As the Los Angeles Dodgers’ regular season approaches its conclusion, the team is acutely aware that the playoffs loom just around the corner. The postseason is where the true test lies, and any prior season achievements are rendered irrelevant.
This impending challenge isn’t going to be a cakewalk, as playoff contests rarely are. Nevertheless, the Dodgers are resolute in their determination to make a significant impact during the playoffs.
Recent weeks have seen the team face a bit of a slump, with the latest setback being a series loss to the San Diego Padres. This week, they were bested by the Padres, losing two out of three games. A particularly tough defeat occurred on Wednesday night when Padres’ ace, Blake Snell, stifled the Dodgers’ offense, allowing just one hit over six innings.
Manager Dave Roberts, however, views this as a valuable experience. It’s not about the outcome but rather the opportunity to gauge what lies ahead in the playoffs.
In the playoffs, the Dodgers will confront some of the most formidable pitchers in the game. Thus, they need to be prepared for all eventualities. Sometimes, their potent offense might not perform up to expectations, and in such situations, alternative strategies will be crucial to secure victories.
“You just have to try to grind and get them out of the game, and hopefully they make a few mistakes,” Roberts said. “I think it’s a test [for the playoffs] in the sense that you’re facing an elite pitcher, but the preparation, the focus, the importance of every pitch, it’s hard to simulate that in the regular season.”
Blake Snell stands out as one of the game’s premier pitchers, and he is even a frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award. Fortunately for the Dodgers, they may not have to contend with him come playoff time, given the Padres’ struggles this season.
“I mean, sometimes there’s nothing you can do,” Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor said, when asked how the Dodgers can beat guys like Snell in October. “I feel like we’ve done pretty well grinding guys down, but tonight, he was just good.
The final weeks of the regular season can be grueling, particularly for a team that has maintained a substantial lead in their division throughout the summer. Nonetheless, the Dodgers are determined to regain their dominant form as the playoffs approach. This team possesses the potential to achieve something extraordinary.
September serves as a period for fine-tuning as they head towards the season’s culmination. Yet, Wednesday’s game served as a stark reminder that the path to victory in the playoffs will be far from easy. The Dodgers are under no illusion that they must be prepared to face formidable challenges when the postseason arrives.
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