Dodgers: Dave Roberts botched game five for the Dodgers

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Dave Roberts and the Dodgers saw their season come to a disappointing end. For Dave Roberts, he can only wonder what might have been.

For the Dodgers, Dave Roberts has always taken the bulk of the blame for the Dodgers’ shortcomings.  Ever since he pulled Rich Hill early in game two of the 2017 World Series, Roberts has usually been named when the Dodgers have failed to win a World Series.  Sometimes he has not deserved all the criticism he receives but for what happened in the 2019 NLDS, he absolutely does.

This was a Dodger team that won 106 games, and while they may have had more flaws than the 2017 and 2018 teams, this club was far too talented to lose in the first round of the National League playoffs.  Yet as this article is written, the Dodgers’ season has come to an end far sooner than any fan anticipated.

So how did it come to this? How were the mighty Dodgers taken out in the NLDS?  Part of it comes down to player performance.  Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager were non-existent in the NLDS.  Neither drove in runs nor hit a single home run.  They looked as over-matched at the plate as rookies Gavin Lux and Will Smith did.

Then there was Clayton Kershaw who floated sliders over the plate and blew a 3-1 lead on home runs to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto.  Joe Kelly also looked wild and out of control in his second inning of work in the tenth inning.  Sure both pitchers struggled, but neither should have been in at those moments.

Clayton Kershaw escaped a jam to preserve a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning.  That is where his night should have ended.  Instead of opting for his best weapons like Kenta Maeda who looked unhittable in the NLDS or Adam Kolarek who did not allow a single hit to Juan Soto, Roberts forced the issue of sticking with Kershaw against the Nationals’ top weapons.  The question will forever be why?

Including this series, Rendon is 11-29 against Clayton Kershaw, so the decision to leave him in was not backed by data.  Soto was 0-5 against Kershaw so maybe that move made more sense but the Dodgers did have Adam Kolarek in their pen who was nails against Soto in the NLDS.

More from LA Dodgers News

Even using Joe Kelly for a second inning seemed to be pushing the envelope.  Just an appearance before, Kelly had put an 8-2 lead in danger and instead of being happy with one scoreless inning of work, Roberts again forced the issue sticking with Kelly and it led to the ending of the Dodgers’ 2019 season.

Adam Kolarek, Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen, and Julio Urias all remained unused in the Dodger bullpen.  Three of those relievers helped carry the Dodger bullpen back to relevance in the second half of the season.  Roberts also showed no faith in Kenley Jansen by not sending him into the game until the grand slam damage was done.

Dave Roberts has taken plenty of heat over the last few seasons and most of it has been unwarranted.  But this 2019 season ending in embarrassing fashion in the NLDS?  It may not be all on Dave Roberts but he still completely botched the end of the game.  With a 3-1 lead heading into the late innings at home?

Next. Dodgers blow late lead then their season. dark

No excuse to lose that game and even worse to try and deviate from your best weapons because you want to use a pitcher like Kershaw because of who he is.  The end of this season came in stinging fashion and Dave Roberts may not ever be forgiven for how this game ended.  At least until the Dodgers finally win that elusive World Series.