Because the Dodgers haven't been to the World Series for 29 years, many short-sighted Dodgers fans will view the 2017 season as a failure if the team doesn't make it to the Fall Classic. They don't care if the Dodgers have the best record since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 or that they will win an unprecedented fifth consecutive National League West title.
The victory against the San Francisco Giants last Tuesday night changed everything for the Dodgers. It brought back their confidence. They are pitching the way they had been for the entire season. They are making spectacular defensive plays and scoring runs. Some time this week, they undoubtedly will clinch the division title.
The Dodgers already have had a memorable season regardless of what they do in the postseason. I understand it would be frustrating if they do not make it to the World Series. During the O'Malley era, Dodgers fans were spoiled. When I want to complain about how the Dodgers haven't won a World Series championship in 29 years, I remind myself that I have seen two championships and four trips to the World Series in my 40 years of watching the Dodgers.
Yes, the Dodgers had a rough stretch where not much went their way. Their pitching was terrible, but they still have the best pitching staff in the NL. Their hitters went through a slump. It happens to every baseball team. The terrific thing about the losing streak was no Dodgers pointed fingers for it. They were not blaming each other. This is what makes a team special.
There is no question that the Dodgers' front office wants to win the World Series. It went out and obtained Yu Darvish to strengthen the starting rotation. Although he hasn't performed the way the team envisioned, he has time to be a hero in a Dodgers uniform. The Dodgers acquired both Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson to strengthen the bullpen from the left side. Although their presence hasn't been felt in a good way yet, they probably will make a major impact in the postseason.
The Dodgers wanted another player with World Series experience when the management acquired Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets. He hasn't solidified his position on the team since he has struggled both offensively and defensively.
Before the postseason begins, the Dodgers must make some difficult decisions about the roster. Who will play left field? Granderson, Joc Pederson or Andre Ethier can do the job. Will the Dodgers want to put Cody Bellinger in left so they can have Adrian Gonzalez at first in hopes of generating more offensive production? Who will catch? Yasmani Grandal has struggled both offensively and defensively after the All-Star break, while Austin Barnes has had a breakout season.
Who will be the second, third and fourth starters? Darvish has had trouble locating the strike zone. Alex Wood's inflammation in the SC joint has diminished his velocity that made him ineffective before his start vs. Washington on Friday. Rich Hill has been inconsistent.
Pedro Baez's struggles in August and September may have caused him to lose the primary setup role to Brandon Morrow, who has been outstanding since joining the Dodgers.
Dodgers fans should enjoy this season and view any success in the postseason as icing on the cake. Tuesday's victory gave the Dodgers their mojo back.