Arlington, Texas – World Series memories rekindled evaders before stepping onto Globe Life Field this weekend.
The day before their Friday opening, they returned to the same hotel in Las Colinas where they spent almost all of October 2020 during the post-season bubble. Then, a meeting soon after his arrival provided a fresh memory of a strange, euphoric chapter from the past—and an appreciation for the present.
On Thursday evening, several Dodgers players and coaches continued Max Muncy’s The home, where the North Texas native hosted her daughter’s second birthday party. Muncy, who made sure there was plenty of TexMex to go around, was grateful for the boisterous crowd that came out to cheer. including newcomers jason hayward, miguel rojas, david peralta And JD Martinez, There were others who became part of the core of the team including Freddy Freeman And eve phillips,
“This is home to me,” Muncy said. “But a lot of the people who were here, we talked about it, it’s nice to be here. even with freddy on the braves [in 2020] – We came here and gave him a lot of rubbish like, ‘Hey, this is the house you lost 3-1’ – He’s had a good time with it too. It was an absolutely unique year.
While last year’s Dodgers team set a franchise record with 111 wins, it was the 2020 iteration that posted the highest winning percentage (43–17, .717) in franchise history on the way to the team’s first championship since 1988. Muncie believes the 2020 team could win 120 games in a normal season.
He acknowledges that this year’s group is not on the same historic pace, but in terms of the atmosphere created – as evidenced by the number of people around them on Thursday evening – the 2023 group stands out.
Muncy said, “In terms of clubhouse alone this is one of the best teams I’ve been a part of.” “We could have another team that could be as talented as this team, but I don’t think any team can come close to the culture of this clubhouse, and this proves it. It was a birthday party for my daughter, and it was for all the kids who were traveling, and we had many people who didn’t even have families with them and they still came out to support and have fun. It was very special.”
Taylor, who has been a Dodger since 2016, sees something similar in this year’s group, which — despite some obvious flaws — is now 57-41 and four games in the division on a nine-game road trip to start the second half after winning all three series against the Mets, Orioles and Rangers.
“We’ve always worked off the field, but I think we’ve taken it to another level this year with the amount of team dinners and team functions we do,” Taylor said. “I think this group is probably a little tighter, doing a little more work off the field than groups of the past, but I think we’ve always prided ourselves on being a strong group. The closer you are to your peers, the more invested you are, the more attracted to people you are.”
He credits some of the newcomers for this: “There’s some experienced guys, Jay-Hey, Peralta, Miggy, the whole team.”
It’s hard to quantify how much on-field chemistry makes a difference, but for a Dodgers team with more noticeable flaws than recent versions of the club—his 4.43 ERA ranks 19th in the majors—they’ve managed to put themselves in a familiar position at the top of the National League West.
Their best players perform like superstars – Freddie Freeman now has the top OPS in the National League (.997), having erased the bitter memories of his previous Globe Life field experience by getting multiple hits in all three games at Texas – while newcomers are quickly catching on.
Early in the year, the Dodgers adopted Peralta’s “Freight Train” celebration on home runs. Celebrating Muncy’s daughter’s birthday this week, they decided to add one more to the mix, mimicking Freeman’s dance moves while waving his arms like an inflatable tube man over extra-bass hits.
“Of course I was the first one to do that,” Freeman said after the two-hit game on Friday.
Freeman’s success was similar. This weekend was an important step forward for Muncie. He seemed more comfortable in his own country. The Dodgers’ third baseman went into the weekend with a .147 batting average since the start of June, but after hosting Thursday, he doubled in Friday’s 11-5 win, doubled in Saturday’s 16-3 win and followed it up with his third grand slam of the season in Sunday’s final, which tied the franchise’s season record.
Despite failing to pull off the sweep, the Dodgers looked energized by the lively crowd they didn’t get three years ago in a pandemic-stricken environment with limited capacity. The last time the Dodgers were at Globe Life Field in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, 11,437 fans were in attendance. All three games were sold out this weekend, including a Saturday night crowd of 40,738 fans, the highest attendance in the venue’s history.
Manager Dave Roberts said, “When you get stuck in the season, you put your head down and take it day by day.” “But when you get to a place where you remember hitting the ground running to celebrate, that taste naturally comes back.”
The Dodgers scored 31 runs in their first 19 innings of the series after Muncie’s first-inning homer on Sunday.
Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy hit consecutive home runs to increase the Dodgers’ lead over the Rangers.
However, they will be stuck at 31. Starter Emmett Sheehans The 4–0 lead was blown after two innings, as the rookie surrendered career-highs runs scored (eight), hits allowed (eight) and walks, all five free passes resulting in runs in an 8–4 loss.
The Dodgers didn’t get a chance to sweep an opponent during all three stops of their road trip, raising the prospect of improvement closer to the deadline for President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.
After a 6-3 road trip, the Dodgers will have to work hard at their roster structure for next week. Roberts said that every move should have meaning for both the roster and the clubhouse. They want the team best suited to challenge for the title, but they don’t want to destroy the chemistry they built in October.
“It’s just a special clubhouse we’ve built this year,” Muncy said, “and it definitely makes the year a lot easier and more fun.”
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