Dave Roberts: Dodgers Need ‘Collective Team Effort’ More Than Just Mookie Betts & Freddie Freeman

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves on the brink of elimination after dropping the first two games of the National League Division Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks and now must win a pivotal Game 3 at Chase Field to keep their season alive.

The Dodgers’ 2-0 NLDS deficit can be attributed to struggles on both the hitting and pitching side. Clayton Kershaw recorded just out in Game 1 and Bobby Miller followed him with a poor outing in the second matchup at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers lineup has also failed to generate much traction as they have scored only four runs through the first two games. At the heart of the struggles are Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who have gone a combined 1-for-13.

Manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that Betts and Freeman need to improve, but additionally called on the rest of the Dodgers lineup to step up in order for the team to get back in the series. “I think the simple answer is getting Mookie and Freddie going,” Roberts began.

“But there’s still other guys in there that potentially bleed into Freddie and Mookie that could open some things up for them, too, with some situational at-bats.

“So I think it’s still a collective team effort for us to be sustainable throughout the rest of the postseason and obviously to win a ballgame [Wednesday]. So I think for me it’s everybody. We’ve all got to be accountable to being better with the team offense.”

Roberts mentioned after Game 2 that he wasn’t happy with the pitches the Dodgers are swinging at and believes they need to focus on one at-bat at a time. “I think that it’s something our hitting guys are talking to our guys about,” Roberts said of the Dodgers’ offensive woes.

“We’ve got our backs against the wall. But I still think that being mindful of just taking one at-bat, one quality at-bat at a time, regardless of how long they run their starter out there tomorrow and go to their bullpen, or regardless of the situation.

“And that’s been something that we pulled from this year that’s been beneficial. It’s easy to kind of get away from that, but the reset part of it is, obviously it’s really crucial where we’re at.”

Potential Dodgers lineup changes for Game 3

With their season on the line, Roberts indicated there could be some lineup changes in Game 3 against the Diamondbacks.

“I think it’s something that I’m going to think about. I’ve thought about it,” he answered when asked if a new Dodgers lineup was under consideration.

“There is that balance of looking at it, it’s only two games, but the other part of it is that sense of urgency because this is do-or-die now. I do love the at-bats Kiké’s been taking, and kind of trying to figure out if changing the lineup a little bit as far as structure makes sense.

“But it’s something I’m certainly contemplating and I’ll decide ultimately [Wednesday].”

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