The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ run from worst to first was some of the most exciting baseball to watch in recent memory, but with the playoffs just about to start, the Dodgers aren’t looking like that dominant team they once were only a few months ago.
With the NL West division and playoff berth already locked up, one may wonder whether the Dodgers have just been taking it easy and preparing for the playoffs by getting some players healthier, or if there is a reason for worry and doubt in Los Angeles.
In their last 20 games, they have a record of 8-12, but there are a few reasons for this and if the Dodgers don’t get those things under control, they may be out of the playoffs sooner than they think.
The pitching staff has been letting the Dodgers down as of late. Ricky Nolasco, who just pitched last night against the San Francisco Giants, wasn’t very impressive yet again. Ronald Belisario, who was once a sure thing coming out of the bullpen, has recently seen his ERA go from 3.16 to 4.07 just in the month of September.
Yasiel Puig was visibly hobbled in the first inning of last night’s game when trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning. Andre Ethier is having issues with his ankle.
In a three-game series, regardless of who you play, it is important to go into it playing the best you can, or at least have all of your players doing their part. As of today, the Dodgers don’t have that going for them. In light of all of this, the Dodgers still have some positives heading into the playoffs.
Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all at the top of their games right now. If the Dodgers have a lead in the ninth inning, Kenley Jansen comes in and generally always closes the door. The acquisition of Brian Wilson has been a positive for the bullpen. Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and the rejuvenated Matt Kemp are all positives on the offensive side.
Even with all that said, you still have to wonder whether or not the playoffs are indeed coming at the wrong time for the Dodgers.