Dodgers Team News

Clayton Kershaw Thinks Freddie Freeman’s 15-Pitch At-Bat Could Be ‘Season Shift’ For Dodgers

It’s not often you get an at-bat of the year candidate in early April. However, on Wednesday night, that’s exactly what happened.

In the 6th inning of the Dodgers’ 10-5 victory over the Giants, Freddie Freeman came up with the bases loaded and nobody out in a tied game.

Most teams would yearn for an opportunity like that, however, dating back to last year, the Dodgers have struggled to score runs in that situation. Just the night before, the Dodgers had bases loaded and nobody out in the 6th inning, and failed to bring home a run. Freeman wasn’t going to let that happen on Wednesday, though.

After quickly working the count full, Freeman was just getting started. Nine pitches later, Freeman was still in that box, still in that full-count. He worked Giants RHP Taylor Rogers to his brim, fouling off just about everything he had to offer.

“I could not strike out in that situation,” Freeman later said.

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

And he made sure he didn’t. Finally, on the 15th pitch of the at-bat, Rogers faltered. He threw Freeman a ball, bringing home the first run of five the Dodgers went on to score that inning. Rogers, understandably, was not happy with himself after that outing, in which he walked all four batters he faced.

After the game, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, who went six innings in the game and got the win, was asked about that at-bat. He thinks it can act as a sort of shift in momentum for the Dodgers entire season.

“I really do think that (was a) momentum shift, potentially like season shift,” Kershaw said. “That one at-bat can do a lot. … Just the way he grinded, the way he fouled off pitch after pitch, after fastball, after curveball. It was just really impressive and you can kind of feel our guys feed off that, the energy in the crowd, our dugout, everything was just heightened. And I think after that we just kind of stepped on their throat a little bit which was good to see.”

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

Max Muncy, who came up two batters after Freeman, and deposited a pitch over the wall in right field, seconded Kershaw’s thinking.

“As soon as Freddie won that at-bat, we all knew that we were going to take off right there,” Muncy said. “That was such a huge at-bat. Even before that, those three guys that got on base, taking pitches. Those were good at-bats as well. Just that whole inning a lot of guys put together good at-bats, strung it together and made it tough for them and we capitalized on it.”

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

The Dodgers currently lead the entire MLB with 72 walks. The Cleveland Guardians are in a distant second with just 63, and no other team has more than 59.

They’ve always been a tough at-bat and, this year, they’re doing the same. And on Thursday, they reaped all the rewards from their great at-bats, and will look to continue that momentum into their six-game homestand against the Cubs and Mets.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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