Dodgers Don’t Believe Days Off Before NLDS Factored Into Loss To Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers won a franchise-record 111 games during the regular season en route to securing a first-round bye in the expanded postseason, which gave them five days off before the start of a National League Division Series matchup against the San Diego Padres.

It’s part of the new playoff format that was introduced this season. The Dodgers downplayed they would be negatively impacted by the time off but struggled to find any consistency and were eliminated in four games.

“I think that’s something that we could probably debate, but I think leading up to it, even right now, it’s not something that we want to look at as an excuse,” manager Dave Roberts said after the Game 4 loss.

“That’s kind of the format the way it is, and you do the best you can in the regular season to put yourself in a position to get home-field advantage, to get the bye in the Wild Card round. And it’s up to us to kind of prepare ourselves the best way we can to get through a Division Series, and we didn’t.”

Justin Turner additionally stopped short of using the first-round bye as an excuse and believes the Dodgers simply didn’t execute. “I mean, you could point your fingers to whatever you want. The bottom line is we didn’t get the job done and got beat,” he said.

Freddie Freeman was among other Dodgers players who echoed a similar sentiment. “Not for me,” he answered when asked if the time off put the team at a disadvantage.

While it’s too early to determine how the first-round bye affects teams, the Atlanta Braves also suffered an early postseason exit to the Philadelphia Phillies. The New York Yankees will join that list if they lose to the Cleveland Guardians in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Monday.

Bob Melvin: Padres likely benefitted from Wild Card Series & pressure on Dodgers

San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin thinks his club benefitted by playing in the Wild Card Series and not getting time off like the Dodgers.

“Typically the Wild Card teams are in that position anyway,” Melvin began.

“It’s always been that way where the teams that get in through via Wild Card are not only playing with intensity up to the end, but they’re also playing well to get in.

“And there’s probably something to be said that when you’re playing well and you have a lot of confidence, you get into the postseason, then there isn’t as much expectation on you, then maybe that’s a pretty good way to go about it. Yet you do have to play another round.

“Obviously everybody aspires to win the division, get a little time off. But there might be a little something to that.”

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