Dodgers: 4 NLCS blunders that led to Braves winning the World Series
Former Los Angeles Dodger Joc Pederson and the Atlanta Braves are World Series champions. They made it to the Fall Classic by steamrolling the Dodgers in the NLCS. Yes, to put it nicely, that’s what happened.
Were the Braves the better team? Absolutely. No question about it.
But did the Dodgers shoot themselves in the foot? Over and over? Yes … yes, they did. We’re not saying if they don’t do that then they’re automatically facing the Houston Astros, but you just never know what might happen when momentum is flowing in the other direction.
At every stop, the Dodgers managed to fumble the bag. Nonexistent offense? Check. Questionable pitching decisions? Check. Defensive lapses? Check. Baserunning issues? You bet! Injuries also played a role in ousting the Dodgers … but what if they didn’t completely blow two very winnable games in Atlanta? Remember, they were walked off twice in Games 1 and 2.
LA had ATL right where they wanted them…and swiftly let it all slip away. Let’s take a look at how it all fell apart for the Dodgers and all came together for the Braves.
These 4 Dodgers playoff blunders in the NLCS helped the Braves win the World Series.
4. Mookie Betts’ Awful At-Bat in Game 6
This isn’t atop the list because of the various circumstances that ultimately led to Mookie Betts striking out to end the seventh inning of Game 6. The Dodgers had runners on second and third with nobody out. The Braves brought in reliever Tyler Matzek, who became a god this postseason.
The lefty struck out Albert Pujols and Steven Souza Jr. before Betts came to the plate. Everyone screaming about how Betts should’ve gotten a hit because he makes a lot of money is a bit wrong here. At the very least, he should have put forth a real at-bat. Instead, he struck out on three fastballs. He looked at two down the middle. That was the problem.
Hitting is incredibly difficult, especially in a nerve-wracking situation … one where you’re tasked with saving your team’s entire season. And don’t forget, Betts dominated last year’s playoff run AND came through in the NLWC Game and NLDS.
That doesn’t absolve him from blame, but it should provide some perspective here. Nonetheless, the Dodgers lost this game 4-2 and were eliminated from the playoffs.