By Ken Foyle ‘20

October is the most important month in baseball. It is when all of the best teams in the MLB compete for the World Series. Every year, since 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers have made the playoffs and lost before being able to win the Series.

Is it a curse? A stroke of bad luck? Who knows, but their playoff rut remains unbroken.

After finishing the 2019 season with the best record in the National League at 106-56, the Dodgers were destined to finally win. Their roster is better than it has ever been with sluggers like Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson hitting a combined total of 118 home runs throughout the year.

The Dodgers started off the playoffs in a great position, earning home field advantage and playing the Washington Nationals, who barely snuck into the playoffs with a close wild-card game victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The stars started to align for the Dodgers.

Then the Washington Nationals shocked fans worldwide.

The five-game series between the two teams started on Oct. 3 and the Dodgers were able to secure a 6-0 victory over the Nationals in Game 1. Then, in the second game of the series on Oct. 4, the Nationals were able to strike back with a 4-2 victory over the Dodgers. Tied at 1-1, the series was shaping up to be very entertaining.

The Dodgers played the third game of the series with a vengeance and crushed the Nationals with a score of 10-4. The Nationals were not close to giving up, though. They ended up nearly shutting out the Dodgers in Game 4 on Oct. 7, allowing the Dodgers to only score one run while Dodgers’ starting pitcher, Rich Hill, was taken out of the game in the third inning and the bullpen was left to close out the game. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the Nationals were able to play some solid small ball and they also hit a three-run home run to score a total of six runs, edging out the Dodgers 6-1.

Game 5 could not have been played better by either team. The Nationals fought especially hard, forcing the game into extra innings after the Dodgers took an early 3-0 lead. The Nationals were able to squeeze out one run in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth inning, tying the game at 3-3 going into the ninth. Each team pitched a scoreless ninth inning, leaving the two teams heading into some intense extra innings.

The Nationals were still hot, however, and in the top of the tenth inning, Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rendon all got on base with no outs.

Howie Kendrick stepped up to the plate. After fouling away his first pitch, he wound up, took a deep breath or two, and let it rip. The ball soared over the center field fence giving the Nationals a 7-3 lead going into the bottom of the tenth. Sean Doolittle, Nationals closer, took the mound and was able to secure the victory over the Dodgers to end the series.

The Dodgers’ curse had reared its ugly head yet another time.

Seven years in a row. The Dodgers have made the playoffs every year since 2013, and haven’t been able to go all the way, losing before making it to the World Series for five out of the seven years and making the Series twice and losing to the American League champion both times.