Dave Roberts: Dodgers Must Overcome ‘Extra Anxiousness’ To Avoid NLDS Sweep

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in familiar territory heading into Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Down 2-0 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and on the brink of elimination, a lifeless offense and struggling starting pitching has put the Dodgers in a difficult spot.

Manager Dave Roberts guided the team to an 8-5 record against the Diamondbacks during the regular season, outscoring them 72-47. But through two games in the NLDS, their NL West foe has trounced them 15-4.

Both Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller put them in multi-run deficits before the offense got a crack at it, which seemed to have impacted the game plan and approach from the Dodgers lineup. The appearance was some angst set in and pressure mounted.

“I think there’s some of that. I think that’s fair,” Roberts said. “The ability to try to minimize that feeling, that anxiety, is important. But it’s real, certainly when you’re playing an elimination game.

“So I think there’s a little bit of it when you’re down 6-0 or down 3-0, to try get it back on one swing, which we know it can’t happen. But just the focus on trying to put together good at-bats as a team and expect good results and create run-scoring situations is the best way to go about it.

“But, yeah, the reality is there’s an extra anxiousness in the batter’s box that we have to curtail.”

The Dodgers are a combined 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the NLDS, stranding a total of 13 on base. Overall, Betts and Freeman have gone a combined 1-for-13.

Both All-Stars were among the Dodgers to express the team felt a lot of frustration following their Game 2 loss.

What needs to change for Dodgers in Game 3

Finding themselves behind by multiple runs before the first hitter in the lineup sees a pitch isn’t a winning recipe in any game, and the starting staff will have to wear that. But the ability to rebound and maintain the formula that made this Dodgers offense one of the best in franchise history needs to stay in place.

Freeman, Betts, Will Smith and others have been unable to find that one swing to inject life to the rest of the offense. That could easily change Wednesday as the Dodgers will get to bat without immediately facing a deficit.

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