While the Los Angeles Dodgers have received key contributions from young players throughout the season, who are now set to play in their first postseason, the core of the club has been in this position before.
One of those veterans with the familiar feeling of playing in October is outfielder Andre Ethier’; the 10-year veteran is making his fifth trip to the postseason with the team. Given that experience, Ethier is well-aware of the necessary adjustments and focus required to navigate the intensity.
“Just staying in the moment. I think the biggest thing is just staying,” he said. “You have a tendency when these playoffs games happen, situations happen, things just go so quickly and you are just trying to figure out a way to get done without actually taking a step back. Embracing that moment and figuring out a way to take it all in and realize the situation.”
As for handling any anxiety, which Ethier believes is also present during the regular season, he believes attention to detail is key. “Well there is always anxiety. Whether it’s the regular season or now, I think it’s just more focusing on the preparation and the things you need to get done,” he said.
Coming off a difficult 2014 season, Ethier responded with a terrific 2015 campaign. The 33 year old hit .294/.366/.486, while also leading the team with seven triples. Additionally, Ethier further cemented his reputation as a clutch hitter.
In the games in which it was the seventh inning or later with the Dodgers being tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck, Ethier batted .313 with 25 hits and four home runs.
Ethier hit particularily well against right-handed batters, posting a .306/.383/.517 slash line. This figures to be key in the National League Division Series as the New York Mets are scheduled to start a right-hander in the first three games, and have a pitching staff loaded with righties.