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Dodgers Dave Roberts Explains Taking Out Kenta Maeda in Key Game 4 Moment

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Oct 31, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts speaks at a press conference before game six of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, made some key moves in the middle of a decisive NLDS Game 4 that have left a lot of fans scratching their heads.

After giving up a run in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Dave Roberts pulled starter, Rich Hill, and brought in former starter, Kenta Maeda. Maeda got the last out by getting Howie Kendrick to ground out to third. Maeda continued to roll in the fourth inning and it was pretty obvious to most Dodger fans that Kenta was dealing – striking out Zimmerman and Suzuki, giving up a single on a dribbler down 3rd to a speedy Trea Turner and then getting Scherzer to line out to center field.

When he starts off like that, Maeda has a history of being a very dominant pitcher that can go deep into games.

The issue at hand was after a dominant fourth, AJ Pollock took his spot in the line up to pinch hit. Up to this point, Pollock was 0 for his last 11 at bats, so the decision to go with Pollock here was already questioned all over social media with the veterans Freese, Martin and Kiké sitting on the bench.

Now, Julio Urias comes in and gives up a single to Trea Turner, a sacrifice single by Eaton, single to Rendon, single to Howie Kendrick. Pedro Baez then comes in and gives up a 3 run home run to Ryan Zimmerman on a fastball above the zone.

The Nats lead 5-1 the game was pretty much decided right here with Max Scherzer dominating the Dodger bats.

Dave Roberts was asked after the game what his decision process was:

“Consider recent usage with Kenta and going multiples yesterday and to get him to go 1+ tonight . . loved him right there . . .

And now you’re talking about Julio. You’re trying to get one inning out of it in that part of the order . . . handedness doesn’t matter. we’ve used Julio in that situation!” – Dave Roberts

What did you think of the move? Was it more over-management of the game or Julio Urias not performing when called upon?

Could be a little bit of both, but let us know what you think in the comments below.

Written by Staff Writer

58 Comments

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  1. Dave Roberts explains…
    Dave Roberts explains…
    Dave Roberts explains…
    Dave Roberts explains…

    Rinse repeat. Over and over and over every October. Amazing how much explaining he has to do every October, yet he continues to be praised as a manager. Players may love to play for him, but his asshole tightens right up when the lights get bright and the nights get cold.

  2. stupid move Dave Roberts…..why would you a) take out Kenta when he was on a roll and b) put in Pollack who has struck out what, maybe 12 times in a row when Freese, Kike, etc. were on the bench. If the game was at Dodger Stadium you would have heard loud booing from all of us fans who want to see our boys go the World Series

    • I’m done I can’t invest emotion and time into a team that is ridiculously incompetent. I can’t think of a team that would take Maeda out and then use Pollock as a pinch hitter no less

  3. Upon the Dodgers’ elimination from postseason 2019, I will jump for joy when the moron manager is kicked into a long, cold winter of unemployment. He will have earned it. Maybe take Friedman with you.

    • That’s what we call and idiotic system. He didn’t feel that Maeda had enough rest. Oh and the GM who brought us to the World Series two years in a row and has one of the best farm systems in the league.

  4. Unfortunately, I think Roberts, generally, has a tendency to over manage. If he genuinely was concerned about Maeda, I’m OK with that but unfortunately, this move parallels many, many other similar moves so my call is “over-managing”.

  5. It’s always SO easy to second guess, isn’t it?

    Maeda had pitched multiple innings on back to back days. That’s why he came out when his spot was due up. As far as using Pollock, remember that Roberts has to manage a nine inning game. You use Pollock in that moment in a low leverage at-bat (one out, no one on base) and then he’s done for the game. You save the rest of your bench for more clutch situations. If runners had been on base, I’m pretty sure Pollock wouldn’t have been batting (and if he DID, then I, too, wold be critical of Roberts.)

    Finally, the Dodgers score one run last night. You simply aren’t going to win when that happens, regardless of your pitching decisions.

    • I tend to disagree. Kenta only pitched for two outs in the previous game, whereas Urias threw for six outs in that game Maeda was doing well in game four having, gotten four quick outs. Roberts should have gone with the hot hand (Maeda) and pulled him if he began to falter. Instead he used Pollock to pinch hit for him, burning him for the nite. That was a total waste of an out and a pitcher. In the playoffs every at bat is a high leverage one, and at that point it was still 1-1. The fact that there was only one out and nobody on base is irrelevant. Why use Pollock? He is not even making contact with the ball. He’s now 0 for 12 with ten Ks. It was a poor decision by Roberts. Urias looked tired and his command was not sharp. Why Dave didn’t pull him before he gave up a run is beyond me. Cime on Dave, be smarter than that!!!!!

  6. Same story different year…. Roberts is clueless when it comes to in game pitching decisions. And going with Pollock!!! Roberts is a joke…

  7. So easy to second guess. Roberts has a plan, always. And if it goes the wrong way, then it goes the wrong way. In saying that, I’ll take our chances with his plans until we win it all. We have a winning culture here with the Dodgers. Let’s keep it going. We lost twice in 77 and 78, then won in 81. We had winning culture back then too. We’ll get that WS. Be patient. And enjoy the winning culture. It’s fun to watch these young kids kick ass. And vets be vets. Very cool to be a Dodger fan these days.

    • The young kids Have sucked down the stretch this isn’t the right time for them. They can start in 2020

  8. Roberts has not learned that you go with someone who is hot, not one that is not. In big games 2 yrs in a row. What a shame !! Roberts does not have to worry about turning down an invite to the White House you have to win World Series. RIGHT !!!

  9. Roberts has not learned that you go with someone who is hot, not one that is not. In big games 2 yrs in a row. What a shame !! Roberts does not have to worry about turning down an invite to Washington..
    RIGHT!!!

  10. Another case of Roberts going by the “book”, instead of his experience, or gut. He has got us to this point many times, but not beyond. Great farm system, but what in the hell are those 3 rookies doing in there after what we witnessed the day before?

  11. Great decision to bring in Maeda. I figured he could maybe give us 4 innings. Roberts pulled him way too soon. The bullpen is not a Dodger strength so why run through it so early? Given what happened on offense the game would have probably been lost anyway but Roberts has this habit of making poor decisions and I think we might have a WS by now with a better manager. Roberts is not terrible but he is not getting it done. If Dodgers lose Game 5 he needs to be fired. Heck, anything less than the WS means he probably needs to go but an early exit will be the end of him for sure.

  12. The Dodgers will never win a WS with DR. He continues to fail at using his pen. No reason Tony Gonsolin was left off and Ross Stripling on. Plan should of used Hill then gone to Gonsolin OOPS’s he wasn’t on roster Over used Maeda Urias Loss on poor planing

    • Could’ve used Gonsolin after Maeda last game but instead we only had Urias who doesn’t inspire much confidence despite what some say

  13. What more needs to be said about Robert’s lack of management skills!?! Let’s go and get Bochy already! He is a master with the pitching staff and pen while Robert’s continues to go with guys in situations they don’t succeed with. #fireroberts #hirebochy

  14. I AM GETTING OLDER,NOT QUITE WHAT I USED TO BE ,LOOKING FOR A CONTRACT, LIKE SWEEPING THE CLUB HOUSE FLOOR. WILL TALK TO FRIEDMAN & D.R. IS HE EVER GOING TO LEARN WHEN A PITCHER IS STRONG DO NOT TAKE HIM OUT. TAKE A PITCHER OUT WHEN HE IS STRUGLING,DO NOT WAIT UNTIL HE LOADS BASSES AND GIVES UP RUN. fIRE D.R. ,BUY OUT CONTRACT AND MOVE ON.

  15. Not a Robert’s fan. He may be great in the regular season, but not the playoffs.

    Let’s be real people, this team is just not good enough to compete with the Yankees or Astros for a world series title. So Robert’s does not have to throw another tantrum about avoiding the White House.

  16. Roberts is full of Sh*t … He’s just an idiot when it comes to managing the pen… Maeda had made FIVE pitches on Sunday! He could easily have gone at least 1 more and easily had struck out just like AJ Pollock did in his spot. Julio back to back days? Why put stripping on the roster if you’re not gonna use him. CT3 in a key AB with Freese on the bench?! IF we lose tomorrow we NEED to fire Roberts

  17. It was typical over-management of the game by Roberts. Maeda is accustomed to being a starter. Hill only gave you three innings. You take Hill out, you leave Maeda in and you don’t go back to the bullpen until you absolutely have to. I knew it was stupid the minute he did it.

    • I remember you kissing this organizations behind during the season about how brilliant they are and that none of us should be complaining. Now look, everything we said would happen is happening and you finally are seeing it at last. Funny how you couldn’t see the signs months ago when we were telling you

      • You obviously do not read my stuff………I have been complaining about Roberts and his quick hook tendency to pull pitchers out of games too quickly for three years now. If you are going to accuse someone of thinking a certain way that you don’t like on an issue, you should at least make sure you are right.

  18. Is he a puppet or is he just that incompetent? We’ll never know. I want this FO gone so we can see once and for all. If Roberts is still incompetent than we know

  19. That was a stupid move. You shouldn’t manage by past performances or situations. Manage base on the present and what you see. Kenya was doing well, why pull him out. That instance brought a dominoe effect and ended up with baez giving up a 3 run homerun.

    • Imagine being outmanaged by a guy that only has 2 reliable pitchers. That’s how sad this team is

      • Because that is how Friedman thinks. He’s famous for being a whiz kid who works magic with his sibermetrics. They are over-thinkers and over-planners by nature. They picked Roberts because he thinks like they do. In their mathematical mind, reality is second to numbers and calculations. That is what Cora said when he beat the Dodgers in 2018. He said he knew their moves way ahead. The Dodgers think 10 steps ahead, but are missing step 2.

  20. Get rid of this platooning. The rigjty bats kicked butt in game 3. Scherzer was actually better on the lefties as he pitched them all with his low and inside slider. Fooled everyone of them. I’m watching it as it was happening. Everything outside, then with 2 strikes, slider. Strike out. X10
    Looking forward to Spring Training. Love it every time I go.
    Guess what? Dodgers still not on local TV.
    That is the biggest joke on us all.

  21. Never been a Dave Roberts fan. He has managed to keep the Dodgers from winning a world series for the last 2 years and probably this year as well. Idiot moves he made last night taking out Maeda who was doing well. I knew exactly what was going to happen when they took Maeda out. Hope they get rid of him this year and he can take his buddies Urias, Baez and Joe Kelly with him!!

  22. Amen. In the playoffs especially, it’s always a march to go thru the bullpen as fast as he can to find the one who doesn’t have it on a given night. I’ve always wondered why Honeycutt doesn’t offer some guidance….

    • That’s because Hunnygutt is just extra weight the Dodgers are carrying. He’s extra fat in the high overhead in the organization. The batting coach doesn’t seem to be producing either. I’ve seen no change in any players batting.

  23. I think it’s Roberts over managing 100% the same thing he does every post season. AJ Hinch, Alex Cora, Aaron boone and a lot of other good Managers play the hot hand. Who looks good… not what the Microsoft PowerPoint said in the meeting before the game.

  24. I thought it was dumb and dumber at the time and nothing since has changed my original opinion.

    Taking Maeda out was dumb. Using Pollock was dumber.

  25. I bet on the Dodgers in Vegas the last two WS to win. I thought I was the jinx. I don’t understand these decisions that seem illogical. I love my Dodgers. Not a fan of DR right now and did not bet on them this year.

  26. Dave Roberts never makes a mistake, just ask him. The front office never makes a misjudgement on analytics based decisions, just ask them. What you can never go by with these folks are championship playoff results, they have a rationale for everything.

  27. Here’s the lineup that gives us the best chance to win tomorrow:

    1B Cody Bellinger (More because of his defensive skills than his bat at this point)
    2B Kiki Hernandez
    3B Justin Turner
    LF Matt Beaty
    RF Joc Pederson
    CF AJ Pollock (I know.. But his numbers against Strasburg -.412ba/1.260ops- justify it.)
    C: Smith or Martin
    SS Corey Seager (Bad, but not as bad Taylor)
    P Walker Buehler
    .
    What about Max Muncy? Muncy is 0 for 12 with 7 stike outs against Strasburg. But he’s the first one off the bench when Strasburg exits the game.

    Gavin Lux should not be in the starting line up, period. He hit a HR in his first playoff at bat -and has looked over-matched ever since.

  28. Roberts over manages …..why not have Russell in after his great game ….go with what you see in the playoffs not stats …belli is going to be Mvp and look how he is producing …..make adjustments and quit referring to Kurse shaw as a hall of famer … Hall of famers look like sherzer who get the job done in post season!

    • Get the rookies out of the lineup. Stop the platooning and get the guys who are hitting. If platooning works, then you would be removing Turner when a righty pitches. Play the best players, period. These aren’t tryouts. Spring Training ended in March. If you can’t field a team after over 160 games, you really have no business running that team.
      Scherzer was the man.

  29. Oct. is too big for Dave Roberts… overthinks and does not use the eye test for the moment…

    to that point, how is it that everyone in the Dodger organization is blind to the fact that Pedro Baez is tipping his pitches… the Nats have picked up on it

  30. I would imagine after this season, some of these Platoon players will want to go to a team that will play them regularly. This will be Freese, Martin and Taylors last year with us. Everyone says Freese is done after this year? Yeah right. He’ll go to the Giants and kill us. Taylor to the Rockies, Martin to the Astros. Lol’s…..Who knows Roberts doesn’t have a clue.

    • If I was Zaidi I’d pick up all 3 of them. They fit the classic Giants style and would actually be used and appreciated

  31. Dave Roberts should be a politician, since he has an explanation for everything. The problem in many instances the explanations are not credible. He micro manages, is too stubborn for his or the team’s own good, and we have losses. I am still shaking my head that he took out Rich Hill when Filthy Rich had a perfect game going. Tell me that is a manager who is sensible and a great decision maker. I call what is happening Roberts Vu… akin to deja vu but at times a lot worse.

  32. Tired of posting here. Been saying all along that Roberts is the biggest problem on this team and lo and behold he proves me right again. Tired of hearing but they won 106 games with Roberts. They won 106 games because they are in the worst division in baseball, not because of Roberts. They ONLY won 106 games because of Roberts. Roberts lost more games than he won because of his inability to manage or he listems to Freidman. Take your pick.

    • There is no trophy or ring for 106 games. I afraid of a third year in row of being the visiting team’s b***h.

  33. Same old, same old, all year long, pull a pitcher who is getting the job done. I am from the old school
    , if it isn’t broke leave it alone.

  34. Dave Roberts needs to go. Worse managed series I’ve ever seen. Sitting superstars and playing rookies….you know Kershaw tends to give up home runs and Joe Kelly is a joke. Lifelong dodger fan but we had the talent, the experience but a ridiculous job of leading the team…..You only have so many chances and this hurts beyond belief….my heart is bleeding dodger blue…

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