Dave Roberts was emphatic.
“There is no disappointment,” he said.
Now, in his sixth season as Dodgers manager, Roberts could speak for sure.
Roberts knows the Dodgers don’t expect to beat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. He stuck to baseball’s longstanding tradition of no guarantees, but the mindset he describes is exactly why his team will beat the Braves.
Leave the last week of this month open, and maybe the first few days of November as well.
The Dodgers return to the World Series.
If there’s any disappointment in this NLCS, it’s because of the viewers who were served their main courses before their starters.
Just try to look forward to a matchup against the 88-Sie Braves after an up-close showdown against the 107 wins of the San Francisco Giants, decided in the final inning of a five-game series.
Instead of “Beat LA!” There will be the caricaturely racist Tomahawk Chop, an unfortunate part of the legacy of current Dodgers President Stan Kasten in Atlanta.
As president of the Braves, Kasten defended the Tomahawk Chop, a 1992 story in that newspaper’s online archives in which he said, “The chop salute has nothing more to do with Indian culture than the wave.”
His argument was basically that the chop couldn’t be racist because the singing was a caricature of Native American culture, not an actual part of it.
Thankfully, Truist Park fans will only be chopping and oh-oh-ohing for two more days as this series is unlikely to be returning to Atlanta.
After Games 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday, the series is moving to Los Angeles for the next three games, where the series is set to end.
Unlike the Giants, the Braves don’t have the balance to stick with the Dodgers.
If they were in NL West, they would have finished 18 1/2 games first. If they were in NL Central, they would have finished third behind the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.
These aren’t the same Braves who were three to one ahead of the Dodgers in the NLCS last year.
Her top player, Ronald Acuña Jr., suffered a knee injury at the end of the season in July.
Her No. 3 hit hit Marcell Ozuna broke his fingers in May and never returned as he was taken on administrative leave after being arrested on charges of assaulting his wife.
Braves CEO Alex Anthopoulos rebuilt the outfield in the weeks leading up to the trading deadline, starting with the Chicago Cubs’ takeover of former Dodgers thug Joc Pederson.
Anthopoulos, a former Dodgers executive, also acted for Jorge Soler of the Kansas City Royals, Adam Duvall of the Miami Marlins, and Eddie Rosario of the Cleveland Indians.
However, Soler is expected to miss this series after testing positive for COVID-19.
The only advantage the Braves have is being better rested after eliminating the Brewers in four games.
Max Fried will start for the Braves on Saturday, while the Roberts refrained from naming his starter or prelude on the eve of Game 1.
The most likely choice is Max Scherzer, who threw 13 throws against the Giants on Thursday to save his first career. Should Scherzer fail, the Dodgers would have to resort to a bullpen game.
With Clayton Kershaw sidelined for the entire postseason, the Dodgers are expected to have a bullpen game at some point in this best-of-seven series. But their quality will eventually prevail.
The Braves rotation includes Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, and Huascar Ynoa. The Dodgers’ rotation is scarier, with Scherzer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urías.
The Braves bullpen includes the closer Will Smith, right-handed Luke Jackson, and left-handed Tyler Matzek. The Dodgers’ bullpen is deeper, with Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, Corey Knebel, Brusdar Graterol, and Joe Kelly.
The Braves line up includes Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies and Pederson. The Dodgers lineup has better high-end players with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Trea Turner.
The Dodgers are just better.
And they won’t choke. You won’t beat yourself. You will show up. You will fight.
“It’s like the X factor,” said Roberts. “Because I think in baseball you just don’t know who’s going to be the better team that day. But I think the variable of emotional disappointment, the moment that gets too big for a player, I think, and I firmly believe that we wouldn’t fall victim to that. Knowing that I don’t have to worry about that just gives me extra confidence in our boys. “
The Dodgers have been promoted to the NLCS five times in the past six years. In another week or so, they’ll be able to say that they’ve made the World Series in four of the last five years.
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