The Los Angeles Dodgers will watch the World Series on TV while the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros play for the championship.
The Dodgers fell 4-2 to the Braves and won’t be able to defend their title.
While most of the credit should go to the Braves, it’s clear that the Dodgers didn’t help themselves either.
Here are three reasons why Los Angeles couldn’t advance to the Fall Classic.
3. Lack Of Consistency On Offense
The Dodgers scored 27 runs over six Championship Series games against the Braves.
That amounts to 4.5 runs per game, which isn’t so bad at first sight.
There is one problem, though: 11 of those runs came in Game 5, where the Dodgers won 11-2.
If we remove that game, Los Angeles crossed the plate 16 times in five contests, or 3.2 per game.
That is not enough to win a tough series against a good team like the Braves.
Corey Seager (.718 OPS) was decent, but Mookie Betts (.514), Gavin Lux (.286), Albert Pujols (.516), Will Smith (.681), Justin Turner (.533), and Trea Turner (.536) were very disappointing, and their offensive production was badly missed.
We have to give credit to the Braves pitching staff, as the unit kept the team in the game in every contest but the fifth.
I think the lousy offense and the good Braves play cost the Dodgers the series.
I'm of two minds on it. I *hated* putting in Urias in relief in G2, and it cost them. But I don't think anyone could have expected Scherzer would be down 10 days later.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 25, 2021
Like every team, the Dodgers had to deal with lots of injuries, and not only during the NLCS.
They lost Justin Turner during the series, too, not to mention Max Scherzer.
Trevor Bauer was also absent, but for legal reasons.
At the moment of truth, the 2021 Dodgers were badly decimated, at least in comparison to the 2020 edition that won the World Series.
But Los Angeles lost its most dependable bat of the season and two former Cy Young award winners.
There is no denying that it’s one of the reasons why Los Angeles fell short.
1. Starting Pitching Struggles
The Dodgers rotation was supposed to be untouchable entering the season.
By the end of the NLCS, Scherzer was added to the group, but Kershaw, Bauer, May, and Gray were lost and the ones who remained were either gassed or banged up.
Urias and Buehler weren’t sharp at all, and Scherzer was limited because of high pitch counts and injury.
Buehler had a 7.04 ERA during the NLCS, with a horrid 2.478 WHIP.
Urias wasn’t much better, with a 10.50 ERA in six frames.
Scherzer had a 4.15 ERA, but could throw only 4.1 innings.
Urias, Scherzer & Buehler gave up 15 Earned Runs in 18 innings against the Braves for an ERA of 7.50!
— Jim Epler (@jim_epler) October 24, 2021
In short, the Dodgers’ starting pitching was subpar and an important reason why the team lost the series.