Dodger Postseason

Frances Flores, Sports Editor

This team! The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally brought the World Series back to LA after 29 years and fans couldn’t be more excited.

Fans have waited for the Dodgers to win a World Series for almost 30 years and this year everything seems to be falling into place. Team manager Dave Roberts, along with all the hitting coaches, pitching coaches and base coaches, are doing everything right with this team and everyone in LA knows it.

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished this season with an overall record of 104-58, the best record in Major League Baseball this year.

Dodgers faced the Houston Astros in the world series. Kershaw pitched a gem for game 1, winning 3-1. Game 2 was a different story, with Rich Hill on the mound for LA the Dodgers faced Astros RHP Justin Verlander. I was surprised at the fact that both Joc Pederson and Corey Seager got homeruns off of him because Verlander has dominated every team he has pitched against. Despite the fact that Hill was struggling he was still striking out the hitters , and he could’ve lasted another inning.

If he would’ve gone into the fifth inning Roberts could’ve avoided going into the bullpen that early in the gameand the outcome of the game would’ve been different. Game 3 was just a blip with our pitching. Starting pitcher Yu Darvish gave up four runs in two innings which was a shick to everyone. According to Yu the baseballs used in the World Series are “slicker” and it was harder for him to throw his slider because he couldn’t get a good grip. Game 4 was a slow game with no action until the ninth inning when Joc Pederson hit a 3-run-homerun. Dodgers game up with five runs that inning winning the game 6-2. Game 5 was an emotional rollercoaster. Offense was amazing for both teams and the pitching staff did what the could but the Dodgers unfortunately dropped the game 12-13.

Dodgers faced the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series, a best- of-five game series. They won three straight games, clinching the title. This was no surprise as the D-backs posed no threat.

In the National League Championship Series, a best-of-seven game series, the Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs met again after having lost last year’s NLCS to the Cubs 4-2. This year was a completely different story. The Dodgers won the series 4-1, advancing to the World Series and winning the National League pennant for the first time since 1988. Many fans thought they would go for the sweep with a 3-0 lead going into game four but they dropped the game 3-2. Many people blamed manager Dave Roberts and his lineup, but I think this loss was intentional. Roberts wanted ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw to stay in his rotation pitching every fifth day. By having him pitch Game 5, he could pitch Game 1 of the World Series after his regular rest.

Third baseman Justin Turner, and center fielder Chris Taylor, won Co- MVP for the NLCS. Turner has a batting average of .371, 14 RBI’s and 4 homeruns , and Taylor has a BA of .286, 5 RBI’s and 3 homeruns this postseason. Every player has proved to be a crucial part of the team throughout the season, and fans recognize that now in the postseason. It seem as though every game has a new star because of how amazing each and everyone of our players are.

From Yasiel Puig’s outstanding plays in the outfield to his amazing and entertaining at bats, he has proved to be a completely different player compared to last season when he was sent down to the minor leagues and was on the verge of being traded. Last season Puig went through a rough patch. He faced charges of domestic violence after a night out in Miami and Roberts thought it would be best if he was sent down until he got his act together. When he came back he was a whole new player, and he continues to grow into the amazing player he’s destined to be. I don’t know if it’s him showing some love to his bat by licking it and hoping for hits in return, dancing at home plate, or the hitting coach Rick Honeycutt working his magic, but he always comes in a clutch.

Reliever Kenley Jansen along with our amazing bullpen (other than Ross Stripling and Josh Fields) are also a big factor as to why the Dodgers are the team to beat this year. Kike Hernandez with his unbelievable 3-home-run, 7 RBI game propelled Dodgers to an 11-1 win in Game 5 of the NLCS. I’m amazed at what each player accomplishes in every game and how they support each other win or lose. All I can say is “This team”!

If you look back at the ‘81 and ‘88 World Series teams, the team chemistry was a big factor in them winning. That same chemistry is seen with the current team as well. Tommy Lasorda was the manager of the team when they won in ‘81 and ‘88. He was one of the best managers to have been part of the Dodgers franchise and you see that with Dave Roberts and this team now too. The players want this just as much as the fans do and their dedication to each other and the game reflects that.

Being around baseball legends like Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, Tommy Lasorda and Don Newcombe and having them around the team as not only mentors but as people who support the team and the whole city of Los Angeles is incredible.