Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner were everyday starters in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup this season until the All-Star shortstop was given his first night of rest on Sept. 2.
Manager Dave Roberts had previously indicated Freeman and Turner would continue starting every game until the Dodgers clinched the National League West. However, Roberts sensed an opportunity to get Turner out of the lineup when the team was returning from a long road trip.
“I said, ‘Are you benching me? If you’re benching me all right, but I feel good,’” Turner recalled of his conversation with Roberts. “He wouldn’t commit to the benching comment, so I’m just going to go with that one. I knew he was going to come eventually. I fought him off for 125 games or so. I knew it was going to happen eventually.
With the Dodgers winning NL West division on Tuesday, Roberts next came calling for Freeman to take a night off for rest. Like with Turner, it wasn’t without some pushback from Freeman, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I had a half-dozen texts from him petitioning,” Roberts said with a smirk. “The manager won out yesterday.”
That Freeman wanted to continue starting is hardly a surprise. He regularly has spoken about feeling a sense of responsibility to play on a nightly basis, which the Dodgers embraced despite historically looking to provide regular rest throughout the season.
Freeman played in 159 games last season, all 60 in 2022, 158 year prior, and all 162 in 2018. He presumably will have been in the Dodgers lineup for upwards of 160 games once the 2022 regular season winds to a close.
Freddie Freeman: Dodgers won’t lose edge
The 2022 Dodgers became the fastest team to win the division since the franchise moved to Los Angeles by clinching the NL West in 141 games. The record previously belonged to the 2019 Dodgers that won the division in the 146th game of the season.
Despite still having three weeks remaining in the season, Freeman is not concerned with the Dodgers’ focus moving forward. “Every day you come to the yard, you expect to win, and that’s how this team is,” Freeman said.
“There is no complacency.”
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