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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Calls Out Team’s Lack of Postseason Hitting

“It definitely fell short of my hopes in terms of how as a team the offense would adapt.”

Dodgers

After the Dodgers tragic early exit from the playoffs, fingers were pointed at just about every aspect of the team’s approach against the Washington Nationals. Manager Dave Roberts took heat, relief pitching was questioned, and now the lack timely hitting. Second guessing decisions both inside and outside of the organization continues with expectations falling short.

Now, Jorge Castillo talks to Andrew Friedman in the LA Times about why the team’s philosophy didn’t translate into October success. The quotes are worth reading and beyond interesting.

First, keep in mind these quotes are pulled from Castillo’s conversation with Friedman. Equally important, it’s not often that you hear Friedman take a non-positive stance. Rather, it’s common for him to talk off a point if something is less than ideal.

However, that was not the case entirely with what he says here. The head man says the Dodgers simply went up against elite pitching in Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin.

“Obviously, we were facing great pitching,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said this week. “I don’t think there’s enough credit given to how difficult hitting in the major leagues is, especially against the elite pitching.”

Surely, the Dodgers faced the best the National League has to offer in the NLDS. Still, Los Angeles was billed as a team that was built to hit pitching with hard stuff prior to the postseason beginning.

Moreover, Friedman was disappointed like the rest of us.

“But it definitely fell short of my hopes in terms of how as a team the offense would kind of adapt and tackle the difficulties of October pitching. And I think hopefully it’s another one of those areas that we can focus on this off-season and continue to refine and make better as we go into next year.”

Notably, he says they will refine it. Whether or not that means philosophy employed by the hitting coaches or acquiring new players remains to be seen. Without question, the Dodgers lack of offense in the final 5 games they played in 2019 did not go without notice by Friedman.

Finally, he says in so many words that the team was pressing a bit with everyone trying to play the role of hero. Without naming names, you can think of a few players that this could apply to.

“I think human nature is to want to be the hero, which I totally understand. But it’s that in October, I think pitchers feed off that. And they throw less fastballs, they throw less pitches in the zone and I think it’s just that awareness and that second-level thinking and team-wide approach that I think put us in a better position. It’s a hard thing to counteract because, again, what they’re doing is the most difficult thing to do in all of sports in my opinion. You have that human instinct, which is, ‘I want to be the hero.'”

In closing, there was no hero in this movie scene. Now we are left to break down quotes about next year while two final teams play for this year beginning on Tuesday. The off-season can be a cruel place.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

34 Comments

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  1. there is a groove that a player gets in and that is to be competitive under all conditions they will be trying because they don’t want to fail……..the Dodgers management has succeeded in demoralizing the players, publicizing their shortcomings and deciding their future for them…..are the pitchers ready to pitch and do they fulfill their duties…does management or the players have confidence in that player when they pitch or are they used in situations to fail…..or do they have a field player that they use as a pawn to demoralize a player that they don’t like…..this creates a cancer in the dugout and players will resist or not try…..this all rests on the shoulders of management……excuses do not add up to reality and feeding info to media is wrong!!!

    • What benefit would they get for demoralizing a player purposefully? Are you saying they want to lose?

      • example…media is told pederson can’t hit lefty pitching, he is slow and he wasn’t a center fielder…..will that make him a player better?…..why not trade him if he is that bad of a player? and replace him with kiki, a .200 hitter, no arm or pollak? jensen not a threat, kershaw has a tired arm….kellys time is up…hill is injured again……I could go on but I think you get the jist….managements decision for these players makes the players in minors incidental or want to leave or not play and other teams don’t want their players to play for the Dodgers

  2. Same exact thing every year pressing too much and wanting to be the hero throwing out everything they worked on during the season. They will clearly never learn and once again coaches and manager fail to recognize this going on during the season instead of after elimination. What a sht show

    • Not sure how a guy like Turner who clearly has the instinct and great approach cannot pull guys aside and say look; you need to make an adjustment. This is what I do.

      • I agree Clint I feel like no one is doing these Kinds of things not even our coaches. Maybe these young guys are more difficult than the public is aware of

  3. C”mon Friedman, more chatter. Of course he doesn’t mention that both teams in the World series have numerous 300 hitters 1. The Nats led the N.L. in offense, and the Astro’s were right there. Both line ups are hitters that put the ball in play, both have lead off hitters that hit for avg and steal bases etc The dodgers have never had a lead off hitter worth a darn since Brett Butler, as Roberts hits Pederson a 240 hitter with power and No speed. Look at all the previous World Series winners lead off hitters. Pagan, Altuve, Mookie Betts on and on. The idea is to get runners on in front of Power, score runs and out pitch teams. Exactly what both Astro’s and Nats do. Taylor is the perfect set up man, so is Springer and Altuve. Just getting a 300 hitter, who cares if he has power,but put the pressure on immediately. It’s fun to watch Pederson homer once in a while, but it’s worse in Playoff games sending your 3 or 4 hitter up with 2 out always. Friedman is responsible for getting players that should be able to get on base, kind of like Springer just did for Altuve. Pederson when the pressure is on is Not a very good option for a team that says they want to challenge for a title. Total bases wins games, Not solo Homers.

  4. I believe things might have been different if the Dodgers hadn’t taken their foot off the gas in September. I believe that got them out of their grooves and routines which are vital for ballplayers, moreso than any other athlete because they play every day. The constant fiddling with positions and batting lineups to allow some players to “audition” for the playoffs was a mistake. Despite his successful first few games, Lux soon showed he wasn’t ready for big league pitching. But he kept getting plugged in at 2nd, taking playing time away from Hernandez and Muncy. Playing Bellinger at all at 1st made no sense whatsoever and very well could have played with his batting instead of just leaving him in right or centre. I agree that with such a big lead, some down time for regulars was warranted but they went too far.

    • Don, all during the year when I saw what Roberts and Freidman were doing with these lineup shuffles, especially against LHP because most of these guys either don’t hit RHP or LHP. the position shuffle was going on and while they got by with these strategies playing in a relatively weak division I KNEW months before October got here that this system would fail and it did.

      • Where’s the help from the FO. Passed on a bonified 300 hitter Lemehieu and wanted Pollock, Passed on several relief stars like Ottavino, Britton plus others and took Psycho Kelly. Just had to have Jansen as closer and not ruffle the guys feathers. Plus retained a core of poor playoff good defensive players who can’t hit mostly strike out but they are clubhouse guys. Plus no good support at catcher. They even had Travis d’Arnaud and stuck with Martin only taking back cash!!! Some decisions are un explainable from the FO as well as Roberts.

    • Disagree. If you watched them night in, night out basis; they were dead on arrival. Serious flaws in the foundation that showed their ugly head. I could go down the list but I’ve done it ad nausea .

      Lots of ugly, hollow wins in the second half that really provided a false sense of comfort for all involved.

      • Clint , I concur, because Dodgers were good in regular season playing teams who were far below in talent than those we are now watching in the PS and WS. Plus the ‘flawed’ manager had a lot to do with it. Flaws ya say? How about a too LH heavy lineup along twith players who cannot compete against both sides of the pitcher, but also the constant lineup shuffling and position shuffling to ad nausea. OH, and di everyone notice that the Astros have a CONSISTENT middle INF of Correa and Altuve, who don”t have to be shuffled around and platooned?

  5. The K kids couldn’t hit the ocean if they fell out of a boat , Kelly should be traded or banished to the minors for life of his contract . And Roberts should be fired . Spend money on Cole and Rendon !!!!!That should take care of some of the problems ….

  6. Hey Andrew, what may be the case here is these Dodger hitters, or most on this team just are not good enough to compete in the PS. Part of the problem was of course how Roberts used them and I already discussed that. Remember if ya can what former Dodger Eric Karros said when his teams of 1995 and 1996 got swept in those division series:
    ‘We didn’t win because we didn’t have a good enough ball club, it’s that simple’
    The Dodger offense was simply exposed come October baseball and when facing the elite pitching they were just no match..

  7. In my humble opinion, the Dodger’s failure is the players fault. Every player wants to be up there when it counts, or they shouldn’t be there. You put Kershaw in the game you expect him to take care of business like a Cy Young pitcher is supposed to do. He fails, how is that Robert’s fault. To Witt: a couple innings prior to Kershaw’s appearance, they had Bellinger on second, no outs… it was Beaty’s job to get him to third… failed. Next two batters fail as well. The players knew that was there job and didn’t get it done. Had they done so we would be in the WS. Situational hitting is the Dodger weakness. As Vinnie says: “Waste not. Want not.”

    • Don’t you think it’s Roberts fault because Kershaw is no longer Cy Young material and he doesn’t recognize Kersh’s current state of ability. There is very little difference between his breaking stuff and his fastball like there was in prior years. It happens. Pitchers lose their stuff and Managers who know what they are doing don’t place them in the wrong spots. Rendon was almost Giddy waiting to see a pitch in his zone at 87 to 90. Soto was beside himself and crushed it as hard as any I have seen all year. Maybe if we signed Lemehieu instead of Pollock and Ottavvino or Britton instead of Kelly we win. Maybe if we kept Alvarez instead of trading for Fields he would have been in that spot. Like I said in other spots on here. I get it… I have hindsight but the FO is suppose to once in awhile make the right moves. They have the scouts and numbers. Easy way to save money was to go with same old same old Pederson, Kiki, Taylor, Jansen. The FO is fine and making money. What else is there. We are the Braves of the 90s. Mostly losers in the same boat as the Padres or Giants.

      • I just don’t know what advanced metrics or scout says “yes sign the man to 3/$90 million” based on the stuff he has.

        • Made absolutely no sense. Never does with this FO. They don’t seem to be geared up to putting pieces together like the Astros who even added Grienke this season. They wait until all the good pieces are gone then get left overs like Kelly and Pollock who were also signed too long..

  8. Why wont Friedman admit that “small ball” (i.e. traditional Dodger Baseball) is valuable in the playoffs, especially in the NL? Having slow, airheaded personell who hit homers or strikeout is not any progress over the old school Dodgers, who also lost in the playoffs EVERY YEAR. Try something different. Even if you only want White players…how about Trea Turner instead of Seager, for example.

  9. Why wont Friedman admit that “small ball” (i.e. traditional Dodger Baseball) is valuable in the playoffs, especially in the NL? Having slow, airheaded personell who hit homers or strikeout is not any progress over the old school Dodgers, who also lost in the playoffs EVERY YEAR. Try something different. Even if you only want White players…how about Trea Turner instead of Seager, for example.

    • Exactly James. the blatant ignorance of BASIC fundamental baseball on this Dodgers team is exactly why they fail in the biggest moments.When we played baseball, we practiced these fundamentals every year. We could bunt, hit and run, squeeze all in clutch moments to be able to produce a Run when needed.This team Can not produce a simple sacrifice when needed. It’s like they don’t know how. We know this can’t be true as these guys made it to the bigs. So what is it? It’s the philosophy that’s screwed up, either from Roberts or the FO. It has to be the FO as Roberts was a player that could execute a bunt and steal a base in the most crucial time. The Roster needs hitters, hitters that can hit 300 and get on base, scarifice runners and make contact. If they don’t get rid of taylor, Kike,Pederson and Pollock, it will be the same old failures in the Post season.

      • Hey, Kirk, while I do concur with ya here, remember that in today’s current game, if ya don’t have at least some home run power ya won’t win either. It’s just the way it is today. But the problem here is in the PS especially we have a pitching staff that loses more games than most because they themselves just cannot keep the baseball in the yard and THAT to me is one of the biggest problems the Dodgers have. Howie Kendrick hits a slam to end Dodgers’s season is a perfect example of what I am saying here.

  10. Well the game has become one of something far from best player plays. Is it any wonder about post season averages starting with key players who don’t hit Kiki 213 average in 41 post season games 179 WS, Taylor 255 31 games, Joc 239 48 games. Then even last season the FO waits until everyone is gone in Free Agency and adds a pathetic Pollock to the mix who noone else wanted, and jeeze automatic out Martin. The excuse is that that their defense, clubhouse presence makes up for that type of hitting. It doesn’t when you hit that bad. Additionally, these are main players who put pressure on the rest of the lineup. You can’t ask Belli, Turner, Seager , Beaty to hold these guys up they did in the Regular season, opposing Superstar playoff pitchers never have to give them a good pitch, why would they? The supporting cast need to contribute at some point in time. But we still see them trotting out there year after year. Taking up a valuable roster spot that just maybe a Rios could find himself in… Or even any of the other fresh or even some fans are already whining about Lux who needs the support they give Pederson when he has one of his 5 for 50 slumps. Yeah they leave all the same old guys in and just hope guys like Bellinger and Turner can hold up the team. Doesn’t anyone get they can pitch around Belli when you have 230 hitters and automatic outs throughout the lineup. Is that so hard to see? Pollock, really? He was the answer last Free Agency? Kelly over Ottavino, Britton among many? Keeping Hill on the playoff roster over Tony G? Not firing Roberts? Jansen was long over as closer last season but they kept on using the guy there which isn’t real bright. Is there anything so hard to figure out? They weren’t going very far past the Nationals anyhow. Sure they might win 100+ games with the same team and win the weakie division they are in but it’s all going to be the same in the deeper playoffs if they get there. Bottom line, making money and the FO did that for sure with a bad TV deal for the fans. Reality, fans will not be kind to the poor managing of Roberts, Jansen should go too. Might get some warranted boos there.

  11. This team needs to go back to fundamental baseball. Forget the long ball. They need to learn how to manufacture runs. Moving runners over with little or no outs and get a real leadoff hitter. Pedersen really?

    • Jeffery, while that may be a good idea, like I just said, if the pitching staff serves up HR’s like CK and Kelly did in game 5, and like the past 2 combined WS where the pitching gave up 23 HR’s in 12 games combined, fundamental baseball, while a need won’t get the job done by itself.

  12. can someone PLEASE get these hitters back to basics! BUNT to get runners on base so that the next guy won’t always have to “swing for the moon” to get a run in. Sure pitchers are not trying to give you the pitch you wanted (that is their job) but players/hitters are supposed to be able to take the lemons & make lemonade. That’s what they’re paid to do. Stop bemoaning how good the opposing pitching is cause they didn’t serve up the pitch you wanted/needed and start TRAINING our hitters (give them the tools) to nullify their opponents efforts. You thought teams were just gonna lay down and let you score all the runs you wanted to? But in key moments that’s exactly what the dodger pitching staff did. Woe is me!

  13. I thought this is the year Bellinger and Seager catch on fire in post season but it never happens. This is a young team with young guys they will win it all . I am waiting for it to happen like when Garvey Cey Lopes Russell finally won it all in 1981.

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