Manager Dave Roberts spoke with the media today and talked about the mindset of the team ahead of the game tomorrow. He also discussed some potential moves and how he plans on using certain players.
“It’s not do or die, but the mindset is we’re going to do everything we can to win, knowing we have Walker starting Game 7,” he said. “Outside of Buehler, Urias and Kershaw, everyone else is in play.”
This makes sense, as the Dodgers have the luxury of a potential Game 7. Sure, you’d love more than anything for them to win, but having the chance of another game gives the club a chance to rest Buehler and Urias, who will definitely be needed should this series go to Wednesday.
Buehler has already been confirmed as the starter for a potential Game 7, but Roberts added that Urias would likely follow Buehler whenever he’d exit the game. Roberts was asked if he considered using Buehler in Game 6, but said that would be putting him in too tough of a situation, saying it didn’t make sense to go that route.
With those arms unavailable, the Dodgers will turn to rookie Tony Gonsolin tomorrow for the start. Roberts confirmed with the media that he’ll be used as a starter, as opposed to being used as an opener. It’s been a rough couple of outings so far for Gonsolin this October, as he currently owns a 9.39 ERA through three appearances. He’s only thrown 3 1⁄3 innings over his last two games, and the Dodgers will really be looking for him to eat innings tomorrow.
“I hope to get five or six innings, that would be great,” Roberts said when asked what he wants from his rookie. “I’m going to watch him pitch and see what we do after that. I want him to go as long as he possibly can.”
Roberts said that there won’t be a plan tomorrow, and that he’ll use an eye test to see how he’s rolling. Hopefully the rest will benefit Gonsolin, as he’s had a shaky schedule throughout October. He didn’t make his first appearance until October 13, essentially two weeks since he had last thrown the ball. His last outing came only three days after his previous one, and he only was able to record four outs.
“It’s the most rested he’s been,” Roberts said. “I think it’ll help him tomorrow. As far as regiment, the best routine he’s had leading up to an outing.”
Another potential move discussed was in regards to who will be the starting catcher tomorrow. Roberts hasn’t made the decision as to who will be behind the plate. It would make sense to go with Austin Barnes, who has shown to be the better option behind the plate this October. Plus, he’s been hitting the ball really well.
In addition, Roberts said he doesn’t expect to have Edwin Rios in the starting lineup because of the matchup against Rays starter Blake Snell.
There’s no question the Dodgers know what is at stake tomorrow, Roberts probably knows better than anyone. It’s been 32 years since LA has won the World Series, and this is the best opportunity they’ve been in since 1988 to win one.
“We’ve heard it a lot. We’ve seen a lot of highlights. We want to make our own mark on Dodgers history.”