Dodgers News: Charlie Culberson Focused On Remaining In The Moment During NLCS Opportunity
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Culberson was thrust into the spotlight Saturday, first unexpectedly replacing Corey Seager on the National League Championship Roster, then starting at shortstop and batting eighth against the Chicago Cubs in Game 1.

Culberson, who spent the first five months of the regular season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, had last played on Oct. 1 when he entered off the bench, and his last start was Sept. 23. So it was fitting the 28-year-old found himself batting in a crucial situation.

Jose Quintana got ahead in the count 0-2, but Culberson lifted the third pitch of the at-bat into left field for a sacrifice fly that tied the game. “A little emotions running through me before the start of the game, but it was a lot of fun,” Culberson said.

“I’m glad to be here. Just taking it one pitch at a time and trying not to do too much. I’m glad that I could contribute.”

In no way are the Dodgers expecting Culberson to fill the void in production created by Seager’s absence. The team has stressed a collective approach in each of the past two seasons and embodied that when marquee players were lost to injury.

“Corey Seager is a big part of this organization. Everybody knows that, I know it too,” Culberson said. “I’m just one guy, I’m going to go out there and try to do my best, and prepare myself like I’m playing a regular baseball game.”

Culberson was among the handful of players who remained with the Dodgers throughout the NL Division Series, but his work began before that. “Honestly, I started trying to prepare for the postseason as if they needed me for anything,” Culberson explained.

“Whether it was just to be activated or to fill in, I tried to mentally prepare myself like I was going to prepare every day. And it wasn’t going to be too much of a shock if I were activated and start.”

Now that the opportunity has arrived, the versatile infielder is soaking in the experience. “Just having fun, taking in the moment, trying to relax and play some baseball,” Culberson said.