After the Dodgers tragic early exit from the playoffs, fingers were pointed at just about every aspect of the team’s approach against the Washington Nationals. Manager Dave Roberts took heat, relief pitching was questioned, and now the lack timely hitting. Second guessing decisions both inside and outside of the organization continues with expectations falling short.
Now, Jorge Castillo talks to Andrew Friedman in the LA Times about why the team’s philosophy didn’t translate into October success. The quotes are worth reading and beyond interesting.
Dodgers' cutting-edge hitting philosophies didn't translate in the postseason https://t.co/XxS9zVrAt5
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) October 18, 2019
First, keep in mind these quotes are pulled from Castillo’s conversation with Friedman. Equally important, it’s not often that you hear Friedman take a non-positive stance. Rather, it’s common for him to talk off a point if something is less than ideal.
However, that was not the case entirely with what he says here. The head man says the Dodgers simply went up against elite pitching in Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin.
“Obviously, we were facing great pitching,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said this week. “I don’t think there’s enough credit given to how difficult hitting in the major leagues is, especially against the elite pitching.”
Surely, the Dodgers faced the best the National League has to offer in the NLDS. Still, Los Angeles was billed as a team that was built to hit pitching with hard stuff prior to the postseason beginning.
Moreover, Friedman was disappointed like the rest of us.
“But it definitely fell short of my hopes in terms of how as a team the offense would kind of adapt and tackle the difficulties of October pitching. And I think hopefully it’s another one of those areas that we can focus on this off-season and continue to refine and make better as we go into next year.”
Notably, he says they will refine it. Whether or not that means philosophy employed by the hitting coaches or acquiring new players remains to be seen. Without question, the Dodgers lack of offense in the final 5 games they played in 2019 did not go without notice by Friedman.
Finally, he says in so many words that the team was pressing a bit with everyone trying to play the role of hero. Without naming names, you can think of a few players that this could apply to.
“I think human nature is to want to be the hero, which I totally understand. But it’s that in October, I think pitchers feed off that. And they throw less fastballs, they throw less pitches in the zone and I think it’s just that awareness and that second-level thinking and team-wide approach that I think put us in a better position. It’s a hard thing to counteract because, again, what they’re doing is the most difficult thing to do in all of sports in my opinion. You have that human instinct, which is, ‘I want to be the hero.’”
In closing, there was no hero in this movie scene. Now we are left to break down quotes about next year while two final teams play for this year beginning on Tuesday. The off-season can be a cruel place.