The Dodgers have not made things easy this postseason, but a miraculous 8th inning rally on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves has them positioned to tie the series at two games apiece. It’s made for incredibly good television, but I can’t say that fans have had as much fun going through so many nailbiters already.
It’s been an up and down journey so far, but one area of concern for many fans has been seeing Gavin Lux in the outfield on a daily basis. With the loss of Max Muncy, the Dodgers were forced to improvise their lineup construction. The solution thus far has been to move Cody Bellinger to the infield while playing Gavin Lux in right and center field.
While this does give the lineup some extra thump, it leaves them vulnerable defensively as Lux had never logged a professional inning in the outfield prior to this season. This defensive liability was on full display Tuesday afternoon, as Lux dropped a fly ball up against the outfield wall in an inning where the Braves plated 4 total runs.
While the Dodgers won the game, the error seemed monumental when it happened. It wasn’t Lux’s first miscue in the outfield, and it was enough to make many question Dave Roberts’ decision to keep running him out there. Roberts made sure to credit his young star the next day, acknowledging that his willingness to even play a new position should be applauded.
I think it’s a credit to him, willing to do whatever it takes to help us win. And it’s not easy to be in a position that you haven’t played a whole lot of, certainly in this stage. On the heels of what happened yesterday, it takes a tough ballplayer to withstand that stuff.. I feel good with Gavin out there and I expect him to make the plays.
When asked about what kind of conversation he had with Gavin after the error, Roberts showed the kind of leadership that has made him a favorite among Dodger players over the years.
I just told him a couple of innings after ‘You’re going to be in there tomorrow, and I don’t want you to be careful. Keep playing.’
The Dodgers are running on fumes after an exhausting regular season, but they still continue to find ways to get it done. Gavin Lux moving positions is just the latest example of their ‘whatever it takes’ mentality, and while it may be a bumpy road for the young player, it’s one that will hopefully lead to another title in 2021.