Saturday, December 4, 2021

Dodgers’ postseason pitch experiment turned out to be a big failure

It was the managerial equivalent of Bill Buckner’s miss at first base, Willie Davis’ three mistakes in midfield, or Steve Bartman’s mistake on the left lane.

In fact, it was worse.

Teams Buckner, Davis and Bartman got a chance to correct their mistakes. Now that the National League championship streak is over, it’s clear the Dodgers ended up as soon as Andrew Friedman and the front office geniuses decided the postseason was the right time to experiment.

The $ 260 million Dodgers were officially knocked out Saturday night in a 4-2 defeat to the Atlanta Braves, who won the top-of-seven match by a similar margin to be eliminated by the Houston Astros in the World Series. …

Starter Walker Buehler pitched on a three-day rest and looked like this, giving up four runs, seven hits, and three walks in four innings.

Buhler served because Max Scherzer failed – the remnants of a decision made in the previous round.

Hall of Fame pitcher and TBS broadcaster Pedro Martinez, who knows a thing or two about the Dodgers’ mistakes, tweeted, “@Dodgers Analytics really messed up probably the best rotation in all of baseball. This is why we don’t see sharp breaking balls and dizzying fastballs. They need to find a way to let beginners be who they really are and allow them to serve what they are used to. “

In other words, the Dodgers shouldn’t have done what they did against the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of their NL Division Series.

They shouldn’t have used 20 game winner Julio Urias as anyone other than the starting player. They shouldn’t have used Scherzer as a door closer.

Reader letters in the Sunday edition of that newspaper reflected the misconception that it was manager Dave Roberts’ idea. To be clear: The plan for Urias to follow rookies Corey Knebel and Brusdar Graterol in the fifth NLDS game, which ultimately led to Roberts calling Scherzer for the ninth inning, was devised by the front office.

The choice was reflected throughout the NLCS.

Scherzer was unable to make the scheduled start in Game 1, which the Dodgers lost. Scherzer said his hand felt dead when he served the ball in the second game, which the Dodgers also lost.

Urias breathed a sigh of relief in Game 2, diminishing his effectiveness in Game 4, another game the Dodgers lost.

Scherzer was unable to serve again in Game 6 and the Dodgers season was over.

Roberts has always said he knows that asking Scherzer to shut down NLDS can be costly. However, the manager said before Saturday’s game: “Can I foresee where we are now? No, but we still have to make a decision that will lead us to this point. “

In previous seasons, the Dodgers have relied on the exceptional efforts of individual pitchers to correct their shortcomings.

Last year it was Urias who, like a super swingman, disguised his bullpen vulnerabilities. Before that, there were seasons in which they relied on Clayton Kershaw, who started with a short rest to compensate for the lack of rotation depth.

There was no one to help them this time.

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Trevor Bauer was only visible to followers of his social media accounts as he remained on administrative leave related to the sexual assault allegations against him.

The Dodgers dropped out of the postseason after losing Game 6 of the NLCS Atlanta Braves. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts discusses what happened and what the offseason will bring.

Kershaw was in a blue sweatshirt, leaning against the railing in front of the Dodger bench.

Scherzer was there too.

In explaining why he is unable to pitch, Scherzer offered insight into why he remains an elite pitcher at 37. Saying that some pitchers in his condition will lie and take the mound no matter how they feel, Scherzer replied, “I’m not lying. … “

Scherzer explained: “Guys, when they lie, they go out and take too much, and then they get carried away. This is the highest risk here. “

He’s not Kershaw, and that shouldn’t be a criticism or a compliment.

Kershaw would have taken the mound if he had been in Scherzer’s position to hell with the consequences. This mindset explains why so many people were overjoyed to see Kershaw finally win the World Series.

Kershaw is now at a crossroads in his career at 33 as he will become a free agent after a season in which he suffered a forearm injury at the end of the season.

Scherzer’s more cautious approach has made him one of the most resilient pitchers in baseball. He was a model free agent who was worth every penny in the $ 210 million seven-year contract he signed with the Washington Nationals ahead of the 2015 season.

This winter, he will again become a free agent, ready to sign a three- or four-year contract that could cost nine figures.

Scherzer was not going to risk it, which was entirely his right.

“My hand has been blocked for the past couple of days,” he said. “After game 2 started, I knew that I would be ill for a couple of days, but it was just a general soreness of the muscles in my arm, body. It’s okay when you’re in the playoffs and get overwhelmed. I have encountered this many times. I just didn’t get well. I got mostly to Day 4 and I still felt like Day 1. “

Scherzer said he can’t shoot 90 feet until Friday.

In retrospect, Scherzer said he didn’t think San Francisco’s ninth inning was the only reason.

“This is the sum of everything,” he said. “It’s a matter of ability to work – to take everything off the ground and put it all together. It never happens that just one walk you get into trouble.

“Throughout my career, I have been very good at communicating with my manager, with all my managers, about where my hand is and where, if I start, I know where to stop to be able to recover. and come back to this. “

Scherzer said he thinks he could participate in Game 7 if the NLCS, if the series reached that point. But his optimism was measured.

“I just don’t know where my turn will be,” he said. “I don’t know how much, how little.”

He will never know. The Dodgers season is over.

Nation World News Desk
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