The Dodgers will enter Sunday’s game in danger of being four-game swept by the worst team in the National League. The Dodgers struggles have the team in danger of going 1-5 on their current homestand.
As with any struggling team, the man that is getting a majority of the blame is Manager Dave Roberts. Check any social media site and there are a good amount of fans that are calling for Dave Roberts to be fired. Not only is that a bad take, it’s a horrible take when you take a look at how bad the team has played lately. Each game the bullpen and lineup have taken the majority of the responsibility for the Dodgers horrific start.
There is no doubt that Dave Roberts has made his fair share of mistakes. Saturday night, Roberts let Ross Stripling hit for himself and then pulled Stripling after recording one out the next half inning. The move is even worse when you throw in the fact that the Dodgers could have tacked on more runs if they had pinch hit for Ross Stripling.
Dave Roberts has also lacked the kind of fire any fan would love to see in a losing team. The Dodgers have gotten their fair share of terrible strike three calls and nobody seems to be willing to get ejected in order to fire up the team. Roberts is the first one that needs to be willing to show that he has his teams back. Instead, he just sits and watches hitter after hitter get robbed of strikes.
That is the extent to which Dave Roberts can be held responsible for the Dodgers abysmal start. One reason the Dodgers are playing so bad is due to injuries. I hate making excuses but in this case with Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Logan Forsythe all on the disabled list, the Dodgers are starting third and fourth string players regularly at some positions like third base.
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If the Dodgers were fully healthy then sure somewhere would be wrong and Roberts could be canned for it, but with the injuries that have occurred, it’s easy to see why the offense is struggling. The other part of the problem is that the Dodgers bullpen was not upgraded and now Roberts is forced to spin the wheel and insert an unreliable reliever into a big spot.
Another area that the Dodgers have been a huge disappointment in is their ability to drive in runs when there are runners in scoring position. In the last week, it has felt like the Dodgers have left 1000 runners on base. Especially with the bases loaded, the Dodgers seem to just shut down and let the other team off the hook. It’s not Dave Roberts fault that the lineup is struggling to produce. Unless Dave Roberts takes it upon himself to go to bat with RISP, then he can start being blamed for failing to come through.
Ultimately, Dave Roberts has had his fair share of mistakes (which Manager hasn’t?), but firing him like many fans are calling for, would not change a single thing with this years struggling team. If the Dodgers want to turn their season around, the bullpen needs to start holding leads, and the offense needs to start driving in runs in the clutch moments of the game. The Dodgers have dug themselves into a hole, but most of their issues are because of poor execution.