5 former players the Dodgers missed most during latest failed championship run

If only LA was still clutch ... ah, well.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Corey Seager

Obviously, the majority of this article is a vibe judgment. But, objectively, the 2017-2020 Dodgers were a Clayton Kershaw relief appearance away from making the NLCS in four consecutive seasons (at least) and the World Series thrice. They won a title and nearly captured another, if not for an infernal and well-covered scheme. This team did not come up small in October.

But the last three seasons have come to define the era, in part because of the baseball world's desire to plop an asterisk on the 60-game season, but mainly because of just how egregious the regular season-to-postseason dropoff was.

2021 wasn't pretty for anyone. It involved a Wild Card Game, thanks (?) to the outlier 107-win Giants. It also, in retrospect, makes the 2022/2023 teams look like the 1998 Yankees. That was the final Dodgers season to feature objective clutch performer Corey Seager, who captured the NLCS MVP in 2020, then decided he wanted the World Series one, too, for good measure.

Seager wasn't quite himself in October in '21, hitting .238 in the DS and .167 (with a pair of bombs) in a CS loss. He tore the cover off the ball in August and September of that year, but perhaps reality was beginning to sink in during the month of October, when he looked to his side and saw his ready-made replacement Trea Turner (little did we know).

Regardless, the Dodgers thought it was a good idea to let the centerpiece of their postseason offense walk, paving the way for a 6.9 bWAR/170 OPS+ season in Texas this year that helped lead the Rangers to the ALCS. His sweet left-handed swing would've done wonders in Kolten Wong's place last week.