The Los Angeles Dodgers cemented a third consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series on Monday after defeating the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.
The club received contributions from a variety of players, but most notably were propelled by the efforts of midseason acquisitions David Freese, Manny Machado and Ryan Madson.
The trio, though not with Los Angeles at the beginning of the season, has nevertheless helped bolster the Dodgers’ overall depth for another deep postseason run. General manager Farhan Zaidi particularly enjoyed watching them deliver in the clutch against the Braves.
With a more loaded roster this year, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman opined that the club is in much better position for success this October, via Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times:
“I spent about three minutes thinking about it the other day, before I realized it wasn’t productive … but I actually think we are a better team,’’ Friedman said. “We’re a deeper team, a more well-rounded team than last year.”
As Friedman points out, the Dodgers boast considerably more talent when compared to last year’s team that fell one win short of capturing the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1988.
Machado was brought in to play everyday and fill the void of the injured Corey Seager, while Freese and Madson complement the team in lesser roles. Other newcomers include Matt Kemp, who returned to the organization over the offseason and enjoyed a resurgent season en route to his first All-Star appearance since 2012.
Moreover, Max Muncy established himself as one of the best power hitters in all of baseball despite beginning the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Walker Buehler also dominated in his rookie campaign, emerging as the Dodgers’ ace of the future.
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