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After topping Tampa Bay in Game 6 and winning the equivalent of 116 plays in this surreal, lessened season, L.A. closed the chapter on its recent playoff fails. But Hollywood love a sequel.

We understand sports as a narrative without knowing the ending. A midseason slump is a sign of clubhouse dysfunction and impending collapse–or an obstacle to overcome on a track back toward victory. A clutch home run from an unlikely protagonist is a deus ex machina–or a footnote, a blip, in a loss. A playoff operated is a step to build on next season–or the unknown-in-the-moment high point for a whole dealership arc.

The Dodgers’ story has been adding sections for years, but lately the fib has felt trapped in an singular sort of stasis. This isn’t a mere meta watching; the players felt it, extremely. When the team trailed in the 2020 NLCS, pitcher Alex Wood noted that after so many deep postseason operates without payoff, “You can start to feel stagnant a little bit . … Things like this have become almost expected and normal.”

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