After losing the 2017 World Series in heartbreaking fashion at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers were determined to reach the pinnacle the following year. Despite a record-setting season and playing to a Game 7, the Dodgers assured there wouldn’t be any hangover in 2018.
They nevertheless were slow out of the gate last year. Easing Kenley Jansen through Spring Training backfired, Corey Seager was lost by the end of April to season-ending Tommy John surgery, and Justin Turner was recovering from a fractured left wrist.
The Dodgers dropped to 16-26 by the middle of May, which tied for the worst start in franchise history. Turner’s return helped light a spark that carried them to a sixth consecutive National League West title.
Another run to the World Series awaited, but the Dodgers fell to the Boston Red Sox in five games. Coming up short in back-to-back years has further fueled Turner for 2019, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“When you get that close two years in a row, it borderline drives you insane,” Turner said. “You’re just psychotic about trying to finish it. So the drive is even greater than it was last year.”
Turner has candidly discussed the Dodgers’ shortcomings in the World Series, commenting after both losses they are defeats he never truly will move on from. Though L.A. failed to end their World Series drought in 2018, Turner praised the team for their ‘resiliency’ in what was a turbulent season.
The Dodgers became the first team to lose consecutive years in the Fall Classic since the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011. The 1909 Detroit Tigers, 1913 New York Giants and 1923 Yankees also suffered the same fate yet still reached a third consecutive World Series.
Of the three teams, only the Yankees were successful in getting over the hurdle.