There was that time when the Los Angeles Dodgers were being projected to win 120+ games at a 2.9% probability, and they were being crowned as the greatest team in MLB history on August 25th of this year when they were 91-and-36 and on a 116+ win pace — then they hit the skids and a long losing streak. The Dodgers finished with 104 wins. It earned them home field advantage for the entire post-season.
Dave Roberts is the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and he knows all about going from the penthouse to the outhouse. He is there again. He has taken criticism and has been asked questions that the media already had the answers to and caught him in some situations where the truth wasn’t necessarily what he gave. When you lose tough games in the post-season, you’re the villain and when you win you’re the hero. Roberts knew it as a player when he ignited a rally for his Red Sox team that he can be a hero and never pay for a drink again on Newbury St.
Roberts wants to be the hero and so does A.J. Hinch. Only one of them will be a hero. With every win, they get praise, and with every loss they get criticism. How can that be fair? It is the life of a manager. You get second-guessed all the time.
- Why did you leave Clayton Kershaw in the game so long?
- Why did you pitch Morrow when you said pre-game he might not pitch?
- Why didn’t Taylor run on the liner to leftfield that was potentially a sacrifice fly?
- Why didn’t you put Kenley Jansen in the game earlier instead of Cingrani when you were down by 2 runs.
- DAVE ROBERTS: [Kershaw] was rolling. He was throwing the ball well, good rhythm. And I don’t know, I think that the Gurriel pitch, took a good swing on a pitch and kind of was just left out over. Other guys, Correa, hit a slider that was down, it was in off the plate. And those guys competed. They kept grinding and got the big hit when they needed. And have a four-run lead, answer back; get three, and bottom part of the order, got two outs and obviously the walk to Springer and Bregman sort of did them in right there.
- DAVE ROBERTS: [Morrow] called down and said that he felt good. He was throwing today, he felt good. And he called the middle of the game, and he said, hey, if we take the lead, I want the ball, my body feels good. So in the seventh inning, you can’t turn him down. He felt good, he wanted to be in the game, and it’s a credit to him to be used like he has been and want the baseball.
- DAVE ROBERTS: No, just right there in that situation you’ve got one out, JT is up. Reddick, strong, accurate thrower was coming in on the baseball, and you still need to score that guy from second base, too. In that situation you still want to give yourself a chance to get a base hit to score the second run. To have a doubleplay right there and not give yourself a chance there, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And he made a good throw.
- DAVE ROBERTS: Right then at that point we were down. And so if we had got it within one, I would have brought him in to try to have him go one-plus. When you’re down two runs, I just didn’t see that that made a whole lot of sense. And honestly I like the matchup — I love the matchup versus Gonzalez and then McCann. And Brian took a good swing.
Did Dave Roberts know that the media knew that his third base coach had on a microphone and told Chris Taylor to run on what could have been a sacrifice fly?
Did Dave Roberts really have that conversation with Morrow who has never pitched 3 games in a row?
Did Dave Roberts over-manage or under-manage this series?
If the Dodgers win tonight, the heat will turn on A.J. Hinch. There have been so many non-plays, mis-plays and bad plays in this series that all of this can’t fall on the managers, but someone has to take the blame because that’s baseball.
Sit back and watch tonight, and guess along with everyone else.