Dodgers Nation Round Table: Favorite 2018 Moments

The 2018 season and year has come and gone for the Dodgers, and with that, it is time for us that make up the Dodgers Nation team to share our favorite moments from another season gone by.

What is your ultimate highlight for the 2018 Dodgers season, and why?

Clint Pasillas/FRG (@realFRG): So many great moments really stand out when recalling the 2018 baseball season. Max Muncy pops to mind at least 10 (or 35) times. David Freese clutchness in the playoffs, Yasiel Puig taking Cardinals pitching deep 3 times in a game, but I really settle on one series in time… Arizona @ Los Angeles. More importantly, Matt Kemp vs. Archie Bradley.

Flashing back to where those teams were at that time, you look at how much that series completely unraveled the D-bags season. A team that had been in first place at the beginning of each month in 2018, and already won the division in April, really had the, um, “Archie Bradley Special” hit the fan.

Trailing by 2 in the 8th, up steps Matthew Ryan Kemp with two runners on and 1 out… take it away, YouTube:

And on the very next day, on the first pitch he sees, Matt Kemp has done it again.

Thank you, Matty.

Brian Robitaille (@BriRobiltaille): There was so many great moments during the season. But the playoffs bring a different energy and atmosphere, so if I had to pick one moment, it would have to be from the post season.

For me, it’s probably the Puig homerun from Game 7 against the Brewers. That sealed the deal for the Dodgers and sent them onto the World Series. The only reason it’s not Puig’s Game 4 World Series homerun is because I know how that game eventfully ended. So every time I see that highlight, I can only think of how the Dodgers still lost in heartbreaking fashion.

Brook Smith (@Brookme3): That Brian Dozier homerun in his first series with the team was pretty nuts. Some of the DN crew was there at that game when it happened, and we lost our minds! So much energy in the stadium and you just felt like you were watching a real team come together after a hard first half.

Tim Rogers (@sddodger): I will focus on something I saw live. I was able to see some great moments including the famous Rich Hill trip around the bases, Clayton Kershaw dominating the Braves in game 2 of the NLDS and the amazing NLCS game 4. However, Friday, October 26 was historic. I left from San Diego without a ticket and went to the ESPN 710 pre-game show at Mohawk Bend. I finally found a good deal on StubHub and ended up here:

Seeing Walker Buehler dominate the Red Sox for 7 innings was a highlight alone in itself, but the confusing bullpen management started causing people around me to wonder what was going on. The inevitable, it seemed, tying home run off Kenley Jansen, was frustrating for all. The game then got real interesting in extra innings. The fans around me were emotionally exhausted as we saw highlights like:

  1. Cody Bellinger throwing out Ian Kinsler, from centerfield, as he tried to score the lead run in the 10th inning.
  2. Dylan Floro cleaning up the mess in the 13th inning after the Red Sox scored the lead run.
  3. Yasiel Puig somehow coming around to score in the 13th inning to re-tie up the game.
  4. Kenta Maeda striking out 5 in his 2 innings of work
  5. Nathan Eovaldi’s great relief performance

Of course, the highlight was Max Muncy hitting the game winning homerun off of Eovaldi in the 18th inning. The longest World Series game in history was over. Sadly, it was the last win for the Dodgers in the 2018 season but I’m glad I was able to have an in-person view of a truly historical game.

Marshall Garvey (@MarshallGarvey)The 2018 season was a bizarre mixed bag. The team underachieved to the fullest extent they could get away with, never finding a consistent winning identity like other recent seasons. Also, I hate to dredge this up, but the team’s indefensible decision to cross a picket line at their hotel in Boston infuriated me. If we’re being brutally honest, they probably deserved to lose the World Series for that alone. Altogether, nowhere near as special (and ultimately heartbreaking) as the 2017 team.

Yet any season where your team makes it to the World Series isn’t going to lack for highlights. Despite the lack of improvement during the offseason, despite the plentiful injuries ranging from Kershaw’s back to Kenley’s heart scare, despite the historic lack of hitting with RISP, the Dodgers won the second NL pennant of my lifetime. After years of mediocrity and underachievement (my first season as a fan was 2001, the Jeff Reboulet era), I will not take that for granted.

For the sake of concision and not bloating this roundtable piece, I will emulate Tim above and do a list of some of my favorite moments:

  1. Walker Buehler’s MLB debut, and his immediate ascension to ace status.
  2. Matt Kemp making Archie Bradley his personal property in early September.
  3. Justin Turner’s go-ahead blast in game two in Milwaukee.
  4. Cody Bellinger’s swan-dive catch to prevent, at the minimum, a Lorenzo Cain leadoff triple in the tenth inning of game four.
  5. Bellinger’s walk-off single to score Machado, tying the series and sending me into a frenzy.
  6. Chris Taylor’s falling catch for the ages to rob Christian Yelich to bail out a grieving Urias.
  7. Puig silencing Milwaukee with his three-run shot, the signature postseason moment from him I always wanted to see.
  8. Buehler earning Koufax’s reverence in game three of the WS.
  9. Max Muncy’s baserunning on Puig’s hit to save us from the throes of 3-0.
  10. Muncy’s walk-off homer to finally, finally end it in the 18th.

But as for my personal top highlight? Kenta Maeda’s two scoreless innings in game three. It was the only moment of the postseason that truly brought back the feeling of 2017, as his sudden bullpen dominance that October was one of my favorite parts of that run. Watching him mow down terrifying hitters with ease and show emotion once again, in a historic game no less, was what truly made that marathon worth it.  

What was your favorite part of being a part of Dodgers Nation in 2018?

Clint/FRG: 2018 was truly a great year for me, and I owe so much of that to this website, and our amazing community (yes, you reading this) of fans on social media. My buddy Kevin and I had been running our own podcast off and on for a few years. After an extended hiatus, Kevin told me that we should get it going again. He reached out to Dodgers Nation to see about working together.

That’s one of the great things about “DN”, as we call it, if you have a drive and passion to talk about Dodgers baseball and share it with the world, you are welcome to try out for our team.

So after coming to an agreement to resume the show and share it out via DN, the ball started rolling. After some tweaking, re-tooling, and hard work, we abandoned the old show and made something 100% new as a team with Dodgers Nation — Blue Heaven. We launched our first episode of the Blue Heaven Podcast on May 10 (5 days BEFORE Justin Turner’s return to the lineup, so clearly WE were the fire lit under the Dodgers that told them to do better!) and never let up.

From then to now, I’ve made connections with (friends, in some cases) some of the biggest and best in the game with the Dodgers, and around baseball. From Fred Claire, Joe Davis, Orel Hershiser, Jerry Hairston Jr, Rick Krajewski, and Dieter Ruehle, to Bob Nightengale, Houston Mitchell, and so many more… I had wine with Tommy Lasorda! Suffice it to say, 2018 has been a fun year (editor’s note: actually quite shocking and a little overwhelming to me, while sitting here and typing it out).

But with all those names mentioned above, the best connections I’ve made is here with the people that bring you the content for this website. Chatting baseball daily with the team is a pleasure.

  • My boy Brook and I have lived the charmed media life while taking advantage of the free tamales and drinks at Yasiel Puig’s poker event.
  • Discussing why you should bring your baseball glove to a game with the legend Greg Bergman (and always assisting with his tech support questions). 
  • Helping the homie AJ learn that maybe he shouldn’t try to bare hand a Yasiel Puig batting practice homerun ball.
  • My top dog, my road dog, my day one, my friend of the show Clint Evans… too much to write about that guy. 80 grade human and friend.
  • Chatting life and baseball; doing work and plotting the next phases of DN with a guy I enjoy spending way too much time with at least every Tuesday, Mr Gary Lee. Dude changed my life.

Dodgers Nation is loaded with some of the best baseball minds in the business. Prove me wrong.

Thank you Gary, and thank you team.

Brian: I just loved how we evolved over the past year. I’ve been a part of Dodgers Nation for a while now, and I can honestly say that it’s really been taken to a whole new level recently. The post game shows, the Blue Heaven Podcast, great  new writers… everything. It’s was a great year and I think the Dodgers Nation team has even bigger stuff in store for 2019.

Brook: One of the best parts of getting to be a part of DN for me has been the people I have gotten to meet. And yeah, getting to interview Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, some UFC legends and a few others was cool, but the staff at DN and some of the folks I’ve interacted with on Twitter has been the best part for me.

I have gotten to learn so much about people and their lives, and its been so much fun to watch how people interact through the course of the year. I came on to DN thanks to Gary’s confidence in me as an editor, and it’s taken me some pretty incredible places in a short year. The staff at DN is top notch, full of some of the very best people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

We got to attend two games as a staff this year, and that was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a game. Here were all of these guys that I really only knew through the internet, and we were talking and taking in a ball game like old high school buddies who didn’t skip a beat. I’m truly thankful for all of the experiences I’ve had this year, and can’t wait to see where it takes us in 2019 and beyond!

Tim: Getting to get press access to minor league games was something very cool. The first one I got was for Julio Urias’s 4th rehab start for the RC Quakes. Getting a chance to hang out with Julio around the batting cage and talking about pitching was more than I could ask for. Then, it was even better being able to interview him in the clubhouse after the game.

Later I was able to cover Dennis Santana’s rehab start and the Quakes run to the championship. What a blast it all was.

Marshall: Where I do I begin???? This entire year at Dodgers Nation, both as a part-time guest writer and then a full-time staff member, was one giant dream ride. It all started in January, when my debut article “Life, Death, and the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers” was published. After months of toiling over that piece, the love that it received (including from none other than Jon Weisman, as well as Kyle Farmer) was life-affirming. It remains my proudest accomplishment in 16 years of writing.

From there, it was a fun season of mostly historical anniversary pieces, all of which I loved writing. The weird, hilarious shenanigans of Dodgers Twitter kept me extra company, and I’m glad to have gone down that rabbit hole. I even had tweets liked by Rian Johnson and Haley Joel Osment!

As fulfilling as that all was, it was only the beginning. After the World Series ended, the DN staff decided it was time to kick things up a notch, and I got a call to become a full-time staff member. This will sound so boilerplate, but I mean it with authenticity: I could not be working with a better group of people. I can’t wait to see what stratospheres we sail to next year.  

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Clint/FRG: I think in reading my novel from the section above, one could surmise that I’m pretty excited about Dodgers Nation in 2019. And with that, I’m more excited about the Dodgers team. Experience and practice make perfect, and the third time’s the charm. Mark my words here, the Dodgers will be back in the fall classic, and on one perfect day some time in early November, that parade will be rolling down Victory Boulevard.

I Love L.A.

Brian: To put it bluntly, a World Series Championship. The last couple of years have been a tough way to end a season. The past six years actually. Having great regular season after great regular season, only to come up short in the playoffs, is difficult. But I just hope the Dodgers keep putting out the best team they can in order to give themselves a shot in October. That’s all you can really ask for. I expect the Dodgers will have another eventful and exciting year, and that’s what I’m really looking forward to… also Avengers 4.

Brook: I’m so excited to see that DodgersNation is turning into one of the premier outlets for coverage. We made so many changes and advancements in 2018 that I know 2019 is going to be incredible! With all of our loyal fans/listeners, the Blue Heaven podcast should really get some top tier guests on as well, which is so awesome! Can’t wait to see our boys back in the World Series, and this time it will end much better. You can #BrookIt.

Tim: Personally, I look forward to pushing myself more as a contributor to Dodgers Nation. I am hoping to connect to more Dodger fans during the season as we all try to make Dodgers Nation even better. What I really want to write about is the Dodgers winning the World Series in 2019.

Marshall: I look forward to my first full year as a full-time staff member for DN, after spending almost all of 2018 as a part-time contributor. I have many great articles in store for you all, including a healthy slew of pieces commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1959 championship team, the first one in Los Angeles.

Of course, I hope everything I write is part and parcel of what I’ve waited literally my whole life for: a Dodgers World Series championship. What else can I say at this point that hasn’t been combed over by everyone else? 30 years is far too long, they’ve shown they can at least make it to the Fall Classic, they have all the means to win, etc. The wait must end.

It’s time. And the Dodgers Nation crew will capture every single moment of it with peerless diligence and vigor.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”…-birthday-br0105/2018/12/29/”]Happy 83rd birthday, Sandy Koufax![/button]

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  1. Thank you, Dodgers Nation for being my extended Dodger family, at all kinds of weird hours with my schedule. #DNpregame, #DNpostgame, Blue Heaven Podcast, all your insightful, passionate, educational, sentimental, historical articles, etc. With limited to no access to live coverage such as SporteNetLA, and few people in Oregon to share my MLB passion with, you guys ARE my Baseball friends. Having access to your live streams, but also replays means more than you know.

    From Manhattan, Hermosa, & Redondo Beaches, I was born a Dodger Fan, and my blood runs Blue in Oregon now, but only for the Dodgers (ha)! With Dodgers Nation, MLBTV, FS1 (gag), limited MLBNetwork, limited SportsNetLA (mostly in Post-Season, via Social Media), LAD Blogs & Facebook broadcasts, other major Sports Networks on-line, all the Social Media platforms, and an endless stream of Notifications from all of the above, is what made it possible to get through an intense 2018 Season that consumed my life.

    Thank DN for being my Dodger Family, my informants, consultants, the people I vent with, scream with, celebrate with, and cry with! Cheers to 2019…let’s get the party started!!! 🙂
    –Muncy’s #1.b Fan!!!