As the Los Angeles Dodgers approach the playoffs, one question looms large: Can Dodgers closer Evan Phillips keep up his success in the playoffs? The unassuming right-hander has risen to a pivotal role in the Dodgers’ bullpen, but the postseason brings a whole new level of pressure and expectations. In this article, we explore Evan Phillips’ journey, his preparations, and what the future holds for him in October.
The Rise of Evan Phillips
Evan Phillips began the 2023 season as the de facto closer for the Dodgers, stepping into the shoes previously worn by bullpen legends like Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen. The transition was seamless, thanks in part to Phillips’ adaptable approach and focus on making crucial pitches. The Dodgers quietly removed the "de facto" label from his title, solidifying his role as the ninth-inning specialist.
One aspect that sets Evan Phillips apart is his blue-collar mentality. He doesn’t dwell on specific roles; instead, he concentrates on delivering results and getting outs. This approach aligns with the Dodgers’ low-key handling of his situation, allowing him to thrive in his role.
Phillips has never faced postseason pressure like he will this October. The playoffs bring a unique atmosphere and intensity that can’t be replicated. To prepare mentally, Phillips has sought advice from experienced teammates, including injured pitcher Daniel Hudson. Hudson, who closed for the World Series-winning Washington Nationals in 2019, emphasized not overdoing it and staying true to his already impressive skill set.
Additionally, Phillips reached out to former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen during a visit to Fenway Park. Jansen, now with the Boston Red Sox, shared the importance of recognizing the significance of the role and not taking it for granted.
Evan Phillips’ 2023 season statistics speak volumes about his ability to handle high-pressure situations. With a 1-4 record and a 2.47 ERA in 55 games, he has struck out 60 batters, walked only 11, and allowed just 32 hits in 54⅔ innings. Phillips has successfully converted 22 of 24 save opportunities and held hitters to a meager .169 average and .523 on-base-plus-slugging percentages.
While these are impressive numbers, they fall slightly short of his breakout 2022 season when he boasted a 1.14 ERA and held hitters to a .155 average and .430 OPS. Despite this, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts remains confident in Phillips’ ability to handle playoff pressure as the team’s closer.
The Playoff Journey Ahead
As the Dodgers inch closer to their 10th NL West title in 11 years, Evan Phillips will be a crucial factor in their postseason journey. The pressure is undeniable, but if his 2023 performance is any indication, Phillips has the stuff and temperament to thrive when it matters most. October baseball is unpredictable, but the Dodgers are betting on Evan Phillips to rise to the occasion and secure those crucial final outs in the playoffs.
In conclusion, the question remains: Can Dodgers closer Evan Phillips keep up his success in the playoffs? The answer may lie in his unwavering approach, the wisdom he’s gained from seasoned teammates, and the remarkable talent he’s displayed in 2023. Dodgers fans will eagerly await the outcome as they brace themselves for the postseason rollercoaster.
Exploring Evan Phillips’ Impact on the Dodgers
Will the Dodgers use a dedicated closer in 2023?
The question for 2023: Will the Dodgers employ a dedicated closer? While the team’s strategy remains uncertain, one thing is clear—ace reliever Evan Phillips stands ready to make a difference in any role. In the previous year, Evan Phillips emerged as a linchpin of the Dodgers bullpen, amassing 63 innings with an astounding 1.14 ERA. His impressive track record included allowing only five of 22 inherited runners to cross home plate.
Who is Dodgers relief ace Evan Phillips?
Who is Dodgers relief ace Evan Phillips? Positioned in the lineage of formidable Dodgers relievers, Evan Phillips emerges as the team’s present-day bullpen star. With an unwavering passion for pitching, Phillips finds his true calling on the mound, asserting it as his favored domain above all else.
Is Phil Phillips open to being the Dodgers’ closer in 2022?
Is Phil Phillips receptive to assuming the role of the Dodgers’ closer in 2022? After a standout performance last season, Phillips seems poised to further elevate his role. In a recent interview on “Dodger Talk” with David Vassegh on AM 570 L.A. Sports, Phillips expressed his willingness to take on the closer position, while also indicating his contentment with maintaining the same role he had in 2022.
Why did the Dodgers lucked out last season?
Why did the Dodgers experience a stroke of luck last season? In previous years, the Dodgers’ bullpen roles were clearly defined, with a designated closer like Craig Kimbrel or Kenley Jansen, supported by dependable setup men—a role Evan Phillips assumed in the prior season. The team also had a variety of right- and left-handed pitchers to use strategically. This structure, however, seemed to work in their favor, earning them a fortunate outcome.