Dave Roberts: Dodgers ‘Bring Out the Best’ In Christian Walker

The Los Angeles Dodgers fell to Christian Walker and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in a 12-4 loss after opening the contest with some early fireworks.

A 4-1 lead was quickly erased after a string of hits from the Diamondbacks in the third inning. Christian Walker began his day with a subtle walk in that third frame, finishing the game going 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBI.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed his time playing in Dodger Stadium, where he’s posted historic numbers. In 41 career games as an opposing hitter, Walker has terrorized the Dodgers with 17 home runs and a 1.129 on-base plus slugging.

“Gosh, yeah, I don’t know,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Walker. “Yeah, the numbers are like better than Shohei’s here at Dodger Stadium. It’s a division rival, I do think that we bring out the best in him.

“He actually plays really well at home against us, as well. But at this ballpark, it’s otherworldly. He doesn’t give anything away, he really doesn’t. I’ve said it, he’s one of the guys I really enjoy watching play.

“Even the (Michael) Petersen at-bat, ball at his face and he stays in there and hits a homer off of him. He just doesn’t give anything away. So you’re trying to navigate (Ketel) Marte and Joc (Pederson), and you got that guy always looming and he seems to always come up with guys on base.”

Walker nearly had a third home run, after his sixth-inning double fell short of clearing the left-field wall.

Some players just see the ball differently in certain ballparks, and for Walker, his 2024 season received a huge boost after a monster game. Seeing as game-changing of a player as he’s proven to be against the Dodgers, Roberts noted that he would possibly hand out free passes if the moment calls for it.

“I think you got to also understand the game situation,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to put him on to load the bases either, right? So if the situation calls for it, yeah.”

As good as Walker’s defense is at first base, he ranks as the National League’s third-best first baseman with a 135 wRC+, just behind Freddie Freeman (159 wRC+).

Seeing as the Dodgers have the potential to face their division opponent in future games, possibly the postseason, giving Walker a free pass in certain scenarios is a definite option.

Christian Walker stats at Dodger Stadium this season

In his five games at Dodger Stadium this year, Walker has batted .409/.458/1.182 with two doubles, five home runs and eight RBI.

Already homering three times in his two games during this series, his status as a Dodgers killer is at its highest mark.

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