Who would have thought that this race to win the National League West division would be so intense? I’m sure a handful of people thought it would be a good competition but I don’t think anyone could’ve pictured this scenario happening! If you don’t know what I am talking about then I will get you up to speed.
This is the final weekend of baseball in the 2018 regular season. After Sunday, the playoffs will begin; starting with both of the Wild Card games. One for the American League which will consist of the New York Yankees and the Oakland A’s. As for the National League Wild Card game, well, no one really knows yet. I can tell you the teams that are in the mix for the National League that are playoff hopefuls but don’t have a secured spot yet. Those teams include the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.
My last blog post that I wrote, the Dodgers were in first place and lead the division by 1.5 games. Now, they are in second place and trail the Colorado Rockies by 1.0 game. It’s amazing how much can change over the course of a few days in the baseball world. For the Dodgers to make the playoffs, they have to sweep the San Francisco Giants this weekend and Colorado has to get swept by the Nationals. From today till Sunday, the Dodgers cannot lose a game. The 2018 season literally hangs in the balance of this one series and it is nerve wracking.
If the Dodgers and Rockies both end the season with identical records, a tie breaking game would be played at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. That is something that no one would want to see. The atmosphere would feel just like a playoff game and it would come down to Rich Hill to pitch the Dodgers into the playoffs.
Earlier I mentioned how the Dodgers were in First Place on Monday and now they’re in second, let’s talk about how they got into this position. They lost two of the three games against Arizona. One game was determined by a Walk-Off Home Run from Eduardo Escobar in the 9th inning of the game that ended 4-3. The final game of the series was a wash and Ross Stripling couldn’t handle anything. He didn’t make it out of the second inning and the Dodgers just floundered the whole game while exhausting their bullpen. The Dodgers would lose the series finale by a score of 7-2.
Meanwhile in Colorado, the Philadelphia Phillies laid down their guard and any sort of competitive nature that they had and let the Rockies walk all over them. The games didn’t even seem like a challenge for the Rockies. They scored nearly 50 runs in the series! I’m not saying there’s any kind of collusion or back door dealings but, it seems strange that teams are “letting” the Rockies dominate in order to prevent the Dodgers from winning the division for the sixth time. That all seems a little far fetched, believe me I know but, what if it is true? What if these teams are intentionally folding so that the Rockies have a better chance of winning games than the Dodgers? Who knows!
One thing I am certain of is that the Rockies face the Washington Nationals this weekend and I doubt the Nationals will do what the Phillies did and let the Rockies pound on them. In the series against Washington, the Rockies will have to face Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. I’m putting my money on the fact that the Rockies will at least lose one of those two games. Fingers crossed they lose both games but now I’m just being greedy with my wishes.
It is a strange climate in baseball right now. Fans from multiple playoff teams (Brewers, Dodgers, Rockies, Cubs, Cardinals) are all rooting for other teams in hopes that those teams will spoil the season for the previously mentioned teams. Like right now, I am rooting for the Washington Nationals to beat the Colorado Rockies so that the Dodgers might have a sliver of hope in making the playoffs. I am curious to see how this will all eventually play out for the Dodgers and other teams that are searching for playoff hopes, I just don’t want to watch the Dodgers go full force against the Giants and lose a game or two. In Colorado, no one wants to see the Nationals back down and just hand the Rockies the division. I feel like it would take the fun out of this whole division race and everyone would instantly lose interest.
The Dodgers have two of their best pitchers going this weekend, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. Kershaw has an insane record and ERA at AT&T Park and all he needs is that run support. If the Dodgers can get run support for him and for Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have a high chance of winning at least two of the three games. Not to mention, Hyun Jin Ryu is pitching tonight and is looking to build on his impressive season.
So I will end this post by saying I hope the Dodgers can pull off a miracle and manage to squeeze into the playoffs whether it be a Wild Card spot or as Division champions but, hopefully this won’t be my last meaningful post for the 2018 Major League Baseball season in regards to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Let’s Go Dodgers and don’t go down without a fight!