Outfielder Mookie Betts and infielder Freddie Freeman, the “table-setters” of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ meteoric rise this season, seem to have fallen off the wagon in the fall.
The Dodgers fell 2-4 in Game 2 of the best-of-5 National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
The shocking second straight loss for the Dodgers, who were outscored 2-11 on Aug. 8, puts them just one loss away from elimination from the NLDS.
The series isn’t over yet, but it’s an unexpected result. The Dodgers entered the postseason with a 100-62 record in the regular season this year, good for first place in the National League West.
A whopping 16 games ahead of second-place Arizona (84-78), the Dodgers had a comfortable division lead and made the postseason for the 11th straight year. But they’re falling apart in the postseason.
The Dodgers’ mound hasn’t been great this season. Their team ERA of 4.06 ranks 13th in the league. The starting rotation was even worse, with a 4.57 ERA.
What kept them in the hunt, however, was a red-hot offense, with Betts and Freeman’s table-setters ranking among the league’s best.
Betts batted .307 (179-for-584) with 39 home runs, 107 RBIs, 126 runs scored, 14 doubles, and a .408 slugging percentage in 152 games this season, his best year since 2018, when he batted .346.
Freeman was even better than Betts, hitting .331 (211-for-637) with 29 homers, 102 RBIs, 131 runs scored, 23 doubles and a .410 OPS in 161 games. Because of this, it looked like he would outperform Arizona in the Division Series.
Arizona, on the other hand, had a solid starting lineup with Zach Galifianakis and Merrill Kelly, but they were outclassed by the Dodgers on offense. The Dodgers also had the edge in stamina, especially in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series.
But when the lid was lifted, it was the second game in a row that the Dodgers failed to capitalize. Betts and Freeman, two of their most reliable players, slumped side by side.
Betts went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in Game 1, while Freeman went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Both players drew good walks to get on base, but were unable to shake the opposing mound with a hit.안전놀이터
The top of the order couldn’t get going in Game 1, as Clayton Kershaw was tagged for six runs in ⅓ of an inning, and the Dodgers fell to a nine-run defeat.
In Game 2, starter Bobby Miller also struggled, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks in 1⅔ innings. Given the Dodgers’ nuclear bats, the early three runs looked like they would be more than enough to overcome, but once again, the table-setters were silent.
Betts went 0-for-4, while Freeman was 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout. One of those hits was an infield single made with his feet.
The Dodgers have been playing baseball on the strength of their bats, but their inability to hit when it counts has taken a sharp turn for the worse.
If they can’t rebound against Arizona on Wednesday, they’ll have to pack their bags after missing the NLDS for the second straight year.