The Los Angeles Dodgers went through the grind of a 162-game regular season, were crowned National League West champions, then had their year come to a grinding halt only five games into the postseason.
“It’s disappointing. I don’t think it matters what it is. It’s just disappointing,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after his club’s loss to the New York Mets in Game 5 of the NL Division Series. “That’s what I told the guys in there. There are really no words to describe how you feel right now.
“You come to Spring Training, you work all winter, you scratch, you fight, all year long to get into this situation and you have a chance. It comes to a crash.”
The 54-year-old skipper who succeeded Joe Torre for the Dodgers’ managing position back in 2011, has maintained a .551 winning percentage in the regular season and .421 in the postseason. Mattingly also guided the Dodgers to three straight division titles — a first in franchise history.
However, in a Game 5 that was bursting with scoring opportunities that never came to fruition, Mattingly says it’s virtually impossible to assuage the disappointment felt by the players and coaches. “You work too hard. You put in too many hours,” he said.
“You travel, you do things that guys go through to get here is extraordinary, and it comes to a crash and you can’t — I don’t think there is any way to soften that blow.”
Although the Dodgers may have fallen short of winning a World Series, there’s something to be said for what the club managed to accomplish under a revamped front office led by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, and the rash of injuries to key players.