Commentary: The excruciating conclusion of the Dodgers’ glorious season
With the Dodgers still in last place in the National League West, there was good reason baseball fans were already in despair. Not only had the Dodgers lost two games to the Colorado Rockies, an impressive feat in itself; they had lost games against the Astros and Nationals to end the season. The Dodgers were just a few games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the race for the second wild card, and now they needed to win their last three games or risk falling out of the race altogether. It was an impossible task.
That’s when it all hit. The two losses put the Dodgers in a hole that they couldn’t climb out of until their final two games of the regular season.
The Dodgers had been shut out twice during what they called “a great comeback from last place.” This was a team that came from behind in three-plus games, with the second-worst run differential in baseball. Then came the final game of the regular season, against the Brewers. With the Dodgers needing three victories to advance to the National League Championship Series, they were out of playoff position. The loss dropped Los Angeles into a tie for last place with the San Francisco Giants. Now, they had to win three out of six to force a wild-card berth.
Dodgers in crisis
The season began on a high note, with the Dodgers going through the All-Star break at.500. In May, they started their season at 12-3. Their pitching performances were excellent, but the rest of the team lacked consistency. The Dodgers were in last place because their offense was awful, and their defense was a mess.
The Dodgers gave up more runs than any team in baseball that month, and they committed 28 errors. They seemed to be a team that would not score a run until the second half of the season rolled around.
In the second half, the Dodgers’ offense began to kick in. Their starting pitchers had been excellent earlier in the