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Dodgers: Dave Roberts At Fault For Botched Stolen Base Play on Sunday



The Dodgers took a very odd loss on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. Looking to take the series sweep over the Mets, the offense could not come alive and Marcus Stroman kept them in check most of the game. 

But there was one play in the 4th inning that Dodgers fans left annoyed with. With runners at the corners and 2 outs, Dave Roberts went to Billy McKinney as the pinch-hitter for David Price. But instead of giving him the chance to hit, they put on an odd play. 

Bellinger broke for second base and held up just before he got there to draw the throw. But instead of breaking from third, AJ Pollock retreated back to the base, and Bellinger was tagged out. The Dodgers skipper later explained that was a mistake on his part. 

That was a miscommunication on my part. I felt Cody had a really good opportunity to steal a base right there. He ended up thinking it was a ‘steal-and-stop’ versus a straight steal and go all the way. I own that. That was a miscommunication on my part.

The play not only ended the inning but also took another guy off of the Dodgers bench. At first glance, it appeared as though Pollock missed the sign or missed the chance to break for home as soon as the throw was released. 

Dodgers Related: Mookie Could Return in San Diego This Week

But it was a mistake on Doc, and he owned it. Onward and upward. The Dodger head to San Diego this week to take on the Padres in a 3-game series. 

Dodgers News: Joe Kelly Expected to be Activated for Series in San Diego

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. LOL jjust one of sooooo many of his mistakes… LOL he is a mistake…. i said two years ago he can’t manage and nothing has changed.. he made more than one mistake in the game…. all I can think top management just wants to lose…. cause they are not do anything to change it

    • You hit the mail on the head…. a few more ‘mistakes’ to add:

      – Bringing in Greene in a tight game….
      – That ‘Billy McKinney’ love affair again.

      Has Roberts ever met another guy who sits on the bench, Matt Beaty, a guy hitting way over the Medoza line at .265.

      Meanwhile, the season goes tick, tick, tick….. Who gets a ‘spa’ day on Tuesday vrs the Padres?

    • In any event no matter what happens this year. , even if Dodgers don’t win the division or get bounced in the WC one and done game, Roberts will be back next year whether we like it or not.

  2. I think the way they were managed and how they played yesterday is, unfortunately, a pretty good indication that they will not be going to the World Series. One run scored after the fifth inning for sixteen innings straight. Base running errors, fielding errors, mental errors, managerial errors -that is not going to get the job done. Hate to say I’m watching the Giants, but they consistently have shown the ability to come from behind in the late innings to win games, something sorely lacking this season with the Dodgers, who seem to always be trying to cling to a slim lead in late innings.

  3. Correct you all are as far as Roberts is concerned but remember the players are the ones responsible for their mental and physical errors. The BP gave up 4 of the 7 runs yesterday but once again it was this inconsistent offense that laid another egg and didn’t do their job offensively and THAT along with the mistakes and questional decisions by Roberts are what will keep this team from going deep in October.

  4. Is their signs system too complicated that Belli cannot read it? What about the 1st base coach who’s always whispering into the guy’s ear like he’s blowing into their ear w/ his hand on the shoulder? (kinda creepy). Did he miss read the sign also? You would think @ a critical moment everybody would be on the same page. Reminded me of the strange time Beaty got caught trying to steal 2nd base and killed that rally.

    • That was crazy. Bellinger has that base. When he stopped, you knew a play was on. Roberts failed to give the sign to to the first base coach who would flash it to Pollock. Ebel gave the sign to Bellinger. McCullough flashes it to Pollock. But didn’t.

    • That’s funny, you’re not the only one who notices the creepy hands on, whisper in ear action with the first base coach. It seems like it is necessary for these intimate intercourses every time a pitcher throws over to first base. It’s not little league, what kind of coaching does a major league player need when standing on first base.

      • Sorry, but after getting the sign from Roberts or the bench coach, the third base coach flashes the sign and it up to Bellinger, the hitter and the first base coach to read the sign and act accordingly. In this case, Bellinger read it wrong and should have to pay for that error in Kangaroo Court. The first base coach will ask him if he read it without the first baseman hearing the conversation or being too obvious. That is the reason for the ear whisper and he does it for every pitch so the opposition doesn’t think something is on only when we talks to occasionally to the baserunner.

        • You might be right but w/ COVID issues, they have to create a way of not being so intimate. There should have been an acknowledgment sign by Belli and the coach, either just a look , tug, or something simple. But it really looks like Belli made another blunder. Also I agree he should have backed up CT3 on the ricochet off the wall. People say his defense is elite, but his baseball smarts is all not there, like not getting the sure out @ 2nd and flying the ball over 3rd. Yea, Max might have been in line of the throw but that was not a smart choice. Belli’s only asset is his speed if he hustles consistently.

    • that’s my thought too. doc is covering for his player(s) and /or coach(s) for the miscommunication.

  5. The faults are racking up!

    Funny how Roberts is struggling on his own while Zaidi has the Giants in 1st place…and they were supposed to be a sub-500 team this year!

    • funny how that is a poor comparison. Compare Gabe to doc – ok, or Farhan to Andrew – ok. gnats defying all baseball logic with not 1 losing streak all year. maybe it will come soon enough?

        • Are you saying Gabe is a better Mgr than doc and that’s why Dodgers are a few games out? Or that Farhan is a better GM than Andrew? In either case a Dodger fan would never prefer the guys up north. So once the Dodgers overtake the gnats for another NL West title, you will admit Farhan and Gabe are worse than their Dodger equivalents?? good!

  6. I’m afraid I am not buying Robert’s saying “his communication error” led to Bellinger killing another inning, Bellinger just flat missed the sign and another mental mistake on his part.
    Bellinger’s defense is no where it was two seasons ago, recently there have been several occasions when he has missed the cutoff man with a throw allowing a runner to advance to scoring position, he has taken poor angles on balls hit in the gap also allowing runners to advance to scoring position. In a recent game with a ball that Taylor (playing right field) had to play off the wall in right center gap and ran into the wall, Bellinger was no where to be seen not even close to provide a back up to the play which is where he should have been and that resulted in a double turning into a triple. Add that to the fact that he is now a certified “rally killer”, yesterdays soft line drive hit to right was an anomaly, not the usual weak popup we have all seen time after time. Yesterday Dodgerglenn suggested the idea of Albert Pujols sitting him and talking to him about his sorry approach at the plate. I think that is a wonderful idea, obviously Roberts and his analytical driven band of “hitting coaches” none of which played the game professionally, have not been able change his approach. One can only hope that with no improvement made to this point, when Mookie returns, Bellinger is sitting on the bench where he deserves to be and Taylor in the lineup on a daily basis. This is not the “dog days” of summer now, this is now the drive time to win the division championship and sitting guys that do not produce is a must.

      • I know Paul, just wishful thinking on my part. Not only does that guy look like he should be living under a bridge in the LA river, he plays like it too.

        • I concur, Chip and if this trend continues Robert’s hand will be forced as far as Bellinger is concerned. With that said, when Mookie returns, at least Bellinger should sit against LHP, which Robert’s had decided a while back. If his defense thus becomes questionable then he does need to ride the pine for for now. This is a production based level and if one can’t produce, he doesn’t deserve playing time.

  7. Yes Bellinger should sit. Strikes out too much and swings at bad pitches. Has had more strike outs than hits over past 6 weeks. Taylor and pollock are producing and should play daily. I like Bellinger but .175 belongs on bench

    • “Has had more strike outs than hits over the past 6 weeks” has to be the understatement of the season. He has absolutely FAILED to change anything and it looks like he has a hard time learning from his mistakes or what others might suggest to say the very least.

      • He still has that very straight up stance too close to the dish and constantly fails to make contact on pitches up and in and over the plate. He either can’t or won’t adjust and it may soon become a point where must sit and be reduced to a bench player only. We need productive players in the starting lineup from here on out now.

  8. Personally I think that Bellringer should stick to playing golf where he can at least make contact, and Roberts should drive his golf cart and make sure that his balls are clean. As far as missing signs, both he and Pollack (check it out on replay) looks like they’d be taking their ‘hits’ in the secret room behind the dugout.

  9. If Bellinger missed the sign that is not good but worse that Pollack never broke for the plate in the small chance of a bad throw and would have him score. By just staying at third he gave the run away. At the very least the 3rd base coach should have been screaming from Pollack to go home. Who is ever at fault Pollack is most responsible.

    • nope! 2 wrongs don’t make a right AJ is not gonna score from 3rd on a botched steal – not gonna happen!

  10. My thought on that play, which was irritating, was that Roberts could have left McKinney in the game in the 9 spot and not have to send up another pinch hitter in the next inning, replacing Bellinger. It would have made sense. But I digress….

  11. Both Pollack and Bellringer look as though they have a hard time keeping their eyes wide open when standing at the plate. If you have MLB TV. check them out. It was as if neither got any sleep on Sat. night.

  12. Every time I see Roberts before the game he has that “deer in a headlight’ look. He has no feel for the game. If we had a decent manager the Dodgers would be ahead by 8-10 games right now. Look at the last Giants series. We were leading in 2 straight games going into the ninth. Instead of using his hot pitcher who blew through the Giants in the 8th inning, no, he turns to Jansen. Twice. Loses both games….just an example of hundreds of mistakes by this low IQ “manager”.

    • name any other Mgr in baseball with 5 consecutive division championships, 2 WS appearances and 1 WS win? the only deer in the headlight look you’ll see is in the mirror

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