Dave Roberts: ‘Crucial’ For Dodgers To Keep Momentum In 2nd Half
AJ Pollock, Dave Roberts, Dodgers win
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up the first half of the regular season on a high note, completing a sweep of the Colorado Rockies and winning 11 of their last 12 games.

The club is well on their way to another National League West title and trip to the postseason, entering Tuesday with a Major League-best 22-8 record and plus-79 run differential.

However, given that the season only consists of 60 games, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emphasized the importance players don’t let up in the second half.

“It’s crucial,” he said of the team keeping their foot on the gas pedal. “I don’t know any other way. That’s how we do it. I think that it’s not about the results, it’s just about playing as one.

“Pitching, catching the baseball and taking good at-bats, we’re going to win a lot of baseball games if we continue to do that. I don’t think anyone is thinking about the postseason. We’re just excited to get to that first off day in 17 days.”

As the month of September approaches, this would typically mark the time of year that teams with big leads begin managing players’ workloads in preparation of the postseason.

But with the unique circumstances this season, clubs will look to take advantage of the remaining 30 games for further reps and the opportunity to establish roles. “I think the last 30 games is more of trying to identify the roles, the roster, winning baseball games,” Roberts said.

“We have more off days coming up in September, so that’s a good thing as far as managing workload. On the position-player side, the DH has really helped that. And on the pitching side, I think we’ve done a very good job inserting that sixth tarter at times.

“Now we’ve got the off days, and the guys in the ‘pen, we’re doing a really nice job of managing them as well.”

Roberts pleased with Dodgers’ play over 17-game stretch, first half

Prior to Monday’s off day, the Dodgers were tasked with arguably the most physically taxing portion of their schedule, playing 17 consecutive games from Aug. 7-23. The club posted an impressive 13-4 during the stretch, drawing praise from Roberts.

“We’ve been pretty good,” he said over the weekend of combatting fatigue. “Our hitting guys have done a great job of managing workload. You guys don’t get to see it, but I think the last three out of five days, we haven’t hit on the field.

“It’s been hot here. Seattle was nice, but there was a day we didn’t hit. I think that’s good as far as keeping guys off their legs and off the field as much as possible. Also, using the DH to give guys an off day, I think has been very beneficial. I don’t see any signs of the 17-day stretch getting to us.”

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