As the start of the 2022 World Series approaches, we ask ourselves ‘what happened’. Based on the following records after a 162-game regular season, the road to the World Series was surprising.
Los Angeles Dodgers 111 51
Houston Astros 106 56
Atlanta Braves 101 61
New York Mets 101 61
New York Yankees 99 63
St Louis Cardinals 93 69
Toronto Blue Jays 92 70
Cleveland Guardians 92 70
Seattle Mariners 90 72
San Diego Padres 89 73
Philadelphia Phillies 87 75
Tampa Bay Rays 86 76
The Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated by the San Diego Padres, who knocked the New York Mets out of the playoffs in three games. The Atlanta Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in four games.
Surprisingly, three of the four top teams were sent home in the first round of their playoff series.
So again, we ask, “what happened”. In the biggest surprise, the Dodgers actually had pretty good pitching from their starters, but the bullpen failed. And four of their top hitters, Will Smith, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger, hit below the “Mendoza line” (200).
The New York Mets, unfortunately, had less than “acceptable” outings from Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, as well as relief pitchers, Adam Ottavino, and Mychal Givens. Only Jacob deGrom pitched well enough to earn a win.
In the case of the Atlanta Braves, it appears it was a total meltdown of pitching and hitting. Six of their “boppers”, Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris, Eddie Rosario, Marcell Ozuna and Wilson Contreras, were all under a .200 batting average. And the starting pitching was horrendous, starters Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Spencer Strider posted ERAs above 10.8.
Now let us not minimize the accomplishments of the Philadelphia Phillies, who eliminated the Padres and Braves en route to the World Series. The Phillies of 2022 are the “Braves of 2021”. Both had less than stunning seasons, but got hot at the right time.
Only the Houston Astros, second of the top four teams, who won 106 games, made it to the Fall Classic. No surprise.
The ‘moral’ of this story… the best team does not always win. So, as the Boston Red Sox, who years ago just kept losing, adopted the slogan ‘wait ’til next year’, which I’m sure is being repeated in the front offices of the Dodgers, Braves and Mets.
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