The Los Angeles Dodgers had visions of becoming Major League Baseball’s first World Series champion to repeat since the New York Yankees (1998-2000) but their quest came to an end at the hands of the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
The loss had some of the Dodgers’ familiar undoings this postseason as they stranded five and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. It marked a bit of a deflating finish for a Dodgers team that tied a franchise record with 106 wins but appeared to be battling fatigue.
Some of that stemmed from mounting injuries, as L.A. lost Clayton Kershaw and Max Muncy during the final weekend of the regular season, then Justin Turner and Joe Kelly in the NLCS.
As the franchise was poised to enter into an offseason of uncertainty that could bring about plenty of change, Kershaw and Turner addressed the Dodgers clubhouse before the team left Truist Park.
“I gave the opportunity for some players to talk to the guys. And there’s no script, you don’t plan for this talk, losing an elimination game,” manager Dave Roberts revealed. “So Clayton, Justin, Albert, Max, said a few things.
“But I think the thing that landed with me is Albert talking about this group of guys how special it was.”
Turner is under contract for the 2022 season and his deal includes a team option for 2023. However, Kershaw and Pujols are due to become free agents the morning after the World Series concludes.
Assuming Roberts was referencing Max Scherzer, he too will reach free agency this winter.
Pujols relished time with Dodgers
From the moment he signed in the middle of May, Pujols emphasized he would accept any role with the club.
That entailed more regular starts than initially anticipated, but Pujols then found himself settled into a bench role. His biggest contributions in the playoffs did come when in the lineup, but Pujols continued to keep the focus on the team’s goals rather than individual accomplishments.
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