UPDATE: The D-backs defeated the Dodgers 8-5 on Monday night to increase their lead over L.A. to eight games.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have the best record in the National League. The defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, are struggling on multiple fronts.
But heading into their four-game series vs. the D-backs in Phoenix, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is confident his team will finish the 2018 regular season the same way they finished 2017: atop the NL West.
“When it’s all said and done, the Dodgers will be at the top of the division," Roberts said Sunday, according to LA Times writer Andy McCullough.
The quote has made the rounds on social media, with the D-backs' Twitter team reacting accordingly.
Fightin’ words... pic.twitter.com/xir1SmKDdA
— ABC15 Sports (@abc15sports) April 30, 2018
But going into Monday's series opener vs. the Dodgers -- the first of a four-game set at Chase Field -- the D-backs didn't seem terribly concerned about Roberts' comments.
Their manager, in fact, hadn't even heard them.
"I didn’t see that. I barely follow social media," Torey Lovullo said before Monday's game. "I know he said the same thing last year and he wound up in the World Series, so he knew his team, and it worked.
"Obviously, I have a different belief. I’m the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and I believe in my guys wholeheartedly. I feel like he’s doing the best he possibly can to manage his team, so if he believes that, that’s his opinion. I respect that. I like Dave Roberts a lot, so I respect what he says."
Lovullo's players seem to feel similarly about Roberts' comment.
"That’s what he feels (but) I feel really comfortable about our team," D-backs outfielder David Peralta said. "I can say the same thing, too. I can guarantee the same thing. But everybody’s free to say whatever they want. I think it’s all about what happens on the field.
"I can say anything. I can say I’m going to be president tomorrow. But, good for him. It doesn’t really bother me or anything. We’ll just have to see what’s going on on the field. That’s what it’s all about."
D-backs infielder Daniel Descalso said his team doesn't concern itself with what members of other teams say, including the Dodgers' manager.
"I’m sure that’s what he believes over there, but we try not to worry about what goes on outside this clubhouse. All we can do is go out there and prepare, and go out there and try to win ballgames," he said.
In other words, Descalso said Roberts' comments won't become so-called bulletin board material in the D-backs' clubhouse.
"I don’t see any bulletin boards around here," he said.