Ouch, this one hurts
It isn’t that the Nationals aren’t a talented team, they are, but when you have a 3 – 1 lead in the 8th inning with your whole bullpen still at your disposal your expectations for victory are pretty damn high, so when the season goes to hell in a handbasket in a matter of seconds you feel the pain much more acutely.
The Dodgers don’t have to worry about making history by losing in the World Series three years in a row because they won’t even be showing up. Rarely has a 106 win season felt so hollow as it does right now.
I wanted to get a lousy night’s sleep before saying anything but I think any manager can take this talented team and win a Division Title, so what you want is a manager who can help the team win in October. Dave Roberts may not be that manager.
Jon Weisman posted this before the game and even as it rings true I don’t think Dave Roberts managed a very good end game last night.
Something I wrote last night:
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) October 9, 2019
When I heard everyone saying that Kershaw was going to pitch out of the bullpen I wondered why they were excited about that. Kershaw had a good to great season but he had one flaw that kept it from being a brilliant season. He really sucked at getting the first three outs just about every time he started. When he gave up three quick runs to the Nationals in Game Two, it was no surprise to anyone who has followed his season this year. So why is he even an option out of the bullpen unless you are desperate when you have Urias who was one of the best bullpen pieces in baseball this year? Clayton gave up 10 home runs in 28 innings in the first inning as a starter. That means before he gets out three outs in any game there is a 12% chance someone is going to hit a home run. Are those the odds you want to go with in a 3 – 1 game that sends you home if you make the wrong decision when you have your whole bullpen to use and you already in the 8th inning?
Split IP ER ERA HR 1st inning 28.0 18 5.79 10 2nd inning 28.0 4 1.29 2 3rd inning 28.0 10 3.21 6 4th inning 28.0 9 2.89 6 5th inning 28.0 8 2.57 2 6th inning 26.0 6 2.08 2 7th inning 12.1 5 3.65 0 Innings 1-3 84.0 32 3.43 18 Innings 4-6 82.0 23 2.52 10 Innings 7-9 12.1 5 3.65 0
Joe Kelly pitched a great 9th inning. He got his three outs. For some reason, Dave Roberts felt he could get three more. He couldn’t and there are no numbers to explain why Dave Roberts felt this was a good idea. Below are the game logs for every time Joe Kelly was asked to get more than three outs during the 162 game season. He only did it once before and that was in a blow out when Dave was making sure that Joe Kelly was back on track after his horrible start. Of the eight times, Joe Kelly was asked to get more than three outs in a game, he gave two or more runs three times. Are those the odds you want to work with in a tie game in the 10th inning when you still have most of your bullpen available?
Gtm Date Rslt Inngs IP H ER 75 Jun19 W9-2 8-GF 2.0 2 0 5 Apr1 L2-4 6-7 1.2 4 4 10 Apr7 W12-6 4-6 1.2 3 2 131 Aug24 W2-1 6-7 1.2 1 0 2 Mar29 L4-5 7-8 1.1 3 2 15 Apr12 L5-8 6-7 1.1 3 1 87 Jul2 W5-4 5-6 1.1 0 0 125 Aug17 L3-4 6-7 1.1 1 0 11 Apr8 L3-4 6-6 1.0 2 1
On the plus side for Dave Roberts he tabbed Enrique Hernandez to play LF instead of Pollock or Taylor, and that paid off handsomely with Hernandez hitting a key home run.
He is also the manager who decided to use Walker in game one so that he could also pitch a game 5. He could have gone with Ryu or Kershaw. He made the right decision. Many times he has made the right decision but many times he has not and the end result right now is that the Dodgers have had a historical run but the Holy Grail of baseball continues to elude them.