2023 NLDS: Torey Lovullo Details Diamondbacks’ Plan Against Mookie Betts & Freddie Freeman

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the National League Division Series as overwhelming favorites over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but were dominated in most facets en route to another early postseason exit.

The Dodgers scored a combined six runs and never led at any point during the three-game sweep. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were among the players who struggled as they collectively went 1-for-21 in the series.

A lack of offense was nothing short of shocking as the Dodgers reached the 900-run threshold in the regular season for the first time since moving to Los Angeles. Betts and Freeman also enjoyed MVP-caliber seasons as one of the best duos in all of baseball.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo credited his pitching staff for having a good strategy against the Dodgers lineup and in particular Betts and Freeman, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

“There’s definitely a way to pitch to them,” Lovullo said. “You can’t duplicate pitches. You got to change locations. You got to change speeds. You got to start on the chalk lines, you’re (working) your way in, and just get a feeling for what they’re doing per at-bat. And you just hope they make a swing mistake or a bad decision and get themselves out. It was a well-executed plan, and maybe we just caught them at the right time.”

The trio of Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen and Brandon Pfaadt held the Dodgers to just two runs on 10 hits over 16 innings of work during the NLDS.

L.A. had five days off before the start of the series as a result of earning a first-round bye, and while some believe this could be a disadvantage, but none of the Dodgers players explicitly blamed the MLB postseason format for their struggles.

Mookie Betts takes respsoniblity for doing ‘absolutely nothing’

After a disappointing showing, Betts accepted the blame for the Dodgers’ offensive struggles. “It’s obviously super frustrating. I have no real words for it. They played better,” Betts said after the Dodgers were swept by the Diamondbacks.

“We didn’t do much. I can’t speak for all of us, but I did absolutely nothing to help us win. There’s no words for it.”

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