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Dave Roberts Is Failing The Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers lost 10-2 in Game 4 last night after Clayton Kershaw gave up four earned runs over five innings. The series is now 3-1 Atlanta, and some have placed much of the blame on Kershaw. However, Dave Roberts should be the scapegoat this time.

The 3-time Cy Young winner was set up for failure. After having gone through the order twice in five innings, Clayton Kershaw should’ve been pulled. Instead, Dave Roberts left him in against the heart of the Atlanta Braves offense.

Clayton Kershaw dominates early but tends to fall apart after a second time through the order. Of all people, Roberts should have recognized Kershaw’s limitations and managed the pitching staff accordingly. The fact that he sat in the dugout and watched the Kershaw meltdown unfold demonstrates his complete and utter incompetence.

Some will note that reliever Brusdar Graterol gave up three runs immediately after replacing Kershaw, but Graterol was placed in a tough spot. Roberts brought him in after the momentum had already shifted. Once Kershaw fell apart, the Dodgers were done.

Narrative

Headlines will surely flash Kershaw career stats without any context or reference to what happened last night. He threw a great game until he didn’t, and his coach didn’t send him to the showers until it was too late. Compared to his expectations, Clayton Kershaw has been a bust, but his coach’s mismanagement of the star should be a story too. Unfortunately, baseball fans love to cheer and boo athletes based on their performance alone with little regard for how they’ve been coached.

Marcell Ozuna would eventually take Kershaw deep in the sixth inning and blow the game wide open. The last fans saw of Kershaw, he was sitting in the dugout like his wife made him get a vasectomy.

Most highly paid starters in today’s game are tasked with going just five innings. It’s unclear why Roberts didn’t show Kershaw the same courtesy. The old baseball adage held true again Thursday night: a team will have success against a pitcher once the order faces him a third time. Apparently Dave Roberts forgets this rule every year.

I’m not here to make excuses for Clayton Kershaw, but it’s not easy battling against the Atlanta Braves offense three times. If the six, seven and eight hitters were due up, leaving Kershaw in might make sense. But Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna? Pulling Clayton Kershaw was the obvious move.

Like always, Kershaw is the meme while Dave Roberts galvanizes the troops for 2021. His inefficiency as a manager becomes apparent every October. Hopefully Clayton Kershaw can get some type of credit from baseball fans for the job he was doing for more than half this game. Kershaw didn’t choke this time. He was choked by Dave Roberts.

3 Comments

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  1. Agreed Gary. Kershaw isn’t the dominator he was 4-5 years ago. His fastball is gone, so after two times through the order he’s not fooling anyone on good teams. He should be pulled after 5 unless he’s got a 4-5 run lead.

    Roberts is the most overrated manager in MLB. Year in year out LA has had the most talent of any team over the last 4 seasons, and they choke every year. What’s the constant throughout? Roberts. He mishandles situational baseball. Notice how often a game comes down to situational baseball, and how often LA chokes it away? They’ll all or nothing. They can’t manufacture a run in the clutch, or execute situational baseball in key moments. That’s on the manager.

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