Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers began postseason play on a sour note as they fell 11-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
Clayton Kershaw retired just one of eight batters faced, which forced the Dodgers to use five pitchers in relief. Among them were Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove, who combined to allow four runs over 4.2 innings pitched in their respective postseason debuts.
Sheehan and Grove are two of five rookies on the Dodgers NLDS roster, along with Bobby Miller, James Outman and Ryan Pepiot. Outman also made his postseason debut on Saturday, and Miller is set to do so when he starts in Game 2.
“It’s not going to happen. I promise you that,” Freddie Freeman answered when asked if the Dodgers’ blowout loss will potentially linger with some of the younger players.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys with good heads on their shoulders, and a lot of veterans. We’re going to throw this one away and get ready for Monday.”
While teams who win the first game of a postseason series have the statistical advantage, it doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the opponent. The Dodgers took Game 1 of the 2022 NLDS against the San Diego Padres, only to lose the next three games.
L.A. also dropped the opener of the 2021 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants before going on to eliminate them in five games. “You’ve just got to throw this one away as fast as you can,” Freeman said of the Dodgers’ loss to the Diamondbacks.
“The 11-2, 2-1, they’re all losses in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter how you lose, it’s still a loss. We’ve got to come back on Monday, and hopefully Bobby can give us a really good start and we can score some runs.”
Dodgers struggles with runners in scoring position
Entering their matchup against the Diamondbacks, Freeman expressed hope that the Dodgers would improve with runners in scoring position when compared to results last October.
“I think a lot of went into last year was us not hitting with runners in scoring position,” he said. “From Game 2 through 4, we had a stretch of like 0-for-18, 0-for-19 or 0-for-20. I wish there was a blueprint of, this is what we need to do. It’s really if we can get the big hit. That’s what playoffs are.
“It’s if you can get a guy or two on, and hit a big three-run home run. Pitching obviously is massive in playoffs, but if we can just get the big hit this year, I think we’ll be OK.”
The Dodgers went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left six on base in their Game 1 loss to the Diamondbacks.
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