You Blew It: 2019 Dodgers

Nobody has had more opportunities to win a championship, and blown it, than the LA Dodgers of the 2010s. Here's what happened this time.

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You Blew It: 2019 Dodgers

Zach Janis

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The Los Angeles Dodgers just performed the greatest choke job in the history of organized sports. As a result, they head into a murky offseason with more questions than ever. 

After a season of “World Series or Bust” headlines surrounding the team, everyone knew what the goal was. It was as clear as day for manager Dave Roberts and his staff: Win, or go home.

Offense

The Los Angeles Dodgers came into the 2019 MLB playoffs coming off of the best season they’ve ever had record-wise, going 106-56 and salting the earth of the National League. Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda, ironically, said:

“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”

The 2019 Dodgers won the other third. Literally. All of them. They won exactly two-thirds of their entire schedule’s games. That bought them home field advantage through the World Series, and a weak National League served them up a yellow-brick road right to the October Classic.

And then they fell asleep at the wheel.

Batting

Offensively, the Dodgers turned into pumpkins when the games started mattering. Cody Bellinger, MVP front-runner Cody Bellinger, 47-Home-run-hitting Cody Bellinger, hit .211 with 0 RBI in five games. Will Smith, who played admirably after being brought up, including 42 RBI and 15 home runs in 52 games, hit .077.

I can hit .077. If a batter walked up to the plate, swung at every pitch regardless of trajectory, he’d be statistically likely to hit better than .077. 

It’s sad enough, but let’s twist the knife further by going to the bullpen! It’s not like Dave Roberts knows how to do that!

Pitching

Clayton Kershaw, who had a lot to prove coming into the playoffs yet again, crumbled. His collection of accolades is longer than a college kid’s grocery list. Eight-time All Star, five-time ERA record-holder,three-time Cy Young winner, a 3.03 ERA pitcher in 2019, went completely cold. He pitched a solid 7.11 ERA in two appearances. He earned three runs in six innings in Game 2, and then lit the barn on fire in a half-inning stint that may go down as one of the worst choices in managerial history. Dusty Baker is sitting wherever Dusty Baker sits, cackling at Dave Roberts for choosing Kershaw to come in and relieve Walker Buehler, over several, much more qualified options. After giving up back-to-back home runs, Kershaw was yanked and actual reliever Kenta Maeda served through the next inning. He struck out the side in three batters. Great! 

And then Dave Roberts pulled him.

Joe Kelly, who came in, gave up the season-sinking grand slam, and came away with a 23.14 ERA. I know rec-league softball hurlers with lower numbers, and they’re not even sober when they’re on the mound. Allegedly. 

Conclusion

Look, we can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves and call the Dodgers what they are — an astronomical disappointment — or we can try and fix it. Spring Training is right around the corner, and the Dodgers are already on the clock. In a vacuum, all three of the Dodgers’ front office, Dave Roberts, and the 2019 Dodgers are amazing entities. Andrew Friedman, Dodgers pho-GM, has a roster under his belt that has 7 straight National League titles. Dave Roberts was in the dugout for each World Series Appearance, and every season came with a handful of offensive records. The Dodgers, obviously, did all of those things and are one of the most accoladed teams of the 21st century. But these puzzle pieces just don’t fit.

If it were my team, I think both Friedman and Roberts are packing their bags as soon as possible. With a team this good, and with so many opportunities to bring a title-starved city their World Series championship, this many failed attempts is unacceptable. 

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own images in this piece.