Commentary: The excruciating conclusion of the Dodgers’ glorious season
You can always count on the Dodgers to be at least a little bit of a wild card team. They’ve been wild every year of the recent era, most notably with the 2009 championship run. They finished in the top three for the last two seasons, but the club has struggled the past few years and has not gotten to the postseason since the 2005 run.
In the final year of a contract, the Dodgers will have to be as lucky as they were the last two seasons — both times with a.500 record. Of course, the 2013 season was a little shaky. After a long run of success, the 2012 Dodgers went 2-14 in the early going and were barely competitive in September, finishing a distant seventh in the National League West, but a 3-1 loss to the Cubs in the NLDS was followed by a 3-2 loss in the NLCS to the Cardinals, with St. Louis coming back from an 0-2 deficit to win on a walk-off wild pitch, setting up the 2013 championship over the Cubs. That’s why for the first time in the modern era, the Dodgers have a realistic postseason shot.
The club has shown the ability to win with youth over the first two seasons of the era, but it is not a guarantee of success. That’s why, for the past two seasons, the Dodgers have been able to look at the early season with a certain level of optimism, knowing that they have an opportunity as the club’s window closes. That window for the Dodgers is closing, and the 2014 Dodgers will have to do what they did in 2013. That means the 2014 Dodgers will have to pick up the pieces and get back to the way the team played in 2013, while trying to do the same but with a little bit of an edge that they were not able to maintain in 2013.
There are too many moving parts to have a crystal ball to divine the path of the 2014 Dodgers, but the team