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Dodgers Dugout: And now, the end is here

The Atlanta Braves celebrate their NLCS victory.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and another season comes to an end for the Dodgers.

Game 6 thoughts

—Well, after an incredible 106-win season, a lackluster ending for the Dodgers.

—Most Dodgers fans are trying to find one thing to blame for the loss. Max Scherzer not pitching. Injuries. Dave Roberts’ managing. Poor clutch hitting. Poor starting pitching. Shaky defense. A tough wild-card game and NLDS. Not sitting in the same place every game.

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—However, it’s almost never one thing that causes a team to lose a series, it’s a series of things, including all of the above. They all contributed. But you know what contributed the most? The Braves outplayed them.

—The Braves took advantage of every key situation. Seemed to come up with every clutch hit when needed. Played with a lot more spark.

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—So, yes, there were many things the Dodgers could have done better, but you have to congratulate the Braves for going out and taking it from them.

—The Braves know the secret to stopping the Dodger offense: Get ahead in the count. Do that, and the Dodgers will expand their strike zone and start chasing. Tyler Matzek did it to perfection in the seventh inning with two on and none out, striking out the side.

—"His fastball is an elite fastball,” Mookie Betts said of Matzek. “When you pair it with a really good breaking ball, the combination shut us down every time. I know he shut me down. So just have to tip my cap to him.”

—It would be easy to blame the loss on injuries, but the Braves had plenty of injuries during the season and lost their entire starting outfield.

—Betts, Corey Seager and Will Smith combined to go 13 for 70 (.186) with six RBI’s.

—“I think for my message to our guys…it was a tremendous season, it was a heck of a year,” Roberts said. “Going through a lot of different things that we went through that no one talked about, no one needed to talk about, and didn’t let it affect our performance, and that’s something I was proud of. It’s still not lost on any of us that we didn’t accomplish our goal.”

—You see Steven Souza Jr. come up in a key situation as a pinch-hitter, and, with all respect to Souza, you say to yourself “How did this happen?” You also say “Wonder how Kiké Hernandez would do here.” And “Why not pinch-hit with Austin Barnes, who makes contact at least.” And yes, I understand the Dodgers tried to retain Hernandez, who wanted to go someplace and start. You still wonder though.

—You see Kenley Jansen get the last out in the eighth and say to yourself “I wonder if that is the last time we’ll see him in a Dodger uniform.”

—You see Chris Taylor strike out in the ninth and say to yourself “I wonder if that is the last time we’ll see him in a Dodger uniform.”

—You see Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw talking on the bench and you say to yourself “I wonder if that is the last time we’ll see them in a Dodger uniform.”

—You see Albert Pujols standing on deck when the final out is made and you say “I wonder if that is the last time we’ll see him in any uniform.”

—You see Seager in his last at-bat and say “Is there any way to sign him and convince him or Trea Turner that it is OK not to play shortstop?”

—“The six years that I’ve been here it’s been a core group of guys that potentially could be turned over this winter,” Roberts said. “I’m not looking forward to it. They’re great players and great men and I wish we could have won another one with this group.”

—You see Trea Turner and say “How does a guy win the batting title during the season and not hit hardly at all in the postseason?”

—You see the Dodger bullpen put up zero after zero and say “This has been incredible relief work throughout the postseason.”

—You see Matt Beaty starting at first base and say to yourself “I wonder if having Max Muncy would have made any difference.”

—You see little kids in the stands cheering in the stands and say “Good for them.” At least, I hope you do.

—You watch a clearly tiring Walker Buehler pitch to Eddie Rosario with two on and say to yourself “I wonder how Alex Vesia would do here.”

—You see Rosario at the plate and think “Does this guy come up every inning?

—You watch the final out and feel the disappointment wash over you. Then you look at the people around you, realize what is truly important in life, and think to yourself “When does spring training start?” At least, I hope you do.

—My prediction remains: Dodgers in nine.

What’s next?

There is no off-season for Dodgers Dugout. You will all get a break from my incessant rambling until a couple of days after the World Series ends, when we’ll be back to discuss the free agent situation, have a poll on whether Dave Roberts should remain manager, poll whether the Dodgers should bring back their free agents, run Carl Erskine‘s answers to your questions, and a special surprise for newsletter readers: Dodgers Dugout readers will select a Dodgers Hall of Fame. So, as our seventh season together comes to an end, we turn the page and look ahead to season eight.

As this season comes to an end, I sincerely thank all of you for making this newsletter more popular than it has ever been. We have far more subscribers than the Dodgers’ average attendance this year. This newsletter belongs to all of us, I just serve as the curator and tour guide. Thanks for all the emails and tweets, even when you disagree with me.

Dodgers in this postseason

In the NLCS

Batters

Chris Taylor, .476 (10 for 21, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 3 homers, 9 RBIs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts)

Cody Bellinger, .412 (7 for 17, 2 runs, 1 homer, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts)

AJ Pollock, , .381 (8 for 21, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBIs, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts)

Trea Turner, .240 (6 for 25, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts)

Albert Pujols, .231 (3 for 13, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts)

Will Smith, .217 (5 for 23, 1 homer, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts)

Justin Turner, .200 (2 for 10, 1 walks, 3 strikeouts)

Mookie Betts, .174 (4 for 23, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts)

Corey Seager, .167 (4 for 24, 1 double, 2 homers, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts)

Austin Barnes, .000 (0 for 1, 1 strikeout)

Matt Beaty, .000 (0 for 3)

Andy Burns, .000 (0 for 2)

Gavin Lux, .000 (0 for 5, 2 walks, 1 strikeout)

Steven Souza, Jr. (0 for 5, 3 strikeouts)

Team, .250 (50 for 200, 27 runs, 8 doubles, 9 homers, 22 walks, 52 strikeouts

Pitchers

Kenley Jansen, 0-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Phil Bickford, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 walks, 4 K’s

Evan Phillips, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 K’s

Alex Vesia, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 3 hits, 3 walks, 5 K’s

Justin Bruihl, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 2 hit, 0 walks, 5 K’s

Brusdar Graterol, 0-1, 2.08 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 K’s

Blake Treinen, 0-1, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s

Max Scherzer, 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Corey Knebel, 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Joe Kelly, 0-0, 6.00 ERA, 3 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 4 K’s

Walker Buehler, 0-1, 7.04 ERA, 7.2 IP, 13 hits, 6 walks, 9 K’s

Julio Urías, 0-1, 10.50 ERA, 6 IP, 11 hits, 2 walks, 5 K’s

Tony Gonsolin, 1-0, 11.25 ERA, 4 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 K’s

Team, 2-4, 4.50 ERA, 52 IP, 53 hits, 18 walks, 68 K’s

Braves in the NLCS

Batters

Eddie Rosario, .560 (14 for 25, 6 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 homers, 9 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts)

Jorge Soler, .500 (1 for 2, 1 double, 1 strikeout)

Freddie Freeman, .286 (6 for 21, 4 runs, 1 double, 2 homers, 4 RBIs, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts)

Ozzie Albies, .280 (7 for 25, 7 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts)

Dansby Swanson, .261 (6 for 23, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 6 strikeouts)

Joc Pederson, .227 (5 for 22, 2 runs, 1 homer, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts)

Travis d’Arnaud, .211 (4 for 19, 1 run, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts)

Austin Riley, .200 (5 for 25, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts)

Adam Duvall, .190 (4 for 21, 2 runs, 1 homer, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts)

Ehire Adiranza, .167 (1 for 6, 1 run, 1 double, 2 strikeouts)

Orlando Arcia, .000 (0 for 2, 1 strikeout)

Johan Camargo, .000 (0 for 4, 2 strikeouts)

Team, .260 (53 for 204, 28 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 8 homers, 18 walks, 68 strikeouts)

Pitchers

A.J. Minter, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts

Will Smith, 2-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Jesse Chavez, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk

Tyler Matzek, 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 6 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 11 K’s

Charlie Morton, 0-0, 3.60 ERA, 5 IP, 3 hits, 6 walks, 5 K’s

Ian Anderson, 0-0, 3.86 ERA, 7 IP, 6 hits, 4 walks, 6 K’s

Chris Martin, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2 IP, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 K

Dylan Lee, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2 IP, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 K’s

Drew Smyly, 1-0, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s

Max Fried, 0-1, 5.91 ERA, 10.2 IP, 16 hits, 2 walks, 8 K’s

Jacob Webb, 0-0, 21.60, 1.2 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s

Luke Jackson, 0-1, 27.00 ERA, 1.2 IP, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Team, 4-2, 4.67 ERA, 52 IP, 50 hits, 22 walks, 52 K’s

Dodgers in the entire 2021 postseason

Batters

Cody Bellinger, .353 (12 for 34, 1 double, 1 homer, 7 RBIs)

Chris Taylor, .351 (13 for 37, 4 doubles, 4 homers, 12 RBIs)

Mookie Betts, .319 (15 for 47, 1 double, 1 homer, 5 RBIs)

AJ Pollock, .314 (11 for 35, 4 doubles, 2 homers, 9 RBIs)

Albert Pujols, .294 (5 for 17)

Will Smith, .250 (11 for 44, 2 doubles, 3 homers, 4 RBIs)

Trea Turner, .216 (11 for 51, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs)

Gavin Lux, .214 (3 for 14)

Corey Seager, .188 (9 for 48, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 6 RBIs)

Steven Souza Jr., .125 (1 for 8)

Justin Turner, .118 (4 for 34, 1 homer, 1 RBI)

Matt Beaty, .091 (1 for 11)

Austin Barnes, .000 (0 for 2)

Andy Burns, .000 (0 for 2)

Luke Raley, .000 (0 for 1)

Billy McKinney, .000 (0 for 1)

Team: .244 (98 for 401, 17 doubles, 14 homers, 48 runs)

Pitchers

Kenley Jansen, 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 14 K’s, 2-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA

Phil Bickford, 6 IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 4 K’s, 0.00 ERA

Evan Phillips, 3 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 K’s, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

Justin Bruihl, 2 IP, 1 hit, 0 walks, 5 K’s, 0.00 ERA

Brusdar Graterol, 9 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 0 walks, 5 K’s, 0-1, 1.00 ERA

Blake Treinen, 8.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 walks, 8 K’s, 0-1, 2.08 ERA

Alex Vesia, 4.1 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 3 walks, 7 K’s, 2.08 ERA

Max Scherzer, 16.2 IP, 10 hits, 4 ER, 5 walks, 23 K’s, 0-1, 1 save, 2.16 ERA

Corey Knebel, 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 1 walk, 11 K’s, 3.18 ERA

Walker Buehler, 18.1 IP, 22 hits, 10 ER, 9 walks, 18 K’s, 0-2, 4.91 ERA

Joe Kelly, 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 1 walk, 5 K’s, 1-0, 5.06 ERA

Julio Urías, 15 IP, 17 hits, 9 ER, 3 walks, 15 K’s, 1-1, 5.40 ERA

Tony Gonsolin, 4 IP, 5 hits, 5 ER, 1 walks, 4 K’s, 1-0, 11.25 ERA

Team: 105 IP, 88 hits, 39 ER, 28 walks, 127 K’s, 3.34 ERA

NLCS results

Game 1: at Atlanta 3, Dodgers 2
Game 2: at Atlanta 5, Dodgers 4
Game 3: at Dodgers 6, Atlanta 5
Game 4: Atlanta 9, at Dodgers 2
Game 5: at Dodgers 11, Atlanta 2
Game 6: at Atlanta 4, Dodgers 2

In case you missed it

Plaschke: Grueling season and injured cornerstones left Dodgers too beat to reach World Series

Dodgers’ World Series championship reign ends in NLCS loss to Braves

Dodgers’ failed World Series bid cost them money and trust. Now the bill comes due

Hernández: Dodgers’ postseason pitching experiment was the Bill Buckner of strategies

Eddie Rosario gives the Braves all they need to beat Dodgers

And finally

Vin Scully gives an emotional final signoff. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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