Dodgers: Dave Roberts goes off after clear blown call during Kenley collapse
By Adam Weinrib
The Dodgers were one out away from a crucial, series-splitting victory against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.
Spoiler alert? They got that out.
The downside? It wasn’t called, and Darin Ruf’s obvious swing became the latest flashpoint in a somewhat-spiraling season.
Dave Roberts chose to play aggressive baseball on Thursday and give Kenley Jansen another shot at redemption following two consecutive blown saves, one of which ended with Wilmer Flores’ homer in the left-field seats the day prior. It was the right call. It was worth pursuing.
Unfortunately, Jansen worked his way into trouble, got his momentum undone by a challenged call on a force at second which brought about a delay, then secured the much-needed third out of the inning and final out of the ninth…only to see the game slip away anyway at the hands of the umpire.
Needless to say, Roberts had seen enough of the ump show.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was ejected after a blown call on Darin Ruf’s check swing.
That’s a lot of pent-up divisional frustration being released in one fell swoop by Roberts, whose team was on the verge of treading water against the surprising Giants, but will instead fall two games further back from where they started.
It’s the kind of series you really shouldn’t lose at Dodger Stadium, especially with the ninth-inning leads they possessed. And yet…
Biased fans were surely fuming when they watched Jansen, who’s largely been excellent this season, enter once again to try to preserve this crucial victory. They’d booed him the day prior. Fairly or not, his leash is getting shorter by the day.
This time, though, the fans should’ve been granted a reprieve in their anger. The overhead camera shows Ruf struck out to end the game. The move should’ve been sweaty, but vindicated.
Instead, it’ll serve as yet another missed — well, stolen — opportunity.
From here, the Dodgers must regroup quickly. They can’t surrender the division to the most surprising upstarts in baseball. They need to redouble their efforts to get pitching at the deadline, no matter how much they smell of desperation to the rest of the league. A starter. A bullpen piece. Any variety.
It’s extremely fair to whine about this game being stolen, though. At least Roberts showed the type of fire you like to see in the wake of disaster.