If Corey Seager went on a seven-game hitless streak in the middle of September, what do you suspect that would mean for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ chances of success in October? The correct answer is nothing. No more than Corey Seager hitting home runs in five straight games in September would mean the Dodgers were going to win the World Series.
It’s the same with winning streaks and losing streams for playoff-bound teams in September. I don’t care about them. Especially not for the Dodgers, a team that was only going to get judged for its success in October anyway.
The Dodgers have won two in a row now, but earlier this week, they were stuck in an 11-game losing streak, which was part of a 1-for-17 skid. Is that what you want to see as a Dodgers player, coach, executive or fan? Certainly not. Does that have anything to do with what will happen come playoff time? Also a no.
Same goes for the Indians. Their 22-game winning streak is great. It’s been a thrill to watch and it’s an unbelievable accomplishment. But it’s no more an indication of what will happen in October than the Dodgers’ losing streak. It’s the topic I cover in my Open Mike video series this week and it’s specifically true for the Dodgers.
Back when the Dodgers got out to that huge lead and won the trade deadline by acquiring Yu Darvish, it was clear there was only one objective. A division title wasn’t going to be enough. A trip to the World Series wasn’t going to be enough. They would either need to win the World Series or be a disappointment.
A team with that big of a payroll and that big of a postseason monkey on its back? It was only going to be judged by October. The Dodgers would have won 120 games and the refrain would be “October, October, October.” Clayton Kershaw could throw a perfect game in every remaining regular-season start and people would say “October, October, October.”
You can say all you want about momentum, but consider this: The 2016 Boston Red Sox won 93 games. They had their best month of the season in September, going 19-8. And then what happened in the playoffs? They got swept by the Indians. What about the 2001 Seattle Mariners, the team that won a record-tying 116 games. You remember what happened to them in the playoffs, don’t you? Got rolled in the ALCS by the Yankees. But they were 20-7 in September and October regular-season games.
So the Dodgers’ losing streak? Meh. Better now than October.
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