The Dodgers won Game 5, but Dave Roberts made it scary.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, regardless of his decisions on a per game basis, is under a microscope in the eyes of fans, and he’s especially been throughout this postseason run.
Game 4 was a prime example of that. Roberts pulled Julio Urias after 4.2 innings of work when he had struck out nine Tampa Bay Rays batters. After that he brought in Pedro Baez, who is bad, and he gave up a go-ahead homer in the sixth and then a game-tying home run in the seventh. Yeah, we know, that seems impossible. Then, he brought in Kenley Jansen in for the save, and the right-hander famously can no longer save games. He blew the one-run lead, the Rays walked it off, and the series was tied 2-2 after Saturday night.
And somehow, almost that same decision making helped the Dodgers win a crucial momentum-swinging Game 5 that has LA leading the World Series 3-2.
Taking out Clayton Kershaw in a career-defining World Series start after just 85 pitches? You didn’t trust him to face Manuel Margot?! Nobody liked it, but it somehow worked! We didn’t think it would, especially since he had just rediscovered his stuff and looked like he was about to catch a second wind, but it did!
Did you think Mr. Roberts was done there? Nope! Somehow, we were falling off the edge of our seats despite the Dodgers grabbing an early 3-0 lead and then carrying a two-run lead into the later innings.
Here we go again!
Dustin May came in for Kershaw and, though the right-hander has largely struggled this postseason, he cruised in his 1.2 innings of work, striking out two batters and allowing just one hit on 30 pitches. Fans wanted more, but Roberts played the matchup, bringing in lefty Victor Gonzalez to face Ji-Man Choi.
But then Rays manager Kevin Cash threw a curveball of his own!
Gonzalez ended up facing two right-handed batters, but … it ended up working. Somehow. He threw 12 pitches in his 0.2 innings of work and got both Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena out after walking Mike Brosseau. We’re not sure how, but we’ll take it.
Perhaps his best decision of the night? Keeping Jansen on the pine in favor of Blake Treinen in the ninth. Despite allowing the leadoff hitter to reach base, Treinen shut down shop and the Dodgers won Game 5 by a score of 4-2.
A win is a win. But man, that was a ride of some extreme emotions, and we can’t believe Roberts’ near-carbon copy managerial decisions from Game 4 has the Dodgers victorious in Game 5.