The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the Seattle Mariners on Sunday while running out a lineup made up of mostly their backups and role players.
Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy and Miguel Rojas were all out of the lineup. The reasoning behind the decision was to give the regulars rest after the Dodgers clinched the National League West title on Saturday.
However, sitting out the game wasn’t a decision Freeman was a fan of. That led to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts having to convince the All-Star first baseman to take the day off, via Shane Lantz of the Southern California News Group:
“It was (challenging), but at the end of the day he just realized that it was probably the right thing to do,” Roberts said. “And we set a precedent. He set the precedent, as far as once we clinch, he’ll take the day off, so I had to revisit that conversation.”
Freeman prides himself on being in the lineup every day, and entering Sunday he had started in all 147 of the Dodgers’ games this season. In 2022, Freeman only sat in three games all year. Like this year, Freeman’s first time not starting last season came after the Dodgers wrapped up the division.
Roberts has given Freeman some innings off in blowout games when he’ll call on a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement late in the game, but other than that, the 34-year-old is always on the field.
The Dodgers don’t have much to play for in the final two weeks with the division all wrapped up and their seeding in the playoffs unlikely to change from the No. 2 spot. So overall, it certainly makes sense to give Freeman some rest before the games start to matter again in the postseason.
Freddie Freeman chasing doubles record
The remaining games may not affect the standings, but Freeman is five away from reaching 60 doubles in the season. He would become the first player to reach that total since 1936 if he can get there.
If he can reach a few more after that, Freeman could set or tie the NL or MLB record for doubles in a season.
Joe Medwick holds the NL record with 64 doubles, which he set during the 1936 season with the St. Louis Cardinals. The MLB record was set by Earl Webb for the Boston Red Sox with 67 in 1931.
But ultimately, the postseason is more important than any individual record, which both Freeman and Roberts would agree with.
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