Interesting read in today’s Dodger Insider regarding the significance, or lack of, between regular season and post-season head to head matchups.
For those of you who may be in a panic over the Blue Crew’s 1-5 mark against the Brew Crew after being swept this weekend, as you can see from past playoff match-ups listed above, the regular season is not always a true indicator of how teams match up in the post-season, ESPECIALLY, in baseball, where 162 games are played and any team, no matter how good, can look bad during a slump against anyone, no matter how bad the opponent is. Lets take a look at recent history going back to 2008.
In 2008 and 2009, the Dodgers had 2-5 regular season records against the Cardinals and Cubs. Dodgers swept both teams in the NLDS 3 games to none. Let’s look at last season. The Braves had our number in the regular season. What did it matter come playoff time ?
“How do the Dodgers and Braves matchup ? During the regular season the Boys from Georgia took 5 of 7 against the Boys in Blue however it should be noted that 3 of those wins came during a 3 game sweep in Atlanta during the Dodgers rough start, injuries had still crippled the team and that included the loss of Hanley Ramirez. “
My words from last season’s preview of the NLDS matchup with the Braves . I’m sure you all remember who came out on top.
“The Dodgers had a slight edge over the Cardinals in the regular season, winning 4 out of 7, with the visiting teams winning their respective series. How much of an advantage either team may have on one another, who knows ? So how do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup heading into the NLCS ? We do know that this time around both teams will be coming into this series at their best unlike during the regular season, when the Cards took 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium back in May as the Dodgers we’re still mired in their early season funk and the Dodgers took 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium in early August when the Dodgers we’re at the height of their post all-star break run while the Red Birds we’re experiencing a swoon of their own having lost 13 of 18 during that stretch…..”
Once again, My words from last season’s preview of the NLCS . Unfortunately, we still remember the end result there. My point, fellow Dodger fans, is that there are a number of factors as to why the regular season means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when teams cross paths come playoff time. Injuries, a team slump, among other numerous factors, could have and all likely play a key role as to why certain teams dominate other teams in the regular season. Let’s also not forget, in a 162 game season, even the best teams lose at least 60 games. Let’s also not forget no matter how good a team is, every team is prone to losing streaks as well. I’ll say it again folks, no matter how good a team is, anyone can go cold at any point in the season even against some bad teams. Also ask yourself, is 6 games out of 162 really a true indicator of how one matches up against each other ? I think not.
Let’s also go back to a decade far far away, the 80s. During the 1983 season, the Dodgers dominated the season series against the Phillies taking 11 games out of 12. Come playoff time, the Phillies entered the NLCS having won 25 of their final 32 while the Dodgers limped into the NL West title. In the 1983 NLCS, it was the Wheeze Kids , a lineup of Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt, at 34 being the youngest of that bunch, and a hot bat from Gary Matthews that would do the Dodgers in.
Flash forward to 1988. This time it was the Dodgers who we’re in the short end of a regular season matchup, as the Mets, 2 years removed from their 1986 triumph and a possible dynasty in the making, who had taken 10 of 11 from the Dodgers in the regular season. The Mets, led by Doc Gooden’s arm and Darryl Strawberry’s bat, we’re heavy favorites to beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. But the Dodgers defied all odds in a series that would go the full 7 games, and well, you know what happened …
So there you have it. The regular season is a marathon. The playoffs are a whole different beast.