Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts can’t hit. He can’t field. He’s pressed all the right buttons throughout the postseason thus far, and when the one unorthodox move (if you can even call it that) backfires, everybody loses their minds.
Through the first two games of the NLCS, the Dodgers are 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position. They have just 14 total hits. In Game 1, they had one walk. They’ve gotten walked off twice, and the pitchers who gave up the game-losing hits were Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen. Unforeseen.
Corey Seager, despite making what we thought would be a game-saving scoop to prevent Brusdar Graterol’s throw from going into center field in the bottom of the ninth, ended up making three subpar defensive plays that eventually cost the Dodgers.
But Roberts’ decision to bring in Julio Urias, who’s been nails in the postseason AND has been utilized as a starter and a reliever typically to great success, was the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Dodgers fans need to stop blaming Dave Roberts for the NLCS Game 2 loss.
Go check Twitter. You’ll see Roberts shouldering a majority of the blame among fans, but somehow everyone’s conveniently forgetting Seager making the wrong read on a line drive that led to that leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth? How about the two-hop throw from Steven Souza Jr. that couldn’t get the Braves’ third run at the plate? What about Seager’s short-hop throw that failed to get the tying run at home?
Urias’ bad inning certainly wasn’t ideal. He allowed two earned runs on three hits. We want to look back and blame Roberts for taking Scherzer out after 4.1 innings? That move worked, though, with lefty Alex Vesia getting out of the jam. Scherzer was laboring after 80 pitches after having saved NLDS Game 5 on Thursday.
Roberts using Urias doesn’t change the lefty’s Game 4 status, either.
Blame the Dodgers’ defense. Blame the anemic offense that’s largely failing to hit a very mediocre Braves’ bullpen. 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. Ten runners left on base. Trea Turner, though he missed a home run by two feet, still isn’t doing anything (0-for-5 with three strikeouts).
The Dodgers are in an 0-2 hole because of their inability to get more than one timely hit per game. They’re in an 0-2 hole because of uncharacteristic blunders (Chris Taylor’s baserunning gaffe in Game 2 and Seager not knocking down Eddie Rosario’s hot shot in Game 2).
Six total runs in two games isn’t enough to win playoff games. Roberts has managed this bullpen nearly perfectly from the Wild Card Game until now. He’s probably the last person that should be drawing ire. It’s time to plop back down into reality and remember the Dodgers’ offense disappearing at various points of 2021 ultimately doomed them in their quest for the NL West crown, though they were still the second-best team in baseball.
Even without Max Muncy, what we’ve seen is inexcusable, and it’s led Roberts to have to make tough bullpen decisions such as bringing in Urias in on Sunday night. You’re clearly not following the sequence of events that got the Dodgers to this point if you think Roberts is the problem.