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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Defends Decision to Not Use Pinch Hitters in Loss to Giants



If you were one of the unlucky fans to tune into Sunday night’s ESPN broadcast, we’re sorry. It’s always fun to watch the Dodgers play, but Sunday was an all-around disaster for fans in Los Angeles. The broadcast also had it’s fair share of issues, only adding to the pain. 

Facing a series split with the lowly Giants, the Dodgers ran out Julio Urias onto the mound to try to rebound. That did not happen though as Los Angeles stranded 17 base runners en route to a 3-1 loss. 

After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a little bit of explaining to do. Media members wanted to know why he had chosen not to utilize key players in pinch-hit opportunities throughout the game. One situation in particular involved Kiké Hernandez hitting against Tyler Rogers with the bases loaded in the eighth. Hernandez grounded out softly to third to end the threat.

Historically, Rogers has had much more success against left-handed hitters than against righties, so he is right about that. The problem is that Kiké has long struggled with right-handed pitching, hitting just .223 in his career. Add in the fact that Rogers has the unorthodox submarine type of delivery, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. The Dodgers got just that, an inning-ending, rally-killing groundball. 

The Dodgers had several guys on the bench ready to go, including pinch-hit expert Matt Beaty. They also had Edwin Rios and Joc Pederson, two guys who hit well against right-handed pitching. Again, Roberts emphasized the matchup that he had with Hernandez and felt like it was the better move. 

Whatever the reason that Roberts felt the move wasn’t needed, it’s done and over with. On to Houston to hopefully take a two-game series. The Dodgers start a series with the Astros on Tuesday with Walker Buehler on the mound. 

Dodgers Interview: Dave Roberts Defends Decision to Not Use Pinch Hitters in Loss to Giants

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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. Poor managing by Roberts leaves Pederson, Rios, and Beaty on the bench while keeping Pollock and Hernandez in the lineup during a losing effort. Clearly, Kapler out managed Roberts on Saturday and Sunday.

  2. This organization is so dysfunctional with its decision making and this so called stacked offense continues to be no different then in years past. 17 left on. It will always be better to have a bunch of real hitters than to have a bunch of homerun hitters and this team has no chemistry or energy you can see it. I knew the pitching was overrated when I saw the roster bullpen didn’t look too good and we got Wood hogging a spot in the rotation giving up his dingers

  3. It was so stressful to watch, they cant win against a triple A team. Dave Roberts is a cheerleader not a manager.

  4. Boy, do I agree with these three guys!!!
    It was very painful to watch saturday and sunday games. They looked very LOST!!! out there and the managing looked exactly the same as last year!!! Doesn’t Roberts get any knowledge from years past? It’s pretty early but there are only 56 games left and he should start MANAGING!!! The right way!!! Thanks, Brook.

  5. Patience O Dodger Fans…
    This is two games in and you’re already writing them off? Yes, loses can be stressful to watch. And guess what…no team completes a season undefeated. So hang in there. We’ll win our share. Great pitching is on the way with Kershaw and Beuler coming back. Hitters will hit again. Go Dodgers!

  6. Dave Robots continues to beat himself Dave Robots will be a great bench Manager due to good communication but not a head Manager due to poor decisions

  7. Looks like somethings never change. Again the Dodgers only real need is a manager who knows what he is doing. This year already shows he doesn’t know how to use a bullpen but also a bench.

  8. Waiting for the homer like the last few years, no different! You can’t leave that many men on base. Saturday and Sunday were horrible to watch! Make things happen, push the envelope! Saturday’s base running was horrible! 3 base running mistakes in 2 innings, little league mental errors awful. Short season get on the right track!

  9. Same old Dodgers waiting for the long ball. Short season better get mental base running mistakes straightened out! Can’t leave that many runners on base. Play some small ball. Make things happen or it will be the same as it has been for the last several years!

  10. Dodgers will never win a title with Roberts at the helm. He’s not manager material in the sense that he always fails to follow common sense and tries to overthink things. He gets out coached easily. It’s pathetic. If the dodgers don’t win this season, he needs to be fired.

  11. SAME OLD CRAP,HAS NOT LEARNED TO USE PITCHERS. DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO USE PINCH HITTERS. ALWAYS HAS THE WRONG GUY IN THE RIGHT PLACE & THE RIGHT GUY IN THE WRONG PLACE. ALWAYS DOES NOT KNOW WHEN TO PULL A PITCHER , LET THEM GET 5 RUNS AHEAD THEN PULL PITCHER.SORRY BOYS D.R. DID NOT LEARN ONE THING FROM ALL HIS SCREW UPS FROM LAST YEAR. WHY IN THE HELL IS MOOKIE NOT THE LEAD OFF MAN ?????? D.R.

  12. For those that still think Roberts is a good manager you are utterly wrong. Kiki is the most un clutch hitter in the lineup. Most of his hits are bloopers or mistakes off the bat. He is absolutely horrible and it is a sin to see him out there while Lux and McKinstry are in the minors. Oh well here we go again. Automatic outs Kiki and Taylor along with automatic losing games with Wood starting. Yeah nice job Roberts you just lost 2 to Minor league pitching and Minor league bats or worse.

  13. Last year one of the problems was they could not hit good pitchers/pitching. This year the last two games showed they can’t hit bad pitchers/bad pitching. Even Friday’s win showed they could not score more than one run per inning. The Giants are the worst team in the National League and their number 3 and 4 starters beat them. It is a downer to think that after four games into the abbreviated season the Giants are just as much in the running to make the playoffs as the Dodgers?

    This could end up being the longest 60 game season ever- if the corona virus doesn’t end it sooner with no winners/no losers/ no champs/no chumps. There is only one letter difference ( an a over a u) between a winner and a loser. Which will the Dodgers be?

  14. To pinch hit or not didn’t bother me as much as Roberts fiddling with the batting order. Mookie, Max, JT, Cody, Corey and leave it alone. This constant changing based on pitcher handedness kills rhythm; it’s the reason they don’t string together hits.

    • these comments are spot on. I don’t think we will ever win a World Series with how this team is run. Specifically with the continued presence of our playoff baggage players. We need to finally move on, Kershaw needs to be gone, Kiki continues to hog up roster spots over guys who earn it in spring so many wasted players down in the minors who would’ve easily earned spots elsewhere. Jansen should go, Baez.. just strip this team down to Belli, Seager, Muncy, Betts, Turner, Buehler, and our other young guys and bring in new outside veterans who play team ball. Don’t forget to can Roberts who’s clearly nothing but a puppet it’s evident in how he continues to do the same exact things over and over expecting different outcomes. Lastly the puppet master himself needs to go Andrew Friedman we will never win with him running the show, as long as he’s here it’ll be same story different faces

  15. Roberts is a Nice Guy and is loved by his players but because he does not want to upset players he won’t make the hard but correct decisions. That is why the Dodgers lose playoff games because Roberts wants to be their friend rather than the Manager. Each game is worth 3 games so the pressure is on and Doc folds.

  16. Time for a manager change. if the Dodgers have any hope of a WS, they need to tie Robert’s hands so he stays away from the bullpen. You would think he would have learned by now. I turned the game off at the top of the 9th because I didn’t want to see Roberts bring in Jansen again. Sadly, I was right.

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