Dodgers showcase their World Series-caliber talent — and imperfections — vs. Yankees


This weekend’s results might not matter much in the grand scheme of the Dodgers’ season.

But, four months before any real postseason tests begin, the club got an insightful “barometer,” as manager Dave Roberts put it, of exactly where their team is at.

A talent-rich World Series contender capable of winning a series at Yankee Stadium; but a star-reliant club with imperfections that haunted them Sunday night, as well.

After winning a low-scoring game Friday by out-executing the Yankees in extra innings, then overpowering New York’s pitching staff late in a Saturday night rout, the Dodgers faltered in the most dramatic contest of this weekend’s highly anticipated showdown, failing to complete the three-game sweep with a 6-4 loss in Sunday’s series finale.

“It really doesn’t matter [any more than a normal series] in the short-term,” Roberts said before the game, when asked about the significance of this weekend’s trip to the Bronx. “But … [this series] was built up, so you want to show your best self. You don’t want to come in here and get embarrassed.”

Embarrassed, the Dodgers were not.

For most of the weekend, they displayed the kind of blueprint that should work in October. Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitched like an ace with seven scoreless innings Friday. Teoscar Hernández supplemented the Dodgers’ already overwhelming collection of stars by amassing three home runs and nine RBIs. Most of all, after a month of unremarkable play raised questions about the Dodgers’ underlying roster weaknesses, they rallied to earn a series win against the team with the best record (46-21) in baseball.

If this was a potential World Series preview, Roberts said after Saturday’s win, “I’ll take it, absolutely.”

On Sunday, however, the Dodgers (41-26) ended the weekend with a whimper.

After erasing an early two-run deficit, the team failed to hold a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, falling behind again for good when longtime Dodger killer Trent Grisham — who entered the night batting .083 — launched a three-run home run off top starter Tyler Glasnow.

The Dodgers had chances to rally late, but were unable to capitalize.

And while they took two big steps forward with their victories Friday and Saturday, they returned to Los Angeles after a small step back — reminded of the fine margins that separate powerhouse contenders and alter World Series aspirations.

“I think that playing with this media attention, sold-out [crowds], the energy you feel, against a team you potentially could meet in the World Series,” Roberts said, “it’s sort of a barometer.”

And although it ultimately amounted to little more than a practice quiz, it gave the Dodgers an early June taste of what should await come October.



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