Not Using Ryan Pepiot
Please tell me whyyyyyyyyyyy!! Pepiot was arguably the Dodgers' hottest pitcher heading into October. Sounds crazy, but it's kind of true. From Aug. 19 until the end of the year, Pepiot logged 42 innings and posted a 2.14 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 38 strikeouts.
Did he earn a playoff start? That's up for debate, with some Dodgers fans believing he certainly did. Did he earn a playoff appearance? Absolutely. Three games went by, every Dodgers starter got shelled, and Roberts didn't even look in Pepiot's direction at any point.
Much like Yarbrough, if Pepiot wasn't going to start a game, he certainly needed to be used as an emergency long relief option ... or else what was the point? Anybody care to explain? Pepiot didnt appear in a game while Roberts burned the bullpen in Game 2 when he asked all of Brasier, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly and Evan Phillips to pitch 1.1 innings or more.
Didn't he deserve the nod over Sheehan in the Game 1 situation, at least? He was better than Sheehan this season and even built up a track record dating back to 2022. Who knows ... maybe Pepiot doesn't give up a run and the Dodgers aren't in a 9-0 hole. Maybe Kershaw's pulled at four earned runs, Pepiot takes over, and LA manages to maintain some positive morale with a lesser deficit.
But we'll never know because the Dodgers didn't even try. We're not saying it would've turn around the NLDS, but it might've given them a fighting chance at some point over these lifeless three games.