Spring in October? It turns out find it irresistible for the Dodgers, whose subsequent significant sport will happen in 11 days.
Until then name it the California Cactus League. The Dodgers will apply their 10-1 romp over the Colorado Rockies on Friday evening with 5 extra video games in opposition to those self same purple-clad foes. The common season ends Wednesday adopted by way of 5 off days with the Dodgers relegated to intrasquad video games.
The National League Division Series starts Oct. 11 in opposition to the winner of a best-of-three wild card collection. While ready, the Dodgers will spend each day at domestic, drowsing in their personal beds and reporting to Dodger Stadium for accountability till hitting the street for Game 3 of the NLDS.
They’ll even have the home-field benefit in the course of the World Series as a result of Friday they clinched the most productive document in MLB when the Houston Astros misplaced to the Tampa Bay Rays whilst the Dodgers sport was once in development.
“If you can be home as much as possible, that is huge,” mentioned Clayton Kershaw, who pitched six scoreless innings and noticed his ERA dip to two.30.
Thinking via how the following two weeks will spread, the Dodgers (109-48) are struck by way of the oddity of completing a historical common season coasting to the end line then going dormant whilst two wild card groups to be made up our minds slug it out.
What turns out like a blessing is usually a problem.
“There would be advantages to jumping into it right away, but there also would be disadvantages,” mentioned Justin Turner, who will start his 9th consecutive postseason with the Dodgers. “We’ve had plenty of years where we’ve had a layoff before that first series. I always wonder, is that a good or bad thing?”
In assembling a lineup and using the pitching group of workers on a daily basis, supervisor Dave Roberts weighs giving regulars abundant relaxation in opposition to conserving them sharp.
“There is a little bit [of a desire] to Bubble-Wrap guys to get ready for the postseason, but there is also the part of it where you are getting ready for another season and you want to be playing good baseball going into that,” he mentioned.
The handiest common sidelined Friday was once Turner, who has been nursing a sore shin since fouling a ball off it 10 days in the past and annoying it whilst sliding. He wasn’t wanted. Cody Bellinger’s three-run domestic run caused an eight-run fourth inning. Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor every had 3 of the Dodgers’ 15 hits.
“If we were in the postseason now [Turner] would be in there, but guarding against any regression is where we are right now,” Roberts mentioned. “Once we get Justin back, I do think the five days off will be beneficial. For some pitchers, that time off will be beneficial, but there will be other guys, specifically on the position player side, who want to keep playing and keep that rhythm.”
They’ll accomplish that handiest in opposition to the last-place Rockies. Why? When the primary week of the season was once postponed for MLB and the participant’s union to finish the collective bargaining settlement, a three-game collection in opposition to the Rockies was once moved to the top of the slate.
Then will come 5 off days. After resting Thursday, the Dodgers will play intrasquad video games the following 3 days. A gentle exercise will happen the day ahead of the NLDS starts.
“We will circle back and have guys take live at-bats and pitchers throw to live hitters, all that stuff,” Roberts mentioned.
No franchise is aware of the perils of staying idle forward of a postseason collection higher than the Rockies, who had been swept by way of the Boston Red Sox within the 2007 World Series after a document 8 days off.
The Rockies had been blistering sizzling, getting into the collection having gained 21 of 22 video games. But after sweeping the Diamondbacks within the NLCS, they hunkered down at their spring coaching facility in Tucson looking ahead to the Red Sox to take a seven-game collection in opposition to the Cleveland Indians.
The Rockies had been outscored within the World Series 29-10.
Turner mentioned the Dodgers are savvy sufficient to keep away from a letdown or collect rust.
“I don’t think there will be a bunch of team meetings and rah-rah stuff,” he mentioned. “If you look around this [clubhouse], there is a surplus of postseason experience and guys know what this is about, what it’s like to play in it.”
Injured pitchers Tony Gonsolin (forearm), Dustin May (again) and Blake Treinen (shoulder) every made certain strides. Gonsolin is furthest alongside, scheduled to pitch 3 innings Monday. Roberts mentioned he’s “confident” May will be capable of pitch within the NLDS. But with Treinen, he downgraded his evaluate to “hopeful.”