The Los Angeles Dodgers earned a pivotal victory in Game 5 of the World Series, holding on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays and take a 3-2 series lead.
Coming off the tough Game 4 loss in which Kenley Jansen blew the save in the ninth inning, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had some difficult bullpen decisions to make Sunday night. They all worked out well this time, particularly going to Blake Treinen to close it out.
He gave up a single and nothing else, striking out two in a scoreless ninth to earn the save. The Dodgers signed Treinen to a one-year deal last offseason with the hope that he would be able to do exactly what he did in Game 5.
“It’s the biggest stage, biggest game of my career. I think any time someone is here and you face a quality team, they’ve been so tough late on our guys, and our guys have grinded so hard. We’ve pitched really well, I think,” Treinen said.
“In the playoffs we forget how locked in people are because it’s do or die. That meant a lot to me personally, because this team has invested a lot into me. They bring me on for big outs, and it’s gratifying. It means a lot to be able to do that for this organization. Those guys work really hard offensively, defensively, front office, bullpen, everything. It means a lot.”
To get to Treinen, other Dodger relievers Dustin May and Victor Gonzalez took care of business to hold onto the lead. Treinen wasn’t sure when he was going to pitch, but he gave credit to his fellow relievers, as well as Clayton Kershaw, for giving him a chance to close it out.
“They pinch-hit so many guys. That’s the type of organizational philosophy they have, is going with their best matchups. I think we kind of had an idea there were probably a few guys they were going to start plugging in late depending on matchups,” Treinen explained.
“It was huge for D. May to get that last out in the sixth and roll through the seventh. D. May was a huge part for that game and a lot of credit goes to him. Kersh competing his tail off. I don’t think you can say enough. There’s a tough narrative on him. He’s a phenomenal pitcher on the biggest stage. That team is extremely grindy and fights off a lot of pitches.
“It can be frustrating. I think a lot of credit goes to what he’s been able to do in this World Series for us. To your point, did I know when I was going to throw? No. Not until the phone rings and says get in the game. I think we’re all prepared down there.”
Treinen praises Dodgers fans for support at Globe Life Field
Considering this is Treinen’s first season with the Dodgers, he isn’t fully immersed in what the fanbase is capable of when they fill up Dodger Stadium on a nightly basis and in particular October.
He is getting a little taste of it in Texas as a majority of the limited number of fans at Globe Life Field have backed the Dodgers in the World Series.
“I think Dodger fans travel well. With restrictions due to COVID, you do the best you can. It’s not Dodger Stadium,” Treinen said. “It’s not 50,000 fans screaming and putting pressure on another team.
“It’s not Tropicana Field, where you’ve got the Tampa faithful rooting for their team in a dome and you get that echoing, loud noise. You do the best you can, you’re very grateful for the fact we have fans. Every little boost we get is huge.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!