Dave Roberts: Dodgers Facing Elite Starting Pitchers ‘A Good Test’

The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday to split their four-game set at American Family Field, but they still finished with a winning road trip.

During their stretch of seven road games, the Dodgers faced multiple top-tier starting pitchers, including Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes. The Dodgers were able to defeat Peralta, who has been out for most of the season with an injury, but took losses in games started by Woodruff and Burnes.

While Burnes, the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner, was dominant throughout most of his outing, the Dodgers finally rallied to score three runs off him in the sixth inning to chase him from the game.

Manager Dave Roberts said he was happy to see his club battle against one of MLB’s best arms and find success against Burnes in the sixth inning, via SportsNet LA:

“It was good. You look at it from the beginning, thought he was going to go seven innings. For us to not let him get through six was a win in itself. I thought our guys had competitive at-bats, and obviously, Gavin swung the bat well. It was good. He’s a guy you’re going to have to beat in October. I thought we competed for 27 outs.”

Roberts also believes facing elite starters is a good indicator of where the Dodgers lineup is at so they can see what they need to improve on before the postseason, when they’ll have to face top pitching on a nightly basis:

“It’s a very good pitching staff. They do a great job of preventing runs, and every ballgame essentially was pretty close. I’m not going to overanalyze how many runs we scored this series. We’ve got some good arms coming as well through Alcántara, so it doesn’t get any easier. This is a good test for us.”

Following the run of Brewers’ pitchers, the Dodgers still need to face Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara and potentially a pair of New York Mets superstars Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherer. While it’s not a challenge he would like his club to face, Roberts believes it can help prepare them for October:

“I think so. It’s never fun to face those guys — or the other way is it is fun to face some of the best in the game. But I think for our ball club, as hitters, it’s good to face guys like that because you’re always gathering information. The more a hitter sees a particular pitcher, I think it’s a benefit. Like you said, we’re going to see some good arms coming up in the next 10 days and there will be a lot of close ballgames.”

Even after the tough stretch of pitchers, the Dodgers still own one of baseball’s top offenses, batting .259/.335/.449 with an MLB-best 623 runs scored.

Dustin May excited to join Dodgers rotation

The Dodgers are set to get one of their top starters back from the 60-day injured list on Saturday when they activate Dustin May to face the Marlins at Dodger Stadium. It will mark the right-hander’s first outing at the Major League level since May 1, 2021.

May is in position to take on a normal workload upon being activated and credited the Dodgers for putting him in the best spot to succeed and help the team win.

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