During the last season I constantly harped upon the idea that the Dodgers should rest their position players more often so that they would be rested for the playoffs. The following tables show the overall trends of the Dodgers, Phillies and Yankees on a monthly basis for 2009.
|Ranking||3rd Best||5th Best||Best|
For the first 4 months of the season the Dodgers had the best record in baseball and yet faded and were passed by the eventual World Series winner the Yankees.
|Ranking||4th Best||8th Worst||2nd Best|
The Dodgers had a very good team batting average for most of the season and faded during the dog days of summer, while the Yankees surpassed their 2009 average during each of the last 3 months of the season.
|Batting Averages – Balls In Play|
|Ranking||3rd Best||3rd Worst||8th Best|
The Dodgers had a significantly better batting average when actively swinging their bats so maybe they should not have kept their bats on their shoulders so often. Many observers noticed, and commented, during the season that the opposition were obviously taking advantage of the overly patient Dodger hitters thus allowing the pitchers to grove fastballs early in the count and throw off speed pitcher later in the count, resulting in the Dodger hitters swinging at pitches that traditionally have a lower probability of successful contact. This failure to make a proper adjustment seemed to haunt the Dodgers in many areas late in the season, especially against the Phillies.
|Ranking||Best||9th Best||12th Best|
The Dodgers had the best Team ERA during 2009, even without a true ACE. The depth of the pitching staff was able to overcome the lack of innings by the starting pitching and the excessive wildness evidenced by the significant number of balls and wild pitches. The staff performed above their season average from August through the Cardinal series. It is unfortunate that the pitch calling during the Phillies series was so predictable.
|Win Probability Added||Dodgers||Phillies||Yankees|
|Ranking||4th Best||2nd Best||Best|
|Win Probability Added – Positive|
|Ranking||2nd Best||7th Best||Best|
|Win Probability Added – Negative|
|Ranking||5th Worst||2nd Best||11th Worst|
Although the Dodgers had a superior WPA, and second only to the Yankees in exciting successful outcomes, they also had a significant number of untimely failures which were amplified during the series with the Phillies. The Dodgers seemed to be unable to handle the superior pitchers and extremely stressful situations, which may be a result of their inner makeup not being improved with proper coaching.
In conclusion, the Dodger position players may have played a few too many games before the All-Star break, but it appears that (1) they were too erratic in pressure situations, and (2) the opposing teams made better adjustments during the season which resulted in their superior post season play as compared to the Dodgers.