Max Muncy: Dodgers Take ‘A Lot Of Pride’ In Not Quitting Any Game

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The Los Angeles Dodgers trailed the St. Louis Cardinals by four runs entering the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday, but they rallied for five unanswered to secure a series win.

That comeback win came just one night after they lost 6-5, which included a ninth inning where the Dodgers scored two runs to tie the game and force extras. During the Seoul Series, the Dodgers also found themselves trailing 9-2 entering the bottom of the third, but kept battling throughout the game that ultimately ended 15-11.

While they fell short in both those games, it highlighted the Dodgers’ ability to come back and continue fighting, even when most teams might start looking toward the next day. That mindset of continuing to battle led to completing the comeback on Sunday, and it’s something the Dodgers value as a team.

“It’s the second night in a row we haven’t had any quit in the team,” Max Muncy said. “I’ve already said that’s part of the reason why you fight every single night. We might have lost last night, but we forced them to use a couple pitchers, they had to use their high leverage lefty for the second night in a row, and then he was down today.

“So that made it a little bit of an easier at-bat for me. It’s just something that kind of goes unnoticed a lot of people, but that’s something we take a lot of pride in. You have to fight every game, and so that can help you out in a series.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed Muncy’s thoughts about the importance of battling each game and never giving up, even when things don’t look great.

“I think it’s character,” Roberts said. “Understanding you’re down four and you continue to fight to get other relievers in games, to scratch and claw, to potentially win that game or win the next games following, it’s important. And our guys, we just don’t quit.

“We keep playing games, you never know what’s going to happen. That’s why it’s important for guys in the pen to kind of limit damage, because our offense can put up crooked numbers at any point in time.

Muncy was responsible for the game winning home run after pinch-hitting late in the game. Once the ball left his bat, Muncy had a signature bat drop and showed his excitement toward the Dodgers’ dugout.

“Yeah, it’s fun,” Muncy said. “It felt good for me personally. But most importantly, it gave our team a chance to win, and that’s always something that I’ve always cared about the most, putting our team in the best position to win.

“To me, I’ve always come second to the team. Obviously it’s fun to have good results for myself, but as long as it’s helping the team win, that’s what I care about the most.”

Muncy was out of the Dodgers lineup with a left-hander on the mound as Roberts looks to keep his players fresh by utilizing rotating platoons, and it was Kiké Hernández who drew the start ahead of him.

Hernández singled in the fourth inning before Muncy replaced him in the sixth, giving the club another single to load the bases. That led to a run scoring that cut into the Cardinals’ lead.

Teoscar Hernández moved the Dodgers to within one run with a solo homer in the eighth, and Taylor walked to set up the winning homer from Muncy.

“It’s just kind of how it’s been this way on this team for a long time,” Muncy said. “Unless you’re Shohei (Ohtani), Freddie (Freeman) or Mookie (Betts), if you’re off that night, you’re not really off. You’ve got to be ready to go once the starting pitcher is out of the game.

“That’s kind of where it’s fun to see. The bullpen gets hot and you see the dugout kind of start scrambling a little bit, and guys are getting ready knowing that any situation might come up for them. It’s just fun to see that no one has to be told to be ready, that everyone’s ready to come off the bench. And everyone was ready to go up in that situation.

“My name was one that got called and thankfully, it was.”

Max Muncy feeling relaxed at the plate

Muncy is hitting .348 with a .907 on-base plus slugging to begin the season, along with one home run and five RBI. “I feel relaxed,” Muncy answered about how he feels at the plate.

“And to me, that’s the most important thing. When I’m relaxed, I’m not pressing, I’m able to just kind of see the ball and try to get a good swing on it.

“It’s baseball, it’s hard, there’s not always going to be good results, especially in certain situations. But as long as I’m relaxed at the plate, and I’m not pressing, not trying to do too much, then I feel pretty good.”

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