1. Dustin May
Perhaps the biggest miss by Roberts was not throwing May in the seventh inning of Game 4. It’s painful to keep bringing that disastrous inning up, but May would have been an exponentially better option to pitch in that inning than Tommy Kahnle, who was already overused.
Even better is the fact that May could have gotten more than three outs if he managed to pitch well! I doubt Roberts would have let him get six outs to get the Dodgers to the ninth, but May was definitely capable of doing that. As troubling as May looked at times, his numbers the first time through an order were still elite.
May limited opposing hitters to a .116 batting average with a .482 OPS the first time through the order. The trio of Jurickson Profar, Trent Grisham and Austin Nola — all of whom he would have faced in the seventh — have career averages of .167, .077 and .000 against May, respectively.
If all went well, Roberts could’ve even let May get Ha-Seong Kim out in the top of the eighth. If he’s throwing the ball well at that point, Roberts can then ride the hot hand the same way he did with Julio Urías in the 2020 postseason.
That also would’ve allowed Kahnle to be available for Game 5, as he wouldn’t have pitched three days in a row. Instead, Roberts allowed Kahnle, a guy who has thrown just 12.2 innings since 2020, throw on back-to-back nights, against the exact same hitters he faced the night before.
This was managerial malpractice and Dustin May should be outraged. If the team didn’t trust him to pitch (or if he was hurt), then he should not have taken up a roster spot.