MLB: A brilliant regular season surge leads to disappointment.
by Romeo Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Two wins. They were two wins away from heading to the World Series and two wins away from making Los Angeles baseball relevant again.
It was last Friday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis when the Cardinals gave the Dodgers more to feel blue about after an embarrassing 9-0 defeat in game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
It’s been four years since the Dodgers made a post-season appearance. At least this time they won more than just one game and got close enough to have fans in Los Angeles talking about baseball in October.
This is the closest the team has gotten in a quarter century, but yet it still seemed so far.
“I always hate when a season ends,” General Manager Ned Colletti said to the Los Angeles Times. “But this one, I really hate that it ended the way it ended.”
This was a season that had a rough start. A team that had 30 wins in 72 games ended the year with the most expensive team in baseball history coming close to living up to their expectations: winning the World Series.
Instead, our boys in blue were left sitting in the losing dugout where they stared at the Cardinals as they flew away to the fall classic.
Clayton Kershaw was not the player we all expected to see last Friday. Yasiel Puig’s inexperience was clearly shown by his performance, and the Dodgers veteran sluggers were shut down by rookie pitcher Michael Wacha.
This was the biggest start of Kershaw’s career, and he failed to seize the moment as he fell to pieces on the mound. The Dodgers’ ace, reigning Cy Young winner, and runaway favorite to repeat (he led the NL in ERA, strikeouts, and WHIP) – gave up seven runs in four innings, forcing manager Don Mattingly to pull him from the the game.
“I didn’t have it tonight, this one’s on me,” Kershaw said to the L.A Times. “Just to know the guys have worked so hard to get here, I wanted to be part of the solution. I just didn’t pitch good. Man, I don’t have an answer.”
Let’s not forget, the Dodgers hitters only managed two hits against Wacha. A line up that looks good on paper did just that, looked good on paper.
We all imagined there would be a Game 7 that came down to the last inning after the Dodgers came back from a 2-0 deficit and then again when they brought the series closer at 3-2 in favor of St. Louis
Yes. There is always next spring for a team that returns most of its core players, including a healthy Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, whose broken rib might have been the deciding factor in this series, not to mention, baseball’s best pitcher, Kershaw, who will have to recover from the worst game of his career.
It has been 25 years. Twenty-five years since the Dodgers brought the Commissioner’s Trophy to L.A., so hey, what’s one more season?