In what was perhaps their most meaningful series so far this season, the Dodgers handled rival San Diego in the three-game set two games to one, re-stretching their division lead to 3-1/2 games. In the process, they were the first major league club to clinch a berth in the 2020 postseason.
When you have the best record in the majors, you have the luxury of letting players rest whenever the manager sees fit. After all, the only thing on the line was the Dodgers’ streak of winning series this season.
“My head was, we need to get off this two game snide (sic) and win a game against a good ball club at their place. My heart was saying ‘I wanna beat the crap out of this team and win two games.’”
In a normal season, if the Dodgers had gotten off to a 2-2 start, fans would grumble and make excuses while probably being a little concerned—overall it wouldn’t be that big a deal. After all, even though the Dodgers were playing the San Francisco Giants, who are most definitely in a rebuilding year, it’s still the Giants, and crazy things happen in games against them.
For the Dodgers, Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Rockies marked the exact halfway point of the 2020 Cactus League season. While some folks don’t put an overwhelming amount of importance on either individual or team performances during spring games, others still like to peek at the overall stats just to get an idea where the numbers are trending.
In the final few days leading up to their Cactus League opener against San Francisco, it looked very much like the Dodgers would need to wait until Sunday to kick their spring off against the Cubs.
To say that Washington came through in a mandatory, must-win Game 4 would be an understatement.
It felt like a must win game for the Dodgers heading into the game. The Washington Nationals decided that instead of pitching Max Scherzer in Game 3, they would go with Anibal Sanchez, saving Scherzer for Game 4 and Stephen Strasburg for a possible Game 5. But win it the Dodgers did, although it took awhile to look like their normal selves.
Heading to Washington with a two-game lead would have been a major advantage for the Dodgers. Arriving home having split both games in Los Angeles would have been an apparent edge for the Nationals. Either way, Friday night’s NLDS Game 2 was a huge contest for both sides.