WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday his team is facing the Washington Nationals at an opportune time, given the injuries to Stephen Strasburg and others.
“Regardless, I feel good where we’re at. If we’re playing our type of baseball, we can beat anybody,” Roberts said at Nationals Park, where the Dodgers worked out for about 1 1/2 hours starting a little before 9 p.m. after their cross-country flight. “But, yeah, I think that we’re catching them at the right time.”
Washington will host Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Friday, with Game 2 on Saturday, before the teams head to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers held batting practice and did some fielding work Wednesday under the lights, because Roberts said he wanted to “not have a day go by where we’re not active.”
After the brief session, catcher Carlos Ruiz — who took some grounders at third base — said: “We know that it was a long day, but we’re real excited.”
While the Dodgers had 28 players spend time on the disabled list over the course of the season, the most for a major league team since at least 1987, their key contributors are healthy right now. But the Nationals are dealing with various injuries. Strasburg will miss the NLDS with a right elbow problem, and catcher Wilson Ramos is done for the season after tearing a ligament in his right knee.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy and right fielder Bryce Harper have missed time lately, too.
Murphy last started on Sept. 17, because of a strained muscle in his buttocks. Harper had right shoulder issues earlier this season, and was bothered by a sore left thumb that kept him out of the lineup for four games in late September.
Roberts described the Nationals as “very, obviously, under cover about things” when it comes to the health of the 2015 NL MVP, so “for us, as far as preparation, it’s more of just expect to see the best Harper and we’ll see what happens.”
Roberts also was asked about the Nationals unwillingness to announce who their starting pitchers will be for Games 2 and 3, after Max Scherzer takes the mound in Game 1.
“I don’t think they’re trying to play coy just because,” Roberts said, “but I don’t think it affects us.”
AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno contributed.