So the Dodgers have clinched, and they’re the first team to have clinched in this weirdass 60-game series with cardboard cutouts in the stands.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s following the team (or who read what I last wrote about them.) I just hope we haven’t clinched too soon since clinching early hasn’t been good for the team in the past. It makes you sit back on your laurels and not play with the intensity the other teams are playing with…the result being that you’re not hungry enough when the postseason starts.
Of course I’m danged if I understand the playoff format this season, or why they had to go and change things and create those best of 3 series. Why do more teams need to make the playoffs just because the season is shorter? I don’t see the logic. If this is a real season (and that’s debatable) we should have real playoffs with just the division winners.
I reckon the biggest question is whether the Dodgers are ready for October. It’s been a banner season so far for Betts, Seager and Pollock, and Smith’s been doing some pretty amazing shit that he may wish happened in a normal season. He’s even leading the team in OPS at 1.012. Taylor’s been carrying his share of the weight too…but, facing October baseball, Muncy and Bellinger are both a cause for concern. They’ve got a chance to turn it around while they still can; the team’s gonna need them next month.
I mean, yeah, the team has the best record in baseball, but they dropped a couple games recently that I’d rather they not have lost. I reckon losing to the Astros isn’t as bad as losing to a NL team, but dang did it hurt losing to those cheaters again. Losing to the Padres was another story: they’re a hot team and they’re probably only going to get hotter, even after losing the last 2 games of the series to the Dodgers. That could spell trouble not too far down the road.
There really isn’t much to complain about, though. The team may have clinched already, but they showed up and played and kicked some serious Colorado ass tonight. Seager, Turner (back in the lineup but as the DH) and Rios all had multiple hit games on Thursday night, and Seager was one triple short of hitting for the cycle. (Yeah, I know that’s the hardest part. I learned it the hard way lol.)
So the October forecast is good, even with my reservations. And of course my biggest fear, which is pissing off the baseball gods once more. Being the first team to clinch can be a recipe for the kind of hubris they like to punish in the postseason.