Cut4 Postseason Primer: Los Angeles Dodgers
Cut4 Postseason Primer: Los Angeles Dodgers
From 30 World Series hopefuls, only a few remain. In case you haven't been following every contender, here's a catch-up on what you missed and what to expect next. In this edition: The Los Angeles Dodgers.
If you picked the Dodgers to make the postseason back in April, you probably didn't turn too many heads. After a trip to the NLCS in 2013, it seemed the star-studded squad in Chavez Ravine were poised to coast back into October baseball. And, for the most part, they did.
But along the way, the Dodgers still managed to put on quite the show. From an improving young star, to a speedy second baseman, to one of the most dominant seasons we've ever seen on the pitcher's mound, the Dodgers did nothing but entertain.
Here are a few highlights from the year that was:
5. The Dodgers get a sweep Down Under
MLB's Opening Series this season took place all the way in Australia, with the D-backs and the Dodgers rekindling their rivalry at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. Don Mattingly's team took the two-game set, with Clayton Kershaw doing Clayton Kershaw-type things, and Yasiel Puig doing Yasiel Puig-type things.
Like, lots of Yasiel Puig-type things:
But, perhaps the most exciting thing about the Opening Series in Australia was not the game, or even the food, but rather the fact that it was Kershaw's birthday.
And he got the best present:
4. Celebrities hang out at Dodger Stadium
Celebrities don't just love the Dodgers, they love Dodger Stadium too. On any given night, you'll run into any number of famous actors, musicians or even other athletes.
Just this year, we saw Bryan Cranston:
And, of course, Cory and Topanga (and so many more):
Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence: pic.twitter.com/nMDuosolbs- Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 19, 2014
3. The inimitable Vin Scully announces return for 2015
Scully's one of the all-time greats, and we're thrilled he'll continue calling Dodgers games next season. But rather than just looking forward, let's also take a step back and enjoy some of his best moments of 2014.
Scully normally doesn't venture too far outside Southern California, but with the Dodgers starting the season in Australia, the longtime broadcaster decided to take his show on the road. With spectacular results:
And who could forget his play-by-play for Kershaw's no-hitter:
But just as he is one of the best at calling on-field action, so too can Vin Scully make the personal side of baseball truly shine. Like when he's providing commentary for some young fans cutting a rug:
Or begging the Southern California clouds for some rain:
2. Puig's master class in bat flips
In 2013, Yasiel Puig's rookie year pretty much broke the internet. Between ridiculous throws from the outfield, a spectacular bat and occasional mental lapses, Puig was must-see TV.
But while last year introduced us to the existential experience that is watching Puig play, this year gave Puig the chance to refine his game. And, more importantly, his bat flips.
Vin Scully referred to Puig as the bat flip "maestro," and who are we to argue with Vin? Puig will flip his bat after anything -- home runs:
And even walks (although those can sometimes be dangerous):
1. Clayton. Kershaw.
What more needs to be said? Clayton Kershaw had one of the finest seasons in recent memory, earning some lofty comparisons to a certain Dodgers pitcher of yore:
Back in June, Kershaw made a little history for himself when he tossed his first career no-hitter, striking out 15 batters in the process. We say "first career no-hitter" because while it's difficult to predict the future, we're pretty sure he'll throw another if he can keep up his current pace.
Although, that might be a bit misleading -- Kershaw actually did throw a 15-strikeout no-no before ...
Basically, what we're trying to say is this: Clayton Kershaw has always been ridiculous. The 20 wins, 1.80 ERA and 10.8 K/9 is just him taking it to a whole 'nother level of ridiculousness.
So, what can we expect from the Dodgers in October? A few predictions:
When the Dodgers' pitching staff's bus breaks down en route to the stadium, manager Don Mattingly will call on Little League World Series superstar Mo'ne Davis for a spot start. She will pitch a perfect game and drive in the winning run.
At least one postseason game will be called off when the Dodgers are unable to take the field due to a spontaneous TICKLE FIGHT.
Magic Johnson will play in one game. One. Game.
With the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioning, scientists at CERN will have no choice but to call upon the services of Kenley Jansen to continue their experiments. The LHC operates at just under the speed of light, so they'll actually ask him to take a bit off his cutter.