LA’s 6-0 start to the 2017 Postseason was super-impressive, but their unbeaten streak came to an end in the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs last night in Wrigley Field.
With their 3-1 lead in the NLCS, however, Dave Roberts said he still thinks the Dodgers are in a good spot.
Someone asked last night about some the Cubs’ players’ comments about being pressure free, with nothing to lose after falling behind 3-0 in the series.
They also said, according to the reporter who asked, that the pressure was on the Dodgers to close it out.
“I wouldn't say that the pressure is on us,” Roberts told reporters after Game 4.
“I think that we're in a pretty good spot. We've got our number one pitcher going tomorrow, and we've got two of the guys at the back end rested.
“I can't speak to their mindset, but I still like the position we're in.”
Would the first loss of the postseason affect the Dodgers in any way, in terms of their preparation, or mindset going into Game 5 of the best-of-seven series?
“It doesn't affect it at all,” Roberts said. “We're going to do the same thing we can today and the days prior with the intent to win a baseball game. It's a good feeling when we wake up tomorrow, we know Clayton [Kershaw is] taking the mound.
“But as far as our mindset, the psyche, we know we're going to be in for a battle tomorrow, and we'll be ready.”
Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon, who led the Cubbies past the Dodgers last October, on the way to the 108-year-drought-ending title run, was asked if he thought his players saying all the pressure was on LA now was the right mentality.
“I never want us to use the word -- I mean, pressure, like I said before, is a good word,” Maddon said.
“So if they're taking that word and channelling it in a proper direction, I'm all about it. If you're taking that word and it's going to cause you to clam up, not be yourself, go attempt different methods, I don't like that word.
“But I love the word. I want there to be pressure. I want there to be a carrot at the end of the stick. I want all of that. I talk about never putting the pressure to exceed the pleasure, just meaning to handle the moment. But we do, we started this with a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, in Spring Training before their very first workout, and now we are here, coming on October 19th. It's a lot of time in between.
“So there's a lot of different moments that occur. Some are pressurized, and that's good. Otherwise you're home cooking steaks right now. This is a good thing. I want our guys to respond properly and utilize that word for motivation as opposed to becoming cowardly.”
Jose Quintana takes the mound for the Cubs against Kershaw tonight as Chicago once again tries to avoid elimination. Will the Dodgers earn a spot in the World Series? Will Maddon’s Cubs live to play another day?