After winning 104 games in the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers enter the postseason with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They also enter the postseason with a rested and motivated Clayton Kershaw. Manager Dave Roberts joined The Jim Rome Show Thursday on the eve of their National League Division series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and talked about his three-time Cy Young Award winner, who will start game one.
Roberts said that after Kershaw put his naysayers to sleep with his postseason heroics a season ago, the seven-time All-Star has his eyes set on something bigger.
“This guys has done everything in the game personally, but he wants to win a championship so he’s chasing that title,” Roberts said on CBS Sports Radio. “And so that narrative on the postseason, I think he put the kibosh on that. And you look at the modern day, how many guys pitch on no rest? It’s only Clayton standing alone.”
Even as they won games at a historic pace, the Dodgers improved their odds of winning their first title since 1988 by acquiring pitcher Yu Darvish at the trade deadline. Darvish has only allowed one run in his past three starts, pitching his best after struggling after the trade. Darvish is slated to start game three.
“This is a very information driven guy, he’s a very competitive guy,” Roberts said. “So I think he wanted to make an impression and it didn’t go well early, but I think now he’s understanding that what we want to do as far as advance and pitching and how to approach guys, and work with Rick Honeycutt, they really have a great relationship. So I think he’s now really confident comfortable, and I’m telling you the best is yet to come from Yu.”
During late August and early September there was plenty of worry amongst Dodger fans with the club losing 16 of 17 games. Roberts was asked if the worry ever penetrated the clubhouse.
“I didn’t panic, but I was like, man can we just win one game? And I think the reality check of losing three, four, five in a row would have sufficed,” Roberts laughed. “That was a little obnoxious. But it wasn’t panic because the guys were playing hard.
“It’s tough to win a major league baseball game, but I think that’s behind us. And now we kind of got that fresh start and were in a good state of mind.”