October Confidential: Dodgers

Rival players offer inside look at facing NL West champions

October Confidential: Dodgers

How do you beat the Dodgers? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the NL West champions.

Clayton Kershaw
"The big key to him is to attack early in the at-bat. If you miss a mistake, you're going to be in trouble, because he'll finish the at-bat. He commands all four of his pitches. My approach with him is to be ready a little bit late, because his [delivery] is kind of slow. That's the key -- to attack early in the count, but to be ready to hit a little bit later."
-- NL West catcher

Kershaw's 13 K's in 13 seconds

"That guy is so dominant, so good. He's obviously the best pitcher in the game. He's got a little deception in his windup. It's a little funky, on top of his great stuff, and that makes it even harder. As far as an approach, it's tough to have one. His weakness is if he misses. That's it. There's not a pitch you can sit on, there's not a pitch you can go up there looking for."
-- NL West infielder

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 7 LAD 4, WAS 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 9 WSH 5, LAD 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 WAS 8, LAD 3 video
Gm 4 Oct. 11 LAD 6, WAS 5 video
Gm 5 Oct. 13 LAD 4, WSH 3 video

Rich Hill
"Rich Hill's got such a sneaky fastball. He hides the ball well, comes right at you, isn't afraid to come inside. That big, slow curveball is deceptive. He doesn't bounce it too much -- it's pretty easy to recognize when he's going to bounce it. But when he throws it at the top of the zone, you give up on it, because it just looks like a high fastball. And then that'll be what he comes back with."
-- NL West infielder

Kenta Maeda
"He's a guy that mixes all his pitches well. He's a relatively comfortable at-bat -- not saying that means he's bad by any means. He can definitely be a comfortable 0-for-3. He's a guy that can add and subtract and make you roll over a couple times and not really understand how. He mixes pitches well and throws them at any time."
-- NL West infielder

Kenley Jansen
"He just throws a natural cutter, so you've almost got to trick your mind into swinging at a spot that's a ball or two from where you think it's going to be and zone in on that. It's late, natural, hard cut. It's not a normal swing you take against him."
-- NL West outfielder

MLB Plus: Jansen's strikeout

Corey Seager
"He's a guy that seems to be committed when he does swing. So you have to execute everything when you're pitching to him. I'd say with Seager, for sure, spin is better."
-- NL West starting pitcher

Adrian Gonzalez
"With Adrian, you have to be able to throw it inside. He takes the ball the other way so well when it's a ball over the plate. He stands far off the plate, so you have room to work with, and if you go in with one hard fastball off the plate, in, it can kind of set up the rest of the at-bat."
-- NL West relief pitcher

Justin Turner
"He's got a big leg kick, big swing, and anything offspeed, he can gather. You have to be careful with breaking balls. But he also hunts the heater, so it's a double-edged sword. You want to throw your breaking ball down, but if you leave anything up, he's going to kill you. With Turner, you have to do your best to offset his timing."
-- NL West starting pitcher

Joc Pederson
"With Joc Pederson, you just can't miss over the plate. He's all or nothing right now. If you make a mistake, he's going to crush you, he's just one of those guys. I don't want to say you have to be extra careful, because he's obviously not a [Daniel] Murphy or a [Bryce] Harper. The way he pulls his hips through the zone, the outside corner is a really good spot to be."
-- NL West relief pitcher