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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Blasts Umpire That Missed the Checked Swing Call

We don’t often get to see Dave fired up.



Thursday night was not the night Dodgers fans were hoping for. After dropping one to the Giants after giving up the lead in the 9th on Wednesday, Dave Roberts was looking for a bounceback outing out of his closer. 

Instead, the Dodgers walked away with another loss despite leading after 8 innings. And to be fair, it wasn’t entirely Kenley Jansen’s fault. A few bad calls and questionable plays on the infield led to a disastrous 9th inning. Still, Kenley wasn’t good. 

But a blown call in the 9th really got everyone fired up. Dave Roberts talked about that call after the game and how it changed the game for the Dodgers. Doc is normally pretty reserved, but he didn’t hold back much when he stormed out onto the field to argue the call. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that he went and the game should have been over. Eddie’s a very good umpire, been around a long time. But in that spot, two contending teams, you just can’t miss that call. The game should have been over and there’s no other way to look at it.

The call in question was a bases-loaded checked swing by the Giants’ Darin Ruf. On replay, it appeared as though he went almost completely around on his swing. Instead, the call went against the Dodgers and the game was tied rather than over.  

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The call should have been in the Dodgers’ favor and the game would have ended there. And yes, they had their opportunities before that and failed to make it happen. But it’s hard to ignore that egregious of a call on the field. Doc did not ignore it. 

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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. A: Umpire makes atrocious call
    B: Manager (or player) gets ejected from game for pointing out mistake.
    C: Umpire suffers no consequences for bad call.
    D. Welcome to MLB, where the fans come to see the Umpires!

    • A. Yes, bad call. he is human and missed it. I am sure he would admit he muffed the call.
      B. Yes he got kicked out. That is what happens. Had the umpire known he made the bad call, he would have probably been a bit more lenient to the outburst.
      C. Not true. Umpires get graded. Is he going to get fired? No. The umpire union is very strong. If Joe West and Angel Hernandez can still umpire, that shows you how strong their union is.
      D. understand the frustration. I was livid pissed last night as well. Bottom line Nuese needs to stretch for that ball. He is NOT a true 2nd baseman and Kenley just had ZERO control of that inning.

  2. Jansen should never have been there to make that pitch and get the subsequent blown call. He should have been removed as soon as the bases were loaded. It doesn’t matter how the bases became loaded. Either through crappy pitching (again), or crappy fielding. Roberts should have seen the same writing on the wall as the rest of Dodger nation did and taken the ball out of KJ’s hand right then. But that didn’t happen.

    This blown save and loss is on Dave Roberts’ shoulders and NO ONE ELSE’s! Dodger fans have better come to terms with the fact that the Dodgers may miss out on the playoff’s this year, and most certainly will not make the WS again if Roberts insists on steadfastly making the same boneheaded decisions he’s been making. Roberts doesn’t seem to have a clue on competent managing technique and has consistently made one blunder after another. Case in point: pitching Jansen on back to back games when the evidence is in that he doesn’t have his best stuff right now. Amazing.

    So, everyone, manage your expectations for this current team and expect Roberts to continue his exceptionally poor in-game decisions and overall judgements. This is the man leading our team right now and we all have seen how badly he’s mismanaged this team this year. So, don’t expect to see anything different in the months to come.

    • I have not been a fan of Roberts since day one. He has been making mistakes since he was given the job. If the Dodgers fail to get to the World Series this year, they should buy his contract out and say goodbye. I just hope Kenley does not have to be called on this weekend. He threw, what 60 pitches in the two games and his confidence level is probably not where it should be. Where is Kelly?

    • Are are so correct. A closer should not be letting so many on base in the first place, If the Dodgers were ahead 7-1, I still would be nervous with Kenley. Also, the Dodgers need to score more than 3 runs. Performances by Urias and Buehler were just wasted.

  3. The umps didn’t didn’t give up the hits and load the bases. Roberts needs to figure out how to get thrown out of games earlier.

  4. The facts are if Jansen hadn’t blown another opportunity the ump call would have been moot. Dave Roberts and Kenley Jansen lost this game. Roberts got mad because another stupid managing mistake blew up in his face. He needs to stop being a player buddy manager and do what’s right for the team; but he is almost totally inept. Jansen’s days were over years ago.

    Also, where is the substance in these articles? They are so short – as if written for readers with a compromised attention span.

  5. Roberts should be more concerned about Jansen blowing 2 games in a row, rather than focusing his attention on a bad umpire call,… he’s just shifting the attention away from the real problem,… Jansen, Bellinger, team injuries and PITCHING HELP!!!

  6. Completely right ! Roberts , its like the team is is giving games away ! Roberts pitching Jansen back to back and just standing there as if oh well ? Jansen needed to be pulled weds ! And shouldn’t have been used again thrusday !!! It was Roberts fault , Period ! He so wants Kenley to pitch that he’s willing to lose games !!! To hell with everything, he’s sticking with this unpredictable pitcher !

  7. That umpire should be fined, suspended and maybe thrown in jail! It’s all too obvious that call would not have been made against any other team. He obviously was a Giants fan to begin with. But other problems with Roberts and this team cannot be ignored either..

  8. Ineffective and limited pitch selection when it comes to KJ. He doesn’t have a Mariano Rivera cutter or a Sandy Koufax curve to put guys away and his fastball lacks much movement any more. You’ll see fans staying until the 9th about as often as he throws his slider, which frequently stays up in the strike zone just waiting to be tomahawked into the HR seats. On the other hand, Treinen’s pitches ALL have great movement and he has a better top end on his fastball than KJ. KJ has had a long and successful career, but the recent bouts of inconsistency need to be addressed. I wonder if Ricky Vaughn is available.

    • The kid that hit the ball off of the CF wall was o for forever against Jansen until that hit. The pitch was center/center without movement. I agree with everyone calling for Jansen to be taken out of the closer role and now is the time to start using him in 7th/8th, but not the 9th anymore. But this team as a bigger problem with their offense, Belli either needs to be benched or moved to 7, 8 or even 9 in the batting order and our hitting with men on base or in scoring position sucks.

  9. The umpire did not give up 4 hits and 2 walks in two thirds of an inning – instead of blaming the umpire for the third 9th inning disaster in the last 5 days (1) do a better job managing the late inning pitching and (2) do a better job coaching Bellinger

  10. Dave Roberts lost that game, his critical thinking skills have been below par all season! Jansen, should not have been in the game in the first place and then he get gets tossed on a bad call. Umpire make bad calls all the time, but Jansen has sucked since the All Star break and Roberts went with him again….. Either trade for a closer and a starting pitcher or the Dodgers are a wild card team at best and they will be watching the post season this year!

    Bad Managing is four games out of first place, not bad playing!

  11. That game last night may have pretty much sealed this team’s fate for this year. And the unbelievable amount of injuries no team no matter how good they are will not survive a season to make the playoffs.

    • You might be interested to know the entire Giants opening day infield is on the IL. Injuries hurt teams for sure, but depth gets them through.

      • Our entire team appears to however suffer an injury on a daily basis. But Dodgers don’t have the depth anymore to make up for it, which is why Giants are able to overcome their losses to injuries.

  12. Another blown game thanks to our wonderful manager ! Roberts is by far the worse figure head in all of baseball. Shouldn’t even be called a manager.

  13. Absolutely. The call was so egregious that even the Giants’ announcers acknowledged that their hitter did not check his swing. It was undoubtedly a game changer and the Giants were gifted this one. What accountability do these umpires have…none? Regardless, we cannot ignore the fact that Jansen did not belong on the mound last night after the implosion we all witnessed the night before. AfterTrienan’s strong 8th inning showings on both Wed and Thurs night, would seemingly have made it a no brainer to choose Treinan to close. Roberts anger at the “missed call” should have also been directed at himself for the shameless way in which he left Jansen out there to further humiliate himself.

    • B McP, exactly. There is something seriously wrong with Robert’s to keep coddling KJ. Enough is enough. Jansen is a FA after this year and it’s best he just goes elsewhere. Roberts has worn out his welcome here after these last 2 shameful and embarrassing losses. Giants and Padres are superior teams this year and that’s the bottom line.

  14. The blown call on the check swing was preceded by a blown call on the first strike. The pitch was way outside and called a strike. Kenley should have been out of the game before that, he couldn’t throw strikes and that call was a gift that gave him a little more confidence. If you haven’t thrown a strike for a while, much tougher to come in with one.

    I was surprised Roberts threw a player under the bus when he said that if Neuse had stretched for the throw on the force play at second, the game would be over. Looked like he did stretch some and that the throw was not that accurate to allow more of a stretch.

  15. Let’s recap. Strike one was Neuse not stretching for the feed by Taylor at 2nd base, game over. Strike two was the umpire missing an obvious swing on what would have been the 3rd strike, game over. Strike three was Roberts leaving his son Kenley in, game over.
    A manager being loyal to his players is admirable, but it can also lose him his job. Beware, Dave Roberts! He should also have to explain why he sends Bellinger out every day . . . for nothing. If there were a designated fielder, Bellinger would be an all-star. Ever since he messed with his swing after his MVP season, he’s been horse manure. I bet the Dodgers wished they had Pederson back, even if he can’t hit lefties. Bellinger can’t either . . . or righties.

  16. Agree, KJ can’t pitch back to back. Very little movement on his pitches. Two great pitching performances by the starters wasted. How many games have the relievers blown this year? Injuries are killing us! Make a real trade, not for a part timer! What are we waiting FOR!

  17. Everybody, please write Stan Kasten and demand Roberts be fired and the Dodger organization right a 22-year wrong; bring back Mike Scioscia as Manager.

    Yes, the ump blew the call. But, KJ should NOT have been in there in the first place. That was literally DR trying to shut us up because we booed KJ the night before. Only, it backfired.

    Any manager making decisions like that should be fired…

  18. For all you folks complaining about that terrible call from the 1b ump, you’re absolutely correct. That was a swinging strike three. I see you all conveniently forget about that 2-0 pitch that was about a foot outside that got called a strike. Technically, the at bat should have never gotten to a 3-2 check-swing (obvious) strike out. The universe will find a way to correct itself. All the best.

    • Glad to see that Dodgersnation is relevant to a Giants fan, welcome. It is undisputable that the call was egregious and Dodgers fans, as well as others, feel like talking about it today. Ruf did not check his swing but instead struck out which would have ended the game with a Dodgers win and a series split. Maybe you have conveniently forgotten that this “terrible” call occurred when the bases were loaded with 2 outs and a 3-2 count….So,”…the 2-0 pitch that was about a foot outside that was called a strike ” was not exactly a comparable game changer.

      I will agree with you that the Universe usually corrects itself. Good Luck with that.

  19. It’s almost as if Dave was trying to prove a point last nite that fans shouldn’t be booing KJ by putting him in but it completely backfired. He was hoping that KJ would get the save so that it would shut the fans up. No other reason why he would put KJ in after throwing 20+ pitches the previous nite and saying earlier in the year that Kenley shouldn’t be worked back to back nites.

  20. Normally I defend Roberts but last nite’s loss is all on Roberts. Jansen should have never even been on the mound. Early in season Roberts was adamant in saying Jansen wouldn’t go in back to back games. Ok, it was a big game so I get that, but Jansen made 27 pitches the nite before! Finally There were several points in the inning that Jansen could’ve should’ve been pulled. But, after the blown check swing call Roberts lost his cool and quit managing. Kenley absolutely should have been out of the game after that.

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