Dodgers vs Astros: Why the Dodgers have fallen behind

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yuli Gurriel /
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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 07: Manager Dave Roberts walks to the mound during a pitching change in the fifth inning of game four of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Astros have the better Manager

This one hurts a bit to type as I am a fan of Dave Roberts.  I think he does a tremendous job of managing the clubhouse and he can relate to every player in the locker room.  Roberts was not a star player so he can relate to the 25th man on the roster, yet he is a World Series champion as a player which gets you the type of respect needed to be a big-league manager.

The part where Dave Roberts still needs to grow is in-game managing.  Particularly getting a feel for his pitching staff.  Roberts has repeatedly pulled Rich Hill too soon in postseason games and made very questionable moves such as using Clayton Kershaw in game five of the NLDS.  Facing Eaton was fine but going against Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto?  Puzzling.

Dave also tends to only trust certain pitchers in his bullpen.  In the 2017 World Series, he wore Brandon Morrow down throwing him in every single World Series game.  Then this year he used Joe Kelly for two innings rather than going to Kenley Jansen who actually did well in his limited postseason work this year.  If a pitcher cannot be trusted, they should not be on the playoff roster.

Dave Roberts is a young manager and his players have not always performed to expectations in October but he has still made several moves that contributed to Dodger playoff losses.  The Astros have the better manager in AJ Hinch and it has shown.