Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Surprised By Chris Taylor’s Key Home Run In NLCS Game 1
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers were formulating various lineups and scenarios for the 2017 regular season, Chris Taylor did not factor heavily into those plans. He spent Spring Training working in the outfield, because it would perhaps afford him an opportunity down the line, and he began the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He was recalled in the middle of April and remained with the Dodgers for the duration of the season. Taylor filled the void in left field after Andrew Toles suffered an knee injury that cut his campaign short, then slid over and became the Dodgers’ everyday center fielder.

Further more, behind a revamped swing, Taylor cemented himself atop the lineup. The success he enjoyed during the regular season has carried into the playoffs. Taylor’s home run off Hector Rondon provided the Dodgers with a lead in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

He’d nearly hit a home run in the fourth inning. “I thought I got the second one a little bit better, a little more flush,” Taylor said. “I hit them both good, but I had a good feeling on that second one.”

Taking a fastball from Rondon and going opposite field on his home run was yet another example of what Taylor is now capable of because of improved swing mechanics. “I felt it was just something I had to do,” he said of the offseason changes.

“I had to make that adjustment to just take it to the next level. I knew I wanted to be an everyday player, and I knew that was an adjustment I would have to make.”

Even with this being his first experience in the playoffs, That Taylor delivered in a key moment hardly came as a surprise. “He’s done it all year for us. I think that C.T. is one of many guys that are just winning players,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“He just carries himself well, doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low. People use that word ‘poise’ a lot, but he has poise. And in big spots, he has the ability to zone in and swing at strikes and take balls. So to get that big homer to right center really didn’t surprise us. Just another thing to add to his special season.”

Entering the season Taylor had just one career home run. He slugged 21 and was among six Dodgers to hit at least 20 homers this season.