Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Los Angeles Dodgers set a National League record for homers and led the league with 106 wins this year — 13 more than the Nationals.

But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is not surprised his team has been extended to five games by Washington in the National League Division Series.

“We knew we were going to have our hands full,” he told reporters.

The Dodgers have big expectations after losing in the World Series the previous two years.

Roberts has been impressed with the Nationals, who earned a wild card spot after starting the season 19-31. Game 5 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.

“You have a lot of players who are very talented and that have conceded playing time for the sum of the ballclub,” Roberts said. “They have earned this opportunity, as we well as have, for a Game 5. The second half of the season they played as well as anyone.”

Roberts said he plans to start Will Smith at catcher as Walker Buehler gets the start for the Dodgers.

Roberts did not rule out using any pitchers on his staff, though he said it is unlikely Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu is used.

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