Roberts sticks with Baez in NLDS bullpen

In the end, the Dodgers decided to add righty Pedro Baez to their roster for the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

Baez, who did not appear in the Dodgers’ 9-5 win over the D-backs in Game 1 on Friday night, slumped toward the end of the season, posting a 10.38 ERA in September while dealing with command and confidence issues. The Dodgers debated adding speedster Tim Locastro as the 25th man for pinch-running situations, but instead went with the veteranĀ  reliever.

Locastro was recalled with three games left in the season after spending most of the year working in Minors, where he stole 34 bases between Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa.

“I think that ultimately Pedro has been a big part of what we’ve done all year,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I trust him. Arguably he’s been our highest-leveraged reliever outside of Kenley [Jansen] all year. So I just think it makes sense.”
Roberts said Baez could be used in high-leverage situations , but he won’t be at the top of the pecking order. He plans to use the hard-throwing right-hander in matchup situations vs. a right-handed heavy D-backs lineup.

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“I think if you’re looking at highest-leverage relievers, obviously Kenley’s at the top,” Roberts said. “and I probably have [Brandon] Morrow behind him, with [Tony] Cingrani and [Tony] Watson from the left side 1 and 1A. So that’s going to be more matchup driven, but [Baez], Strip [Ross Stripling], Kenta [Maeda] — they’re all in the mix .”

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It’s more than a title. Over a 162-game season, it’s no fluke to have the best record. Although the Dodgers went into a month-long funk after pulling 21 games clear, to get there they showed a relentless determination to battle every at-bat of every inning. Citing unfinished business, closer said it’s time for the Dodgers to prove how good they really are.

“The two teams we’ve had the last two years are unbelievable,” said Jansen, who has emerged as a team leader. “Our attitude to the game, unselfishness. [In] 2013, 2014, it was a lot of me, me type of guys. This group is united. I think it comes down to focus. We’re very talented. We need to do the little things right. Stop doing dumb stuff. Then we’ll be fine. We talk so much about this all year. Now it’s time for us to think about it. This is our shot. We should think about this as our last shot. Don’t take anything for granted. We’ve got to step up a notch. Do the little things right. Make pitches, have a purpose. If we do that, I believe we’re better than all the other teams. That’s my opinion. Doesn’t mean you’ll win. Still need to do all those things.”

“I don’t think we could have made a wrong decision,” Roberts said about starting Forsythe. “I think there is a tick grade better from defense from Logan. You’ve got your ace on the mound and the ability to have Chase on the bench I think holds huge value whether to hit for Logan or in the pitcher’s spot.”


Despite All-Star Jake Lamb having a four-hit night in the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo went with Adam Rosales at third, with the left-handed Kershaw on the mound.

Lamb does not usually start against lefties. In 149 games he played this season, 28 of those games were started vs. a southpaw.

“He’s locked in,” Lovullo said about Lamb. “We’re built to understand that there were certain reasons I was in line with him and talking to him throughout the whole process, just felt like that was the best option to attack their starting pitcher.”

Lamb has never faced Kershaw and Rosales is 1-for-6 vs. the three-time Cy Young Award Winner.

Catcher Chris Iannetta was also not the D-backs’ lineup, despite a .296 career average vs. Kershaw, but Lovullo said he felt better with starting because of the chemistry he has with Walker .

“The thought is that I like the way Jeff matches up with Taijuan,” Lovullo said. “[Iannetta] is going to find himself in the middle of a lot of games. We went with a two catcher combination throughout the year. I wanted to once again stay with the script.”

Roberts sticks with Baez in NLDS bullpen