Dodgers: Dave Roberts inexcusably forgets bench in loss to Giants
The Los Angeles Dodgers split their opening 4-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
After the first two games of this series, you might have thought it would be lucky for the San Francisco Giants to win one or two games the entire season against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Then the Giants won two games on back-to-back days to split the four-game series that kicked off the 2020 season.
While Saturday’s loss was filled with baserunning and mental mistakes, Sunday’s defeat had Dodger fans pulling out their hair over the lack of production at the plate.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been cautious in using his bench.
Manager Dave Roberts must have forgotten he has a bench with three capable left-handed hitters, because multiple times, when it seemed obvious to pinch hit for right-hander Kiké Hernandez, the skipper decided to let Kiké hit, leading to poor results.
Hernandez had an outstanding opening night, going 4-5 with 5 RBIs at the plate. But he is 2-13 with three strikeouts since.
Down 3-1 on Sunday with the bases loaded and two outs in the 8th inning, Hernandez faced right-hander Tyler Rogers. Instead of going to lefty options Joc Pederson or Matt Beaty or Edwin Diaz on the bench, Roberts stayed the course, and the at-bat turned into an inning-ending groundout.
Roberts thought Kiké’s familiarity with Rogers would help him. Rogers was the Giants pitcher when Kiké knocked in two runs in the 7th inning on Thursday.
"“That would be the third time Kiké has seen him in four nights,” Roberts told reporters via Zoom when asked about the 8th inning at-bat. “He got a hit off him before so I thought the familiarity would benefit us.”"
Besides the 8th inning rally, Roberts also let Hernandez hit in the 6th inning on Sunday with a runner at first base. Right-hander Rico Garcia was on the mound, another opportunity to bring up a lefty bat to inject some offense into the game, but instead Hernandez struck out.
The Dodgers received a good start from Julio Urías, who battled through five innings despite not having his best stuff. He gave up five hits and walked three, but consistently worked out of trouble, allowing only one run.
Brusdar Graterol gave up two hits and one run in relief. Pedro Báez was on the mound for the Giants’ third run. The final score was 3-1.
Los Angeles heads to Houston for their first road trip of the coronavirus-shortened season. They will bring a 2-2 record with them. Last year, the team started 8-8, but found themselves 41-19 after 60 games.