'Battle tested' Dodgers ready for Red Sox

October 21st, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers won't have the home-field advantage in the World Series as they did last year, but they do have an advantage over last year's World Series appearance.

"It feels we're a little more battle tested this year. Last year was more of a joyride," general manager Farhan Zaidi said while being showered with expensive alcoholic beverages during the clubhouse celebration after Saturday night's 5-1 win over the Brewers clinched a second consecutive National League pennant.

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"We haven't taken anything for granted this year. We understood how hard it was, but also knew what it took to get here."

After winning 104 games in the regular season and cruising through the first two rounds of the postseason, the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in last year's World Series Game 7.

Zaidi said that experience better prepared his club for the NL Championship Series clincher and will better prepare it for the best-of-seven World Series against the Red Sox, whom the Dodgers haven't faced in the Fall Classic since 1916, won by Boston.

"The crowds, the media attention, everything that goes with being in the World Series, it will all be familiar to us this time in the same way as being on the LCS stage for the first time in '16 and winning at that stage last year," said Zaidi. "We played a very worthy opponent last year and the Red Sox are terrific, too. It's going to be just as tough and we'll be prepared."

Zaidi said winning the World Series this year is more about unfinished business than redemption for last year's missed opportunity.

"It's just about trying to win it all," he said. "Certainly last year, there were long nights in the offseason thinking about how close we got. We feel really fortunate to have an opportunity to go at it again. We earned it. It wasn't handed to us."

Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said the Red Sox pose a new set of challenges.

"It's a really good team. It's a really tough lineup," he said. "It's probably the best defensive outfield I've ever seen. Every time I go to look at them, I had to go back to focusing on the Brewers. That's a really good team. They didn't allow us to really look beyond them. I know Boston is really good. I know their pitching is really good. I know it's a deep, well rounded team. We'll take two days to cram and do everything we can to be ready to play them."

said the subtle benefits of having played in the World Series so recently shouldn't be underestimated.

"I just think we have a lot of experience, guys that have been there and done it," said Turner, "and that helps you control your emotions, control your anxiety, slow your heart beat down."