Dave Roberts last week told Bob Nightengale at USA Today that this year’s Dodgers team is his favorite he’s ever managed, overcoming a myriad of injuries to remain atop the National League West.
“I love this club. I mean, I really love it. It’s as tight-knit group as I’ve seen. It’s a very unselfish group. When I’m asking pitcher to pitch in various roles, and for hitters to play in different roles, and for guys to whatever it takes to win a ballgame, that is being a good teammate. I’ve got 26 of those guys. That has been our secret sauce throughout the injuries, the inconsistencies.”
Ryan Brasier since joining the Dodgers in June has impressed, posting a 1.21 ERA and 3.08 FIP in 22⅓ innings, so much so that Dave Roberts on Thursday compared his impact to that of Chris Martin, last year’s trade deadline acquisition who earned the save in LA’s only playoff win.
The 35-year-old Brasier has added a cutter to his two fastballs and slider, improving his repertoire to the point that Roberts trusts using him against both right-handers and lefties.
Brasier talked to Mike DiGiovanna at the Los Angeles Times about his resurgence, after getting released with a 7.29 ERA for the Red Sox:
“The cutter has been huge,” Brasier said. “I started throwing it right after I signed, and it kind of caught on pretty quick. Instead of being a two-pitch pitcher, I’ve added that third pitch to give them something else to think about.”
As an aficionado of the three-inning save, I greatly enjoyed Lindsey Adler at the Wall Street Journal writing about the virtue of the complete-game loss and the value of eating innings. Included is a quote from new Dodgers pitcher Ryan Yarbrough, talking about his former Royals teammate Jordan Lyles:
“There’s definitely an art to pitching deep into games, and having that longevity is not something to be diminished at all,” Yarbrough said. “The game is seemingly getting away from that, so that there are still guys out there who can do that is impressive.”