Max Muncy: Off Days Before NLDS Were ‘Huge’ For Dodgers

After finishing with a franchise-record 111 wins during the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers had five off days before the start of the National League Division Series. There were questions over whether that would amount to rust setting in and timing being thrown off, but the Dodgers viewed it as a welcomed break at the time.

They then jumped ahead early against the San Diego Padres in Game 1, and hung on for a 5-3 win.

“I think for us it was huge, just because we needed to get a couple guys a little bit of rest,” Muncy said of the Dodgers’ break between the regular season and NLDS.

“We had some pitchers that were a little banged up, some position players that were a little banged up. So that was huge for us to get a little bit of rest. And it was big for us to get a run on the board right out of the gate.

“Looking around the league, the teams that had layoffs kind of struggled a little bit at the start, so that was huge for us to get going right away.”

During the layoff the Dodgers organized three intrasquad games that allowed position players to log at-bats and for Dustin May and Blake Treinen to continue their progression from respective injuries. Both wound up being included on the Dodgers postseason roster for the NLDS.

Meanwhile, Trea Turner said he feels healthy and has improved timing at the plate. That was evident by Turner hitting a home run in his first at-bat, followed by a double and fly ball to the wall in left field.

Dodgers depth will be key during postseason

With an off day eliminated between potential Games 4 and 5 of the NLDS, and the same scenario in the NL Championship Series, health and roster depth figures to be paramount for the Dodgers.

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes the team’s talent ultimately will prove to be a difference-maker in October.

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