The Dodgers’ rookie core had their moment in the spotlight earlier than expected in Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday. James Outman figured into the game on the first batter with a misplay in center field. Emmet Sheehan was forced to enter with just one out in the first inning after Clayton Kershaw was hit around by Diamondbacks batters. Michael Grove also got into the game and allowed a run over one inning.
As the Dodgers entered the postseason, the club knew things would look a little different this year for them. They would be counting on production from multiple young players with no postseason experience to help get them through.
But LA is confident in their talent, and they have provided massive results for this team all year long. Some of the more productive members of this roster are rookies, and especially on the pitching side of things, LA has no other choice but to rely on them.
The key for these players is in how they prepare for the postseason games. While there is an added amount of pressure, it’s still just baseball at the end of the day. And the Dodgers feel that they have helped prepare their young guys in the best way they can. Veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman spoke on this.
“Words are words. Until you step foot onto that field and you’ve got 55,000 people and every pitch matters. We do the best talking to James, Bobby, Emmet, Michael and everyone that hasn’t been in the playoffs before, to just prepare about what’s going to happen but we’re humans. Emotions are emotions. And I always tell everyone to just let it happen.”Per The DodgersNation YouTube Channel
Manager Dave Roberts shared a similar sentiment before Saturday’s Game 1 saying, “There’s no ‘Rocky’ speech or anything like that. I just want them to enjoy the moment.”
Guys like Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, James Outman and others will be counted on heavily throughout the Dodgers’ postseason run. They all have provided tremendous value to this club all year, and it will be no different in the playoffs.
LA will live by their young players, and the hope is that their lack of experience doesn’t end up mattering. The team has a roster full of veterans to help guide them, and that has bode well for them throughout the season. Freeman continued with his thoughts and explained that he believes the young players will settle down early on when they enter the games.
“You work so hard your whole like to become a major leaguer and then you’re wanting to win a World Series. And first time in — my first one I struck out my first at-bat because I was shaking in the box. That’s just how it is. You lay out what it’s going to look like but until they get into it and feel it, that’s the beauty of being in the situation. Once you get through the first at-bat, the first play, usually everything settles down.”Per The DodgersNation YouTube Channel
No matter what happens during this postseason, LA will be giving these guys good experience to work with. Of course, their goal is to win the World Series, and hopefully, that dream can come true this season.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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