Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a historic regular season with 111 wins, the second-most among any National League club in MLB history, but none of that matters anymore as they race to 11 victories in the postseason.
Despite the Dodgers’ season, the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves are favored by projection models due to their easier expected paths to the World Series. However, the Dodgers have a lot of postseason experience over the past decade and know what it takes to win.
Freddie Freeman experienced many postseasons with the Braves, but he is now in his first with the Dodgers. He previously appeared in the playoffs six years with a total of 42 games, and throughout that time, came to believe triumph is a result of “whoever’s hot” in October.
“It really is,” Freeman said. “I mean, we won 88 games last year and won the World Series. We were hot for two months going into it.
“Good pitching and home runs is usually how that works. I think that’s how today has been going to. It’s usually a base hit and two-run home run, and then it happens again two innings later. Very, very hard to string multiple hits together because every team in the playoffs usually has really good pitching.
“So it’s whoever can keep them down and hit the big home run.”
But despite not being the mathematical favorites to win, Freeman and the Dodgers are confident heading into the NL Division Series after the season they had with their star-studded roster. “I think we’ve felt pretty good since Day 1 of Spring Training,” Freeman said.
“A lot of expectations put on us in March, and I think we fulfilled all those during the course of the regular season. We all know that’s over with now and we’ve got to get ready for Tuesday. It doesn’t really matter.
“In 2012, we won 10 more games than the Cardinals and had a one-game playoff that we lost. Anything can happen in a short series, so hopefully we can come out and play good on Tuesday.”
While Freeman and the names at the top of the lineup, such as Mookie Betts and Trea Turner, catch the headlines, the All-Star first baseman is confident in the entire Dodgers roster, specifically the depth of the team and the ability of their pitching staff.
“A starter can only go three innings if they really wanted to,” Freeman said. “Our bullpen is pretty good. And one through nine, you’ve got the threat to go deep with every single guy in the lineup, and obviously our starting pitching is huge.
“This team has been through it for a lot of years, been in the World Series many, many times. I think every guy has the experience to be ready for this.”
Freddie Freeman believes Dodgers kept their edge
After clinching the NL West in the middle of September, the Dodgers went multiple weeks playing games that didn’t carry much significance. Playing in games without any meaning can end up being a grind, but Freeman feels the Dodgers were able to keep their edge.
“I think so. We won 111 games,” He said. “You’ve got to be able to keep the edge to do something like that. Every day you come to the yard, you expect to win. That’s what we did. Any time you step on the field, the other team can beat you. You’ve got to be at your best, and I think we did that very well.”
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