“Today was a good one. It was nice to win a big-league ball game.” Those are the words of a manager who can finally exhale after one of his team’s toughest stretches in recent memory.
The Dodgers were coming off of three straight losses (and 5 of their last 6), which left many wondering just how formidable this team really was. What was being talked about as the best Dodgers team ever suddenly looked… mortal. Even Reds slugger Jesse Winker had to remind his team that the Dodgers “were just men” after his leadoff home run on Tuesday evening.
However, Wednesday was a different story.
With Clayton Kershaw on the mound and facing the possibility of being swept at home, the Dodgers finally broke out of their offensive slump to hand the Reds an 8-0 loss in the series finale.
After the game, manager Dave Roberts spoke on how it finally felt like the team was coming together following such a rough stretch.
“It’s just nice to win a baseball game, have a happy flight. We have Trevor [Bauer] going tomorrow, key guys in the ‘pen. The ‘pen is in a good spot going into Milwaukee, a good club, and a four game series there. So I like where we’re at, I certainly feel a lot better than I did the last couple of days.”
I don’t know of many baseball fans that looked at these past few games as an indication of where the season was headed, but as Roberts said, it is just nice to win a game again. The morale in the clubhouse changes, and there’s a sense of normalcy instead of an urge to press. But more importantly, it allows a team to move on.
“In this game, you have to have a short memory. So yeah,” David Roberts said. “The homestand wasn’t ideal, not even close to ideal, but the recent memory [is] we won a baseball game.”
A short memory is critical in sports, and that very memory will be put to the test in the coming road trip. With matchups against the Brewers, Cubs, and the upstart Angels, they will need to put this past homestand in the rearview mirror and focus on winning ballgames.
So yes, the Dodgers had a rough week. But if this team achieves what it is capable of, no one will even remember these past few days at season’s end.