The LA Dodgers’ district championship in the 2023 season is somewhat surprising. The team did not rise to the top with traditional mound power, but instead secured the championship through offense.
The Dodgers, who use Dodger Stadium, a pitcher-friendly stadium, are a team worthy of being called a pitcher’s kingdom. This year, the average ERA fell to 4 points. This is the worst ERA since the franchise moved west in 1958. Nevertheless, they won the district championship. With an average scoring average of 5.7, it ranks second overall in MLB, following the Atlanta Braves’ 5.8.
The remaining 14 games of the Dodgers (91 wins, 57 losses) are preparations for the division series. The game gap with Atlanta (96 wins, 63 losses) cannot be narrowed. In MLB, the team with the highest winning percentage has home stadium advantage until the World Series, so even the district champion team faces fierce competition until the last minute.
Currently, Dodgers fans do not have much confidence in the team’s ability to advance to the postseason for 11 consecutive years. This is because of the weak mound. Last season, despite winning a franchise-high 111 games, they ended the season losing 1-3 to the San Diego Padres, who were the regular season’s favorites, in the Division Series, the first gateway to the playoffs.
The Dodgers are tied with Atlanta for 1st and 2nd place in winning percentage for the district championship, and there is no wild card series. Starting with the division series. There is a high possibility that they will play a best-of-five series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In the MLB postseason, the 1st and 2nd place teams in the district take a break in the first round, and it is a match between the remaining district winners and the 3rd place wild card team, and the 1st place wild card team vs. the 2nd place team.
The Dodgers’ starting rotation for the Division Series is expected to be Lance Lynn, Bobby Miller, Clayton Kershaw, and Ryan Pipeault. However, the starting rotation is not absolute in the division series. This is an operation that mobilizes a total of 13 pitchers. The strength of the Dodgers’ mound is that there is not a large difference in the skills of the starting pitchers and the 13 bullpen pitchers. However, there is no overwhelming pitcher. Currently, the pitcher with the most innings pitched on the team is Clayton Kershaw with 121.1 innings.
The game against the Seattle Mariners, who confirmed the district championship on the 17th, could be the mound operation in the future division series. Kershaw, the starting pitcher on this day, pitched 4 innings after struggling with 2 hits, 2 walks, and no runs. Manager Dave Roberts went next to Kershaw while he was pitching in the bottom of the fourth inning and talked for a while. Rookie Emmett Sheehan then pitched 3 innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out 5. Five bullpen pitchers were used in the 11th overtime inning, and the team won 6-2.
In Seattle’s final game on the 18th, bullpen Selby Miller was brought in as the opener and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, acquired at the trade deadline, pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, and 1 run. Rookie Gavin Stone pitched 3.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs, finishing the game 6-1.메이저놀이터
Until last season, the Dodgers’ PO pattern ended the game with the starter pitching at least 5 innings and the bullpen continuing to pitch. However, this year, all of the good starters are out of the lineup due to injuries or surgeries, so the intention is to continue pitching in short innings.
Kershaw is no exception. Of course, the coaching staff is treating him very cautiously following his return from a shoulder injury. Kershaw is also accepting reality. Kershaw, 35, was placed on the long-term injured list due to a shoulder injury after winning his 10th game against the Colorado Rockies on June 28 in the first half of this year. His return was against Colorado on August 11th. Since his return, his average innings pitched is 4.1 and the number of pitches pitched is only 65. He is the secret to maintaining an earned run average of 2.52.
It will be interesting to see how far the Dodgers can advance in the playoffs with their current mound. The MLB playoffs are a typical battle between spear and shield. The shield always wins.