For a second straight year, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ postseason came to an end in Busch Stadium. Whereas last season the Dodgers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the NLCS, they were eliminated this year in Game 4 of the NLDS.
The Cardinals twice beat Clayton Kershaw in the series and exposed the Dodgers’ greatness weakness — lack of a trusted bullpen. Matt Kemp gave the Cardinals credit for coming up with timely hits and called the NL Central champions the better team.
However, Kenley Jansen’s view of the Cardinals isn’t as praiseworthy, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
There should be no reason that that team is better than us. I don’t think they’re better than us, but they were clutch all the time. That’s what got us, especially in a five-game series. Things happened in the game, they just got clutch again. They beat us.”
Andre Ethier, who started Game 4 in place of Yasiel Puig, said the Dodgers need to learn from being eliminated by the Cardinals, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick:
More than anything, it’s not just not going far in the playoffs, it’s just getting past a certain team. It’s a recurring theme. We have to figure out how to do that. We know we have a team good enough to keep going and playing. But we have to have an answer to what these guys taught us, and we haven’t been able to do that two years in a row.”
Like Kemp, J.P. Howell referred to the Cardinals as the superior team and added the Dodgers needed to improve in the off-season:
That team is better than us right now. They’re moving forward for a reason. We’ve got some things to work on that we have to redo during the offseason.”
Brian Wilson reportedly will exercise his player option for 2015, but what his role will be is largely up in the air. Justin Turner, who contributed significantly off the bench, is eligible for arbitration and could be a key re-signing for the Dodgers.
Aside from that, the Dodgers will need to address their bullpen that was good enough for the regular season, but couldn’t be trusted under brighter lights.