is that Dodger hitting, in any form, whether full strength or injured, can't get the better of GOOD opposing starting pitchers, or win 1 run games.  Those are two recipes for failure of these trends hold.

This is baseball, so I don't think any "trend" like this holds, but it would be something to look out for as a Dodgers fan.   Last night, even Lincecum shut down the Dodgers and led the Giants to a 3-2 win.  When the Dodgers face elite starting pitchers or even half elite pitchers, they can't score runs.  

Take as another example, and mind you, all of this occurred with the division well in hand so there may not have been as much urgency, but take the Reds series last month.  Three losses in a row to three good starters, all three losses by one run.  In that series, the Reds starters were Chris Leake, Homer Bailey, and Mat Latos.  All three of those are pretty good pitchers who make up the top of the Reds' rotation.

If there is one thing to look out for, it's what the Dodgers do offensively against the best starters in baseball.   In June and July they were lights out.  Since then, however, it's been a struggle.  It's going to take great pitching, which has been there during all of these games, even the aforementioned losses, and it's going to take execution and a lack of mistake... lack of fielding errors, lack of miscues, lack of baserunning blunders.  As energetic and charismatic as this Dodger team is, it will be interesting to see whether they'll be able to avoid these kind of mistakes.   In the 'offs, you need to be perfect... the Dodgers have the pitching, perhaps the best pitching in baseball, but their offense isn't going to give them the cushion they might think.  

As Vin Scully said himself, the day the Dodgers clinched: "In the history of the Brooklyn and L.A. Dodgers, nothing ever has come easy."   Get ready for some *drama* next month, folks!

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