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Dodgers: Starting Pitching Depth, Injuries, and Inconsistent Offense Doom LA



Before the 2021 season began, the Dodgers were lauded for their roster depth and potent offense. Ironically, the lack of both, spelled the end of the Dodgers season.

Short on Starters

Clayton Kershaw didn’t make a single start in the playoffs due to a forearm injury. Dustin May underwent Tommy John surgery in May. Trevor Bauer made his last start for the Dodgers on June 28th before an indefinite leave of absence due to sexual assault allegations. Tony Gonsolin made just 13 starts due to injuries. David Price was a ghost.

Even acquiring Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer couldn’t save the Dodgers rotation.

The starting pitching crunch created a precarious road for the Dodgers title defense. Manager Dave Roberts made the decision to routinely pitch Scherzer, Buehler, and Urias on short rest in October. That’s on top of Scherzer and Urias coming out of the bullpen for a few high leverage situations.

Max Scherzer’s cancelled Game 6 start was the most telling sign of a rotation that was running on empty.

An Offensively Underwhelming Dodgers Offense

The Atlanta Braves overcame the losses of superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. and pitching phenom Mike Soroka. The San Francisco Giants entered the playoffs without Brandon Belt. LA’s October offense wasn’t the same with a debilitated Justin Turner and a sidelined Max Muncy.

The Dodgers boom-or-bust offense was a topic of conversation for months. Losing cornerstones in Muncy and Turner didn’t help. However, the Dodgers still had enough bats on paper to continue to provide run support for the teetering pitching staff. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, baseball is not played on paper.

Even in a disaster of a NLCS for LA, they still had a chance to force a Game 7. The Dodgers were down 4-2 in the seventh inning in Game 6 with runners on second and third and zero outs. Albert Pujols, Steven Souza Jr., and Mookie Betts all failed to put a ball in play against lefty Tyler Matzek.

Final Thoughts

Simply put, the Braves were the better team this time around. Each and every team has to manage injuries throughout the year and in the playoffs. To quote manager Dave Roberts, “nobody is going to feel sorry for us”.

It was a long road to win back-to-back championships.

In the end, LA just ran out of gas.

Dodgers: Walker Buehler Refuses to Blame His Bad Game on Short Rest

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. Well done Eric. It’s never one thing. People who like to point fingers think they have it all figured out. It’s just not that easy.

    Be thankful you’re not a Padres fan! Imagine their lament! Super-stars, big payroll, picked by everyone to possibly win the NL West…nice swan dive!

    • If I had to decide on which of those FA’s to certainly re- sign, they would be:
      CT3
      Scherzer
      KJ
      Knebel
      Those are dedefinites as I see it. The others, IDK. BUT, the question i may have is, would any of those want to come back after seeing how the FO and Roberts mis managed the team,? WSS.

  2. You are dead on with our free agents that may not choose to return because we have a manager who just does not have a clue. Losing CT3 is going to leave a huge hole both offensively and defensively as well. DodgerFan above is quite correct in that this debacle of an NLCS falls on many shoulders, our manager, the defense and the offensive sides of the ball and pretty much everyone’s lack of treating game 6 as a make or break game. There would be no tomorrow if we lost game 6 yet they came out flat and to the naked eye without purpose. Roberts is the leader of this pack and he DID NOT have them ready to play as has been stated by me and others in previous posts that they needed to play with their hair on fire. Must have stopped by the showers on the way to the field to put those fires out. There is a large group of players on the Dodgers who need to take a long hard look into the nearest mirror. Time and time again when the chips were not in our favor a few of the biggest names in the game simply did not come through. They only needed to look at Buehler – HE WANTED THE BALL,,,,,,,,,,,PERIOD! Others clearly did not have that fire in the stomachs.

  3. The top of the order, Mookie Betts, Coerey Seager, and Trea Turner, collectively batted .194.

    Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias = 7.50 ERA

    You’d be lucky to stay out of the division basement with number like that. Let alone, win an NLCS.

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