Dodgers News: Evan Phillips Tried To Normalize ‘Weird’ 4-Out Save

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The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a series win against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday with a 5-4 victory, out-dueling Logan Webb with a bullpen game that required a save from Evan Phillips.

The Dodgers took their one-run lead into the eighth with Michael Grove out for his second inning after a clean seventh. However, when two Giants reached base against, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to turn to his closer for a four-out save chance.

“At the beginning of the eighth inning, I’m already prepped and moving around,” Phillips said. “I know it being a bullpen game, we were stretched a little thin. We really pushed hard to have Grover get through the eighth inning for us, and getting those two outs were huge.

“Being able to come in there and only have to get one out was huge. Just tried to stay as ready as I can and be ready for when my name is called.”

While Phillips was ready to enter the game, there is a different mental process for a closer who is trying to record more than three outs. Baseball players tend to be creatures of habit, and because a four-out save puts a closer out of their norm, Phillips worked to do his best to make it as normal as possible.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s weird,” Phillips admitted. “It’s different than what we normally do. I think the best way for me to normalize it is kind of treat it like no big deal. Sit there and watch the guys hit, stay loose, stay mentally relaxed and as soon as we get the third out, be ready to go do my job.”

After entering the game in the eighth inning, Phillips needed just one pitch to get out of the jam and guarantee a lead entering the ninth inning. However, that didn’t necessarily make the assignment any easier for him.

“I think it could be one pitch, five pitches, 10 pitches, the sitting is the harder part,” Phillips said. “Just trying to figure out what to do with the time. Typically, I try to cheer on my teammates, wait for the third out and then go out there and try to do what I can.”

Phillips ended up recording the final three outs to secure the win while picking up two strikeouts. Despite the challenge of the four-out save, Phillips continued to find the same success he typically has in a traditional save chance.

Evan Phillips not worried about teammates in Dodgers dugout

Some pitchers liked to stay locked into their assignment when their club’s offense is batting and prefer no one talks to them while they’re in the dugout, other than the catcher, pitching coach and manager. For others, they like to keep a more relaxed mood and chat with any of their teammates.

For Phillips, he is more of the latter, but also doesn’t want to bother his teammates who are focused on the opposing pitcher.

“I try not to make it seem like I can’t be talked to, but they have their own jobs they’re worried about,” Phillips said. “Just try to normalize everything.”

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