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Dodgers pleased with ‘good at-bats,’ and patient with the results so far

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“I saw that each guy was taking good at-bats, and I just believe that if they continue to do so, we’ll break out,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

For all the talk of Globe Life Field playing more like an offensive park with the roof open, it sure didn’t feel like it in Game 1 of the NLDS, won by the Dodgers over the Padres.

“If you ask A.J. and Muncy, they’ll probably say no,” said Justin Turner with a smile on Tuesday night.

A.J. Pollock flew out in the fifth inning, in a 1-1 tie at the time, on a ball that seemed destined to be a two-run home run, before falling harmlessly into the glove of Jurickson Profar in left field.

“I put my hands up,” Cody Bellinger said of Pollock’s drive. “From the first base view, I thought he got it.”

That was one of eight batted balls by the Dodgers in Game 1 with an expected batting average of at least .400, per Baseball Savant. Six were outs.

Highest Dodgers expected batting average, NLDS Game 1

Batter Inning Exit velocity (mph) Expected BA Result
Batter Inning Exit velocity (mph) Expected BA Result
Corey Seager 8 103.0 0.900 lineout
Max Muncy 6 105.4 0.810 double
Will Smith 1 107.2 0.740 lineout
Mookie Betts 6 104.8 0.660 double
Max Muncy 8 100.6 0.500 400-ft flyout
Corey Seager 5 102.1 0.470 390-ft flyout
Corey Seager 3 99.0 0.440 lineout
A.J. Pollock 5 98.6 0.400 361-ft flyout
Source: Baseball Savant

Despite not getting more of those hard-hit balls to drop — the Dodgers didn’t have a hit outside the sixth inning — they did also walk 10 times and scored five runs in the game.

“I saw that each guy was taking good at-bats, and I just believe that if they continue to do so, we’ll break out,” manager Dave Roberts said.

A little evened out later in the sixth inning. After Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, they added runs on a 70.5-mph single away from the shift by Turner, and a 71.4-mph infield single up the middle by Bellinger. Those had expected batting averages of .240 and .230, respectively.

In the Dodgers’ regular season series in Texas, all three games were played with the roof closed. They didn’t homer in the first game in that series, but hit five in the final two games that weekend.

“You know, we hit a few homers in the in the series earlier this year here, so you can hit it over the fence,” said Turner, who had one of the Dodgers’ four hits on Tuesday. “But it’s not about hitting home runs, it’s about hitting balls hard and taking good at-bats. Eventually we broke them down, we found some holes, and it actually happened to be the not-so-hard-hit balls that resulted in more runs for us.”

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