The Los Angeles Dodgers’ attempt of repeating as World Series champions fell short as they were eliminated by the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.
Inconsistencies at the plate, fatigue and injuries ultimately derailed the Dodgers, and that became more evident as the NLCS matchup progressed. L.A. was forced to use Walker Buehler on short rest in must-win Game 6 after Max Scherzer could not make his scheduled start due to arm fatigue.
It stemmed from converting a save against the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the NL Division Series and then pitching again on two days’ rest. Scherzer was ineffective as he logged just 4.1 innings against the Braves in what wound up being his final appearance of the postseason.
Julio Urias also pitched on two days’ rest in the Dodgers’ Game 2 loss — albeit out of the bullpen — and failed to protect an eighth-inning lead as he allowed a game-tying RBI double to Austin Riley.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was criticized for that move in particular and several others throughout the postseason, with some pinning the blame on an over-reliance of analytics.
However, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman assured during his end-of-season press conference that all of the moves were solely decided in the dugout. Friedman also gave a vote of confidence to Roberts and the rest of the Dodgers’ coaching staff.
“As I’ve said in the past, there are a lot of things that happen in the course of a game that personally I disagree with, and oftentimes they work out,” Friedman began.
“So many decisions that are made are in that middle of 40-60, 45-55. Very few things are on extremes, so being in the dugout, you have a different feel for those things than you do sitting in the stands.
“Things that come up and factors that play out, I don’t know about until after the game. I think they’re really good at making decisions.”
Friedman touts Urias as Dodgers’ ‘unsung hero’
Despite struggling against the Braves in the NLCS, Urias had some good moments against the Giants. He earned a win in Game 2 of the NLDS and pitched four solid innings of one-run ball in the deciding Game 5.
Friedman believes the Dodgers wouldn’t have advanced to the NLCS without Urias’ contributions and went as far as calling him the unsung hero.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!