ATLANTA — The Dodgers did not prosecute a title this play arsenic overmuch arsenic they seemed determined to region the conception that anyone other could triumph it.
They had the shot equivalent of “The Godfather” formed successful capturing their archetypal rubric since 1988 past year, past added the formed of “Ocean’s 11” for kicks. They made thing George Steinbrenner attempted successful his heyday play similar conscionable a starter kit for overkill.
Best rotation successful the majors? Not enough. The Dodgers added NL Cy Young victor Trevor Bauer connected an overstuffed three-year contract, ignoring informing signs astir the pitcher’s quality either retired of arrogance oregon a azygous mindedness, akin to that of Javert from “Les Miserables,” to physique what could not beryllium stopped. At the commercialized deadline they did not commercialized for Max Scherzer oregon Trea Turner. They acquired both; the champion pitcher and hitter dealt successful July.
Their payroll swelled to $60 cardinal much than immoderate different squad spent successful 2021. Other clubs disquieted astir paying the luxury tax. The Dodgers obsessed connected a repeat, damn the cost.
But they did not repeat. They became the latest illustration of conscionable however hard it is to bash so, adjacent if you stack your lineup, rotation and the deck.
“It is hard,” Dodger Chris Taylor said. “But that is what we signed up for.”
Over six months, the Giants were shockingly amended than the Dodgers successful the NL West. And implicit six games successful October, truthful were the Braves. The Dodgers, withered physically by wounded and seemingly mentally by the load of expectation, were outplayed by Atlanta, who had a radical from its chorus — notably Eddie Rosario, A.J. Minter and Tyler Matzek — outshine the stars.
The squad with truthful overmuch starting pitching conscionable didn’t person capable successful the end. Dustin May missed astir of the twelvemonth aft Tommy John surgery, Bauer missed fractional a twelvemonth aft being enactment connected administrative permission tied to intersexual battle allegations. Scherzer described an limb that went dormant aft being utilized successful a alleviation outing. He could not spell connected regular remainder Saturday. That forced Walker Buehler to person to transportation connected abbreviated remainder for the 2nd clip successful 10 days aft ne'er doing truthful previously, with the anticipation Scherzer could instrumentality the shot successful a Game 7 Sunday.
But successful a fateful three-batter span successful the 4th inning with 2 outs, Buehler walked Travis d’Arnaud, allowed a treble to pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza and past a three-run homer to Rosario to interruption a 1-1 tie.
That was the stroke that keyed the Braves’ 4-2 triumph that sent them to their archetypal World Series since 1999. Atlanta was swept successful that Fall Classic by the Yankees, who were successful the mediate of a three-peat. And the Braves did the Yankees a treble favour — they kept those dynastic Yankees arsenic the past squad to repetition and possibly reminded those captious of the existent Yankees conscionable however hard it is to triumph titles.
“It is exponentially harder,” Dodgers close fielder Mookie Betts said of going back-to-back. “Everywhere we spell it is, ‘Beat L.A., Beat L.A.’ It is hard to beryllium connected top.”
The Dodgers present carry, arsenic the West Coast Yankees, the value of triumph oregon bust. But they person conscionable 1 title since 1988. That came past twelvemonth successful the bizarre shortened season. The Dodgers were attempting to validate that rubric by winning different one, trying to enactment the capstone connected their ain dynasty. Instead, they are taking connected the relation of those Braves teams that doubly mislaid successful the World Series to the Yankees.
Those fantastic squads won 14 consecutive NL East titles. But conscionable the 1 World Series successful 1995. These Dodgers captured 8 consecutive part titles earlier finishing 2nd and earning a chaotic paper this twelvemonth contempt 106 victories.
They survived 4 sudden-death games: the chaotic paper vs. St. Louis, 2 successful the Division Series vs. San Francisco and NLCS Game 5. Atlanta had blown a three-games-to-one vantage successful the NLCS past twelvemonth to the Dodgers. There was unease for the Braves.
But Rosario broke a 1-1 necktie and the lefty alleviation trio of Minter, Matzek and Will Smith combined to spell 15 up, 15 down with 10 strikeouts to assistance the Braves garner their sixth NL pennant since moving to Atlanta 55 years ago. They volition look the Astros successful the World Series, opening with Game 1 successful Houston connected Tuesday night.
The Dodgers? “We are astatine a small spot of a crossroads,” Buehler said. “We person a batch of escaped agents.” That is Kershaw, Scherzer, Taylor, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager. Who knows if Bauer ever plays again?
The Dodgers person remade themselves rather a spot successful this nine-year playoff run. They person tons of wealth to spend, plentifulness of stars remaining and tons of brainpower. But what they won’t person is simply a repeat; that favoritism toward dynasty.
They went each successful and — abbreviated of the decorativeness enactment and contempt the single-minded obsession — present successful the 3rd week of October, the Dodgers were out.