On Friday Oct. 18, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost the sixth game of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) to the St. Louis Cardinals 0-9 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, ending an otherwise remarkable season. Last year, the Dodgers were eliminated with a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants, and they hadn’t made it to the playoffs since 2009, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The deciding game between the Cardinals and Dodgers might have panned out differently if the Dodgers’ starting center fielder Matt Kemp, who has a batting average of .270, with 6 home runs this season alone, had been able to play. On July 21, while sliding to home base, though, Kemp sprained his ankle, later needed surgery and was therefore unable to play in the playoffs.
Despite Kemp’s injury, Don Mattingly, the manager of the Dodgers since 2011, is confident that his entire team will be healthy by the 2014 season. The Dodgers looks hopeful with the new addition of outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker, whose batting average is .256, to the old talent of starting pitcher 25-year-old lefty Clayton Kershaw and starting catcher A.J. Ellis.
The Dodgers just offered Kershaw, who has played for the Dodgers in 184 games since 2008, a $300 million contract. Kershaw has pitched over 1,000 innings, and his average pitch speed is anywhere from 92 to 98 miles per hour, with a 2.60 earned run average (ERA). In his last game against the Cardinals, Kershaw threw 48 of 98 pitches, an all time career high for him.
Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ new 22-year-old right fielder, has greatly increased the team’s success, ending with a batting average of .319 and 19 home runs for the 2013 season.
Ellis, the starting catcher for the Dodgers, has caught every inning for the Dodgers after the regular season.
Even though the Dodgers didn’t win it all this year, they have plenty of time and talent to win the World Series next year.