During the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers made big changes to their roster in effort to put an end to their postseason woes. They traded big name players such as Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon, and added Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick, among others as part of their efforts to bring a World Series to Los Angeles.
Grandal had a good first season with the club, making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. As for Kendrick, he was one of the most consistent batters in the Dodgers lineup and regularly praised for his work ethic. He finished the season batting .295/.336/.409 and ranked second on the team with 137 hits.
Unfortunately for Kendrick and the Dodgers, he came up empty in his final 2015 at-bat. “It was more all-or-nothing type of at-bat,” Kendrick said of facing New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning of Game 5 with the Dodgers trailing, 3-2.
“Sometimes you look back and think, ‘man, if I could’ve done this.’ But at the same time, you make your decision and you stick with it. I made the decision to try to get something I could hit the long ball on.”
The Dodgers offense got off to a hot start against one of the games best up and coming stars in Jacob deGrom. The 27 year old pitched a gem in Game 1, throwing seven scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters.
However, the Dodgers quickly jumped on deGrom Thursday night and scored two runs in the first inning. But, deGrom would settle down and didn’t allow another runn to cross the plate. “He just got outs when he needed them,” Kendrick said.
“The guy is a good pitcher, he knows how to pitch. When we had runners out there we didn’t capitalize.” Through the first four games of the series, Kendrick hit .353 (6-for-17). He went hitless in the winner-take-all setting.
Kendrick refused to place specific blame on any one player or instance that cost the Dodgers the series. As for expectations, there’s a reason games are played on the field. “It’s tough. Just because you have all the right pieces on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to work out the way everybody thinks,” Kendrick said.
“Every guy fought hard in here and that’s what you want. You want guys to compete every day and just give their best.” Kendrick is among the Dodgers who will become a free agent this offseason. He’s a candidate to receive the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.