Dave Roberts Believes Dodgers’ Home-Field Advantage Can Affect Opponents’ PitchCom

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to host the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series, beginning Oct. 11 at Dodger Stadium.

The 2022 postseason is the first that will feature PitchCom, a technology that allows catchers to communicate signs with pitchers via a remote controller on the catcher and speaker system inside a pitcher’s cap.

In louder environments, it can become a challenge for pitchers to hear the signs, and with the Dodgers holding home-field advantage throughout the World Series, manager Dave Roberts believes that can be advantageous to his club.

“It’s certainly an advantage, but not as much of an advantage if they don’t have to be engaged to the rubber,” Roberts said this season.

“Because if you’re on the rubber and you can’t hear it, you can’t understand it, then there might be a chance to throw a different pitch because you don’t hear well, or a potential balk. But if you’re off the rubber, it’s not as advantageous.”

The rules do allow a pitcher to receive signs while not on the mound, which can weaken the impact of the loud environment. Still, Roberts believes the atmosphere can affect whether pitchers and catchers decide to use the optional technology.

“I think so,” the skipper said. “I think at some point they’ll dig into that, but when it gets loud it gets confusing.”

Dodger Stadium is consistently considered one of the loudest parks in baseball, especially in the postseason with more than 55,000 fans cheering.

Freddie Freeman has spent the majority of his career experiencing the loud Dodger Stadium environment, and Juan Uribe’s home run in Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS specifically made an impression.

“It’s the only stadium with four decks and 50,000-plus people, and they are loud,” Freeman said.

“The loudest stadium I’ve ever heard was this place in 2013 when Juan Uribe hit that home run. This place can get deafening, so to have home-field advantage all the way through the NLCS is a big deal.”

Will Smith believes lack of home-field impacted Dodgers in 2021

Although the road to the Fall Classic is never easy, beginning and ending a postseason series at home can make a huge difference and home-field advantage also provides the potential of traveling less.

“It’s super important,” Will Smith said. “Getting home-field advantage, we missed it last year and it probably wore us down a little bit. It’ll be nice this year to have home-field advantage.”

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