Despite boasting MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman atop a potent lineup, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw their season come to an abrupt end as they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series.
Their playoff issues date back to last year, and the Dodgers have now lost six postseason games in a row, with each coming in the NLDS. Aside from the starting pitching creating early deficits in each game, their lineup never got itself going.
Betts and Freeman were at the forefront of the offensive collapse, and the trickle-down to the rest of the lineup quelled any opportunity to showcase the cohesive nature of their clubhouse. How close the 2023 Dodgers roster was further added to the frustration of their postseason result.
“Yeah, 100%,” said Betts. “I feel like because we knew we had a really good chance to win it (the World Series) and be better than what we showed, it’s a disappointment. We knew we were a really good team, we know we are the Dodgers and we played really good during the regular season.
“We had a lot of chemistry and things going our way, but sometimes it’s not just saying. You have to go and do your thing to win games. We weren’t able to do it this time, and it sucks. Hopefully next year we have an opportunity to do it again.”
Winning 100 games for the third time since their 2020 World Series title is again accompanied by the lack of a return trip to the Fall Classic. Several Dodgers players, including Betts, noted that this team had a special chemistry throughout the year, and their outbursts of elation during the regular season reinforced that notion.
The answer for what has hindered them in October isn’t clear, and Betts looking ahead towards next season is the only thing the Dodgers can do.
Mookie Betts at the top of Dodgers NLDS letdown
Aside from Betts’ abysmal showing at the plate was a pure void in the tenacity in which he brings to the field.
The Dodgers go as Betts goes, but dating back to last year’s NLDS loss to the San Diego Padres, he’s 2-for-25 with six strikeouts in the playoffs. Without his ability to get on base kick-starting the offense, they’ve lacked the tone-setting edge to Betts’ game that makes him so valuable.
Against the Diamondbacks, he posed no threat, looking almost as a shell of himself after having a regular season that kept him in the MVP conversation for most of the year.
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