A wayward throw by shortstop Corey Seager on Sunday night exemplified a worry the Dodgers face in the playoffs. Seager airmailed a throw to the plate in the seventh inning against Washington, offering a visual complement to manager Dave Roberts' remarks on Monday when he said Seager was not throwing at 100%.
"He didn't get behind it, and it sailed on him," Roberts said. "There's some guarding against [discomfort]. With Corey, he's got to manage it how he feels fit."
Seager, who's second on the team in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.383) and RBIs (71), received a day off in the series opener at Philadelphia. Roberts indicated it was a regular day of rest not related to issues with Seager's elbow, which has bothered him for much of the second half.
Seager has dealt with inflammation and soreness in his elbow for several weeks. He missed two weeks earlier this month to rest his arm. Seager has indicated he could face surgery in the offseason. Until then, the team will have to live with diminished accuracy and velocity on his throws.
"He's not showing the arm strength that he does have, because I think he's trying to manage it," Roberts said.
The medical staff has told Roberts that the injury is "playable." A pain-killing injection is not an option, Roberts said. Seager has been wearing a protective sleeve to keep his arm heated.
"Our staff is on top of it," Roberts said. "For us to feel that he can play a premium position, and make the throws that are needed, and to not put himself in immediate jeopardy, or even jeopardy down the road — all signs say that he can manage it."
The Dodgers arrived at Citizens Bank Park with the magic number to clinch the National League West at four. That means any combination of four wins by the Dodgers or losses by the Diamondbacks would give the Dodgers a fifth consecutive National League West title.
One problem: Arizona will start its games on the West Coast, three hours after the Dodgers start. That could create a scenario in which the Dodgers clinch well past midnight here.
Roberts didn't mind.
"We're going to hang," he said.
Really? For three hours?
"Sure!" Roberts said. "What else do we have to do in the City of Brotherly Love?"