During the Dodgers incredible 42-8 stretch through the heart of the season, it looked like they would wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
However, injuries piled up in September and Don Mattingly was forced to sit the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and saw Matt Kemp go down with a season-ending ankle injury. Because of this, the Dodgers went 12-12 and lost four of their last five, which resulted in the Braves and Cardinals securing home field advantage in the playoffs.
Reflecting on the season, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez talked about a goal for next season while talking to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
The goal is to be in the same position next year, but have home-field advantage. Losing the three games we played here isn’t going to put you in position to win a series.
While the Dodgers had the best road record in the regular season at 45-36, they went just 1-4 on the road in the playoffs, including three losses at Busch Stadium in the NLCS. To make matters worse, the Dodgers were shutout in Game 6 and only managed two hits off Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha.
For the entire series, the Dodgers scored just three runs at Busch Stadium as injuries in the NLCS also hampered their chances of advancing to their first World Series since 1988. The Cardinals hit their stride at home down the stretch, winning 26 of their last 32 games at Busch Stadium and it showed in Game 1, 2 and 6.
The Dodgers are at a point where they’re expected to contend for the pennant on a year-in, year-out basis and it’d be a huge advantage if they could play in front of 56,000 fans rather than starting series’ on the road.
In case you missed it, here’s the “Mickey Mouse” antics from Adrian Gonzalez in the NLCS.