After a franchise-record 111 wins in the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were sent home in just four games in the NLDS against the San Diego Padres. After winning Game 1 thanks in large part to a Mike Clevinger stinker, the Dodgers were thoroughly outplayed in Games 2-4 and were handed the gentleman’s sweep.
While winning 100+ games in the regular season almost every year is nice, the Dodgers have now made the playoffs every year for a decade and only have one (controversial) World Series title to show for it. With all the talent this team has possessed throughout the years, that has to be considered an underachievement.
This has led many Dodgers fans to point the finger at Dave Roberts, who has been managing the club since the 2015 campaign. While reports have already confirmed that Roberts will return next season, there are plenty of postseason mistakes in his past that are worthy of getting him fired.
In 2015, the Dodgers were torched by a nuclear Daniel Murphy, while 2016 was very obviously the Chicago Cubs’ year. However, since then, the Dodgers have been the bonafide favorites to win it all and have only done so once — often falling short because of a managerial mistake.
Let’s dive into those mistakes, in reverse chronological order.
5 most fireable decisions that Dave Roberts has made with the Dodgers:
2022 NLDS: Tommy Kahnle and the disastrous seventh inning
The seventh inning in Game 4 of the 2022 NLDS will go down in two different ways. For one fanbase, it will be a miraculous inning that finally propelled their team over their bigger brother and could potentially fuel a World Series run. For the other, it will be what many fans consider to be the breaking point.
The game simply sped up for Dave Roberts, and he could not handle it. Roberts tried stealing outs by starting the inning with Tommy Kahnle, who had just 12.2 regular-season innings since 2020. Even worse, he threw him against the exact same bats that he had faced the night before.
That clearly blew up in the team’s face, and Roberts then went to the guy who probably should have started the inning, Yency Almonte. Almonte shouldn’t have pitched to the heart of the Padres’ order; that should have been Evan Phillips.
Then, with Jake Cronenworth due up and the game on the line, Roberts rushed Alex Vesia into the game without giving him a proper warm-up (and with a 1-0 count on the batter!). It was a disaster, and was entirely avoidable.
Almonte should have started the seventh against the bottom of the order. Evan Phillips could have pitched the eighth against the heart of the order assuming Almonte had a clean seventh, and then the Dodgers could have deployed their secret weapon — Dustin May — in the ninth.
Ah, what could have been.