Dodgers need to think of the future — i.e., October – Orange County Register

Maybe you’ve heard that the Dodgers had the best National League record after 100 games (69-31) since the 1970 Reds (70-30).

Or that the 2001 Mariners were 72-28 at the same century mark.

The Dodgers hope that’s all they have in common.

The Reds did not win the World Series, losing in five to Baltimore.

The Mariners didn’t even make the World Series after 116 regular-season wins. They lost the ALCS to the Yankees, also in five.

Seattle’s rotation was fine during the grind, with Jamie Moyer, Paul Abbott, Freddy Garcia, Aaron Sele and John Halama. When the Mariners ran up against Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina in the ALCS, they needed superior starts, not just quality. They didn’t get them.

The Reds had Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench bringing the bats. They also had the fearsome Wayne Simpson, a rookie who began the season 13-1. Then, on July 31, his forearm went one way and his elbow went another. That reduced the rotation to Jim Merritt, Gary Nolan, Jim McGlothin and Tony Cloninger.  Baltimore battered Cincinnati with 33 runs in the five Series games. Merritt, a 20-game winner, pitched once in that Series and got only five outs.

True, the ’98 Yankees were 74-26 and did win the World Series, but they did it with a solid rotation and Mariano Rivera.

But that explains why Dodgers’ fans are sounding the sirens.

They wanted another starting pitcher even before Clayton Kershaw did the wrong kind of walk-off on Sunday. Now it’s Defcon One.

The most prominent target is Yu Darvish of the Rangers, in the final year of his contract, a 30-year-old All-Star with a bottomless assortment of pitches and, currently, a 6-8 pitcher with an excellent 1.118 WHIP.

All the Rangers want, apparently, is outfielder Alex Verdugo and either Walker Buehler or Yadiel Alvarez, two of the Dodgers top right-handed pitching kids. Meanwhile, Texas is asking the Yankees, Cubs and Astros to get in on the auction, in hopes of pulling a franchise-reviving trade as they once…

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