“Dodgers Baseball-Why They Are-Where They Are”
What doesn’t kill you-makes you stronger.
And so the Dodgers are headed to the World Series, beginning Tuesday in Boston against the 108-win Red Sox.
From a team that was (16-26) early in the season, way off the pace, they became this, a Fall Classic team for the second year in a row.
From a front office that kept trying to make deals to strengthen the club, the trading deadline deals pushed them into the postseason run, and games in late October.
Think back to any month on the calendar and understand how much trouble they were in.
Exit SS-Corey Seager with a torn elbow ligament, replaced by utility men. Enter Manny Machado, he of big bat, good glove-large ego and strong emotional personality.
Power hitting 3B-Justin Turner had the fractured wrist, and missed a lot early, then got nicked up again, but when it counted the most, he was there to deliver.
Pick a pitcher, and they were all on the disabled list at one time or another.
Clayton Kershaw, a future Hall of Famer, remade himself from power pitcher, to location left-hander, so impressive if not any longer dominant.
Hyun Jin Ryu spent almost a year rehabbing from surgeries, and got rolling at the right time. Rich Hill battled back from all those blisters, and was there when needed most.
Kenley Jansen’s story of heart arrhythmia is scary, but thru medication-dedication, he is back storming out of the bullpen, even though he knows once the series is over, he faces another heart procedure. Nerves of steel, health wise and in baseball too.
Even the kid pitcher Julio Urias, knocked down by shoulder capsule surgery, is back now serving a roll out of the bullpen.
And then there are the surprise guys. Matt Kemp came home and was hitting into the .330s the first half of the season, helping win games that were as important as any, as they team had them in their pocket when they made the run up the standings at the end.
Joc Pederson came back like no-one thought possible, playing lots, hitting 25-home runs in a big bounce back season.
Max Muncy, dumped by the A’s hit 35-home runs this year, playing multiple positions, having a season, no one thought possible.
Pedro Baez, facing extermination off the roster last year, found himself, finishing with an amazing sub 1.00-ERA the second half of the season, when they needed innings.
And the hot shot rookie Walker Beuhler has been big, dominant, giving you downright dimensions like a young Kershaw did years ago.
No one could have forecasted this. Not when Arizona threatened to run away with the race in spring. Not when Colorado surged into the lead late.
But the Dodgers came together, when every sign you saw could have meant the season falling apart.
For Dave Roberts, Andrew Friedman, and everyone of their execs in between, this has been a Dodger season with lots of chapters in the book.
The Dodgers earned this trip to Fenway Park, overcoming anything, and most everything.
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. The Dodgers have proven that.