Dave Roberts: Dodgers Looking To Maintain ‘Intensity’ With Exhibition Freeway Series

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers have an unorthodox start to their 2024 season thanks to playing in the Seoul Series last week. Before they join the rest of MLB for the domestic Opening Day on March 28, they are completing the annual exhibition Freeway Series against the Los Angeles Angels.

That leaves the team in a weird spot where they have gone from the intensity of a regular season to the atmosphere of a game that has no bearing on standings.

While the tone shift is a bit strange, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sees the three games as a welcomed opportunity for players.

“I think some of the guys, as you can see, they’re still working through feeling good at the plate. Certain guys just don’t feel good, so to kind of get a few extra games that don’t count is helpful,” Roberts said.

“I think on the pitching side, there’s really nothing we’re working on. I think right now with the exhibition games, it’s trying to keep that intensity. You play two regular season games, you don’t want to lose that intensity going into the Cardinals series.

“That’s why I’m trying to play everybody and make sure the regulars on the pitching side get their opportunities too.”

After completing the Freeway Series in Anaheim, the Dodgers have an off day Wednesday and then resume their schedule on Thursday.

Dodgers hoping for better results from pitching staff

Both Dodgers starters did not have their best stuff in their debut outings, with the key difference being that Tyler Glasnow was able to work around the traffic on the bases while Yoshinobu Yamamoto was not.

Glasnow covered five innings while holding the Padres to just two runs despite the six baserunners he allowed. From there the bullpen did its job and shut out the Padres offense the rest of the way, and keeping the door open for the Dodgers’ eighth-inning rally.

The second game was a much different story, as Yamamoto was pulled after only one inning and those who followed him struggled as well.

The expectation is that Glasnow and Yamamoto are going to find their rhythm moving forward, and there is no reason not to believe in their talent. As for the Dodgers bullpen, they are definitely going to miss Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen while they remain out, but that could be mitigated if relief pitchers aren’t consistently asked to cover the bulk of a game.

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