Los Angeles Dodgers: Dave Roberts still hurting the team

Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Even though it hasn’t been a huge sample size, Dave Roberts is already hurting the Los Angeles Dodgers in this shortened season.

Perhaps it’s the short 60-game season or the fact that the best hitters have yet to start hitting, but with one-tenth of the season already over the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t seem quite themselves.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the players slow to start but manager Dave Roberts decision making is already hurting the Dodgers.

When the 2019 season finished Roberts was left having to answer why for the first time in his tenure the Dodgers had failed to win a postseason series, with the 106-win Dodgers losing the series at home for the third straight year in Game Five of the National League Division Series (NLDS).

Roberts was questioned for letting Clayton Kershaw pitch the eighth inning up 3-1 when he had done his job and gotten out number three in the seventh. The decision was more egregious when Kershaw gave up back to back home runs tying the game.

Roberts again failed the team when he let Joe Kelly pitch the 10th inning after getting a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth. Kelly subsequently loaded the bases and gave up a grand slam dooming the Dodgers for another off-season of what-ifs.

Fast forward to the 2020 season and it seems Roberts still can’t get out of his own way. Roberts has made some questionable lineup decisions. Despite the Dodgers acquiring Mookie Betts a career .303 hitter in the leadoff spot, Roberts has been putting Max Muncy in the leadoff spot ahead of Betts. Not surprisingly, Muncy, a .216 hitter leading off has struggled this year leading off and is hitting .200 overall.

In a 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants the Dodgers had the tying runs on base in the bottom of the eighth inning facing a right-handed reliever. Roberts didn’t use any of his left-handed batters on the bench leaving Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios sit and watch. Not surprisingly right-handed hitters Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor stranded the runners and the Dodgers lost.

In a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with the Dodgers leading 3-1 in the eighth inning and two outs. Roberts elected to intentionally walk Eduardo Escobar who was hitting .133 to load the bases and pitch to Christian Walker who was hitting .333 and hit .296 with 14 RBIs in 2019 against the Dodgers.

Not surprisingly, Walker smashed a three-run double to beat the Dodgers, afterward Roberts justified it saying: “I’m trying to play to win that game and get that hitter out. It just didn’t work out.”

Related Story. Ranking best Dodgers teams of all-time. light

Big-time sports can shine a harsh light on coaches and managers, this season with only 60 games to play the smallest decisions can have a greater effect on the season. Perhaps Dave Roberts needs to realize this sooner rather than later, “It just didn’t work out” just isn’t good enough anymore.