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Dodgers Dave Roberts Identifies Key Issue to Team’s Recent Struggles

Despite sweeping the Colorado Rockies and having an off day to prep for the series versus the San Francisco Giants, the questions surrounding the Dodgers have been a dark cloud that has been lingering over the team for a few months now.

The team has gone 6-5 since the disappointing Yankees series in August with the starting pitching giving up only one shut out within that span. The sweep against the Rockies was a good sign and the day off on Thursday along with the series against the Giants was hopefully going to build momentum into the playoffs, but last night’s performance from Kershaw and the offense left many fans scratching their heads and tweeting their frustrations.

After last night’s game, Dave Roberts answered some questions about Kershaw’s frustrations last night, but it quickly turned into a big picture discussion about what has been the key to their success this year:

“Tonight, I don’t think he [Kershaw] was sharp. There was no consistent feel with the fastball . . . locating it. Tonight, I could see his frustration early!”

“A lot of our momentum all year long has been starting pitching. . . . That gives you a chance to win on a nightly basis. If you look back the last two weeks, the common factor is that our starts haven’t been consistent.”

When asked about all the tinkering he’s been doing with the rotation the past few weeks and how that may have an affect on the rotation:

” I don’t because if you look at the 3 guys – Clayton, Walker and Hyun-Jin – we’ve been very consistent with those guys. We’ve kind of mixed guys in there as far as trying to build in some rest”

There are a lot of other questions that need to be answered, but it seems like the Dodgers are trying their best to address each of them as we approach the end of the season. Yesterday, the Dodgers said Will Smith’s issues at the plate have been fixed, Ryu will be skipping a start and Rich Hill might be coming back.

Let us know how you’re feeling about the momentum we’re building into the playoffs.

Written by Staff Writer

51 Comments

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  1. Dave,let’s talk about the real elephant in the room. You brought in Dylan Floro with the bases loaded and he gives up a 3 run double. Kersh wasn’t on but he at least deserved better than that.With The Shark throwing really well and has been for some time, you bring in a guy who is NOT ready , or has been known to BLOW it. The game was on the line at that moment and it was that decision that cost the game.The 2nd elephant is Friedman sitting on his hands and watching the help we needed in the bull pen rot away. I suppose the arrogance of Friedman never factored in that our starting pitching would wear down. Once again if this arrogance continues the Dodgers will lose their first series do to overconfidence and sabermetric insanity. The Braves are a better team now as they picked up the necessary bullpen help and startingpitching they needed, and the Cards have better pitching as well. I may be and hope I’m wrong but Roberts won’t manage the actual Game as it happens, rather it appears he already has a formulated script that if this guy fails, we’ll bring in this guy because he’s got a good sinker and has got right handers out. Insanity………He won’t manage the game in front of him, he doesn’t have a feel for the game when it get’s tight or is on the line. How many people cringed when they saw Floro and ONLY Floro warming as Kershaw was wearing down?

    • Wow. Didn’t get to see the game; but Clayton really does deserve better. Same thing happened in his playoff appearances against St Louis twice years ago. And he always gets the blame. But though he may show momentary angst in the dugout; he never points the finger. This guy has been our stopper for years. Like you say, lock the game down. Put your best reliever in. Stop the bleeding.

      • I concur that what Roberts did by not allowing CK to at least finish the 5 thing was a HUGE mistake and he deserves a good part of the blame for last night’s loss. Floro right now is a bust but so is most of this year’s BP. However, even had Freidman gotten a couple of relievers at the deadline, they would not guarantee much as long as this offense continues to be inconsistent. But that too is where Roberts gets the blame for how he manages these lineups daily as well as poor mis- guided management of the pitching. Look for Dodgers to be finished in 2019 after the 1st round of playoffs, sorry to say.

        • I was at the game last night. Kershaw’s pitch count was already at 90, with no one out in the fifth. He was struggling with his command all night. Leaving him in to “finish” the inning would have jacked him up to well over 100 pitches. Not a good idea to push it on a night when he doesn’t have his best stuff.

          That being said, I do agree that bringing in Floro was the wrong decision. In a high leverage situation, you need a stopper. Why not Baez? Why not Joe Kelly?

    • Pitching???? What planet do you have to be from not to see that our offense is massively inconsistent, prone to the long ball??? Yes our pitching needs to be better, but we have to stick to a lineup that produces results instead of screwing around with it every night! I swear it, if we lose another game to those jokes in the bay area, I’m going to go ballistic! If we dont fix this right away, we’re going to get bounced in the first round!

  2. Roberts didn’t address the real problem with the team. THE MANAGER. When the Dodgers get to the playoffs he will be outmanaged by every other manager they face.The other problem they face is they can’t hit good pitching. They have been going along struggling against starting pitchers and then thriving on the numerous bad bullpens in the league. Aint going to happen in the playoffs. If they meet the Nationals in the playoffs its one and done. Even the Braves are a better team now then the Dodgers.

    • Ed, I didn’t want to ever admit what your saying about Dave, but now watching him and really paying attention to why and how he makes decisions, your right.I will give him a mulligan though because he only can play the hand he was dealt by Freeman. And not getting any help has caused him to use the mediocre pen that he has.

      • Kirk, as I said, and I concur, but as you said, this offense struggles against the better pitching, and still especially against the better LHP in the league. So again, I am not so sure that a couple solid lock down relievers would have made too much of a difference at this time.

      • I agree in part. Roberts has been given a lot of tools to use, but, we all know Roberts was hired because he agreed to be open to decisions made by the front office. Roberts and Friedman are running the show together. Andrew is at every game not just to observe how his picks are doing. Andrew is the boss and Roberts is simply following the game plan set forth by Andrew. It’s a game of statistics. That’s how the opposition of the last two WS have beaten us. Cora stated how predictable the Dodgers are. You think the Giants have beaten us on player’s ability? I’ll give you an example how other teams manipulate us.
        let’s say you want to keep Pederson out of a line up against you, just put in a lefty. It’s not about striking fear into the other team, it’s about reacting to the other team.
        Teams are doing their homework, while we are still figuring out what platoon works for us. If you can’t get your guys to hit to a wide-open side of the field, then there are issues with your training and leadership.

  3. Wayne, I try my hardest not to be that fan that sounds like the Naysayer but not only did he bring in Floro, but he didn’t even have a lefty warming up in case Bochy countered with a lefty like he did with yastremski..Honestly the question here is why is Floro even on the roster? When they put him back in the bull pen I cringed, not just last night but Why is he even up on this club? The reason is that’s all Friedman has, they didn’t pick up any help at the deadline and here is the results.

  4. How about our starters(Kershaw,Ryu,Buehler) giving-up runs & homeruns early on in games(1st,2nd,3rd innings). If this the Dodgers nos.1,2,3, and goes up against say the Cubs Lester,Hammels,Quintana or the Astros Verlander,Cole,Greinke, it is going to be UGLY!

  5. C’mon folks. Really? Roberts is one of the best managers in baseball, but managers only have so much control over a game, players need to perform. Cora put on a clinic last year in the postseason and world series. Seemed like every decision he made worked out and he was deservedly praised. Now with almost entirely the same team the Sox aren’t going to make the playoffs. Did Cora become a terrible manager in the offseason? C’mon. I don’t think there is a better manager in the league right now who you can definitively point to and say, that guy is better than Roberts. As for the front office, which relievers who moved at the deadline would you want? Who was traded that is killing it since the move? I was hugely disappointed with not getting Vazquez or anyone else of note, but the Pirates asking for May and Lux was insane and I’m thrilled they said no. Maybe if making that deal guaranteed a title this year it would be different, but it wouldn’t guarantee anything. It was a horrible marketplace for really the Dodgers only need. There was a scarce supply of high end arms and a high demand for them. Teams with elite bullpen arms decided to try and contend or hang on to them for a run next year. Hoping that moving our backend starters to the pen and seeing what Gonsolin and May had to offer was a gamble for sure, but if that means the Dodgers still have the best odds this year and kept two or three young, six year cost controlled, studs to help position them to be contenders for the next decade, it was the right call. The baseball postseason is such a crapshoot. One hot arm or bat can decide a series, so everyone who gets in has a legitimate shot to win a title. This regime has consistently helped get the team to the playoffs while keeping the best prospects in the organization (Urias, Seager, Bellinger, Buehler, Verdugo, Smith, May, Lux, Ruiz), while making the biggest deals at the deadline (Hill, Darvish, Machado), and finding and creating all-stars out of the trash bin (Taylor, Morrow, Muncy). What other organization is as well positioned to win now and contend every year into the next decade? What other organization has as much talent on the 25-man MLB roster and as many Top 100 prospects waiting in the minors? What other team has as complete of an MLB roster? Or anywhere near the depth? What team besides maybe the Yankees has a bullpen they are happy with, without major question marks? Our starting center fielder (Pollock), shortstop (Seager), and projected #2 or #3 starter (Hill) have all missed significant time, along with two other starting outfielders (Taylor and Verdugo) and a first baseman (Muncy) and we have had the best record, or been within a game or so of it, for the entirety of the season. We hit with basically two pitchers in the lineup for the first three months bc of the lack of production at catcher and didn’t miss a beat. The closer has pretty dramatically underperformed and yet is still one of the best in baseball and again, they have still been as good or better than anyone. What other team could have had one of things happen; lose all those key players, hit with 8 players for half the season, or have a big drop off in performance from their closer, and not miss a beat, let alone all of them? The Dodgers are as well positioned to win this year as any other team, if not better. Keep the faith.

    • Andrew I love your optimism and it’s warranted for sure. You are the voice of reason and hope for sure. Every fan has his her aspirations for their team and your is excellent but most of us seem to be past the years of trying to Rebuild, or think about NEXT year and how this org is setting itself up for what? the playoff’s? It’s been 30 years of watching every low life org raise the trophy because they were trying to win it THAT year. If we were the A’s or the Twins or the Marlins fans I would agree with you 100%. Small Markets making the playoff’s every year would be quite amiable. But this Org has the 2nd highest revenue of ALL MLB teams and can afford to PAY the top pitchers, hitters etc but lately won’t . Dodgers could have resigned Greinke, nope they said he was injury prone. Could have signed J.D. Martinez, nope too expensive. Could have signed Verlander Nope wanted Darvish. This list goes on and on and on. Over these last 30 years of No titles we’ve watched this org screw up letting a hall of fame catcher go to the Mets, not paying a hall of fame 3rd basemen going to the Mariners texas rangers.All because they won’rt pay them. We’re the wealthiest damn franchise in baseball for sakes.You mention it was a bad market? It always seems to be a Bad market for the Dodgers when it comes time lock up a bonafide franchise guy, or fill at the trade deadline. Machado was a huge pick up last season and as you may have seen in the fan heckling him in the on deck circle earlier this year, he replied ” He wanted to return but They wouldn’t Pay me”. The frustration of money being a problem for the Dodgers as I attend 3-4 games a year, and they draw close to 2 million fans annually just doesn’t sit well with me. Last years Red sox winner had a Payroll 237 mill I believe.Think if the team would have signed Realmuto? but didn’t, he wanted too much !

      The org has done a good job of putting together a good ball club and deserve a hand, but as a fan that’s waited 30 years, anything but a World series title to me is 2,000,000 tickets thrown into the Pacific ocean…

      • Kirk that is the greatest comment I’ve ever seen on here. More fans need to be speaking truth bombs like that instead of showing ownership that it’s ok what they’re doing by continuing to show up and spend money

    • Roberts is not a bad manager, but we have to face the fact that Mattingly was let go because he wouldn’t follow the system that Freeman wanted to put in, Analytics. Let’s just say , Mattingly was a better manager for this team. And let’s face it with the lineup the Dodgers have had the past 2 + years comedy should have gotten to the World Series. But that being said, there have been some decisions, especially in the world serious, that leave Dodger fans like myself baffled. Like the one about starting a picture in game 7 of the World Series against Houston, that Houston faced in the other league. Just saying.

  6. Robin, it’s ugly now against the lowly VaGiants, D-bags etc. I try not to think far ahead. All we ever here is about the Dodgers and the World Series etc. That’s why I always mention overconfidence in this mngt. Anyone who’s managed teams at any level knows what I’m saying. The only way to improve managing baseball or anyother team sport is to learn from past mistakes that cost you games. Is it me or does this mngt just keep on making the same dumb mistakes? Like keeping Floro on the roster for 1. Bringing in our struggling closer, sticking to the sabermetric formula when players get hot. You watch, pollock smashes 3 homers last night 2 against right handed pitching which the sabermetrics say he is poor at, so Roberts will sit him down.. Insanity……

    • Kirk, the points you make are right on! And Freidman, Roberts HAVE NOT LEARNED that managing regular season games the way they do as you described HAS NOT AND WILL NOT work when it matters the most..in the PS and WS. We all know that but we cannot change a thing. So the end results this year will unfortunately be that it will thus become 32 years since our last WS ring.

    • With this current management, it’s stats over reality, until it’s too late. I think the platooning looks good, when you beat team that are not good. When has anyone or anything that is a part-timer been better than a full-timer? The Dodger are inconsistent in who they beat, and maybe it’s because we are inconsistent in how we field a team. I can’t imagine how confusing it must be as a Dodger player to not know when you play, or where you will be playing on a reliable basis. Or course, no player will admit to that. “I’ll play where they need me” is what you hear, but it is not good to run a team like that. Just as the body develops muscle-memory, so does the mind. The best brain surgeons aren’t that way because they’re experts in other areas of the body. They master their craft.
      Of course, if the Dodgers are happy with flying Division Championship flags for the next ten years, then keep doing as they’re doing.

      • They are happy with division flags. Making the playoffs every year with cheap homegrown teams is a huge money maker. Going all in winning a championship and then having no future and lots of money owed is not good for their greedy selves. This is the sad reality. After O’malley The Dodgers became a team for greedy owners to take advantage of. We have yet to have an ownership that is 100% all about winning championships

    • Kamoss, if Dodgers fail again this PS, there will very well be crucifixions of both Roberts and Freidman, but on the other hand they will look at the 7 Division titles and feel they accomplished what they intended to do by remaining competitive but that’s it. To be honest, I don’t really see Roberts or Freidman going anywhere no matter what happens.

      • If they get fired it’s a classic scapegoat. In reality they’ve done exactly what ownership wanted them to do but they gotta keep the sheep at bay and make it look like the changes they want are going to happen. Only to hire more puppets and dupe the masses again

      • If they get fired it’s a classic scapegoat. In reality they’ve done exactly what ownership wanted them to do but they gotta keep the masses at bay and make it look like the changes they want are going to happen. Only to hire more puppets and dupe the masses again

  7. I’m not a baseball wizard, but even my teen girls and wife can see. We (my family) have a saying, he (Dave Roberts) takes good pitchers out too early, and leaves bad pitchers in too long.

    The second think I noticed over the years is all the players/lineup swapping he does winding down the season and going into the playoffs.

    Lock in a lineup. Let them play consistently together gel and possibly synch and peak going into the playoffs. Go into the playoffs on a winning streak with set players.

  8. It seems like Roberts is content to just win the NL West by his stupid decision-making. Why didn’t he bring in anyone else than stinking Floro who better not be taking up a precious spot on the postseason roster! Not sure who Detroit demanded for Shane Greene but we could use someone like him about now. The hitters are just dialing it in and they need to stop complaining about bad ball/strike calls from the umps. Too many called third strike KO’s is getting old! Lots to fix, not much time to do it!

  9. I agree with all of the above. Also, add swinging for the fences or we can’t score. We better learn to hit line drives for singles or doubles otherwise we’re done. How about a bunt to put some one on. Starting pitching seems tired?

    • Yup. Reminds me of a basketball team who depends on 3 pointers to win. Need some situational versatility. Small ball and fundamentals win games too!

  10. They won’t win the pennant nor should we want them to. You don’t want to wear 3 straight losses forever. Keep it at 2 and try your horrible luck next year

  11. The Dodgers look like they are out of gas. Or they’re coasting to the end of the regular season with the hope they will “turn it on” in the playoffs. They seem tired and unfocused. Bellinger and the starting pitchers could all use a week off in the Bahamas.

    As for the Floro, Garcia, Stripling, etc, Roberts and Honeycutt are just sending them out there to chew up innings. Sure they hope to win the game but they’re trying to save Urias, etc. for the playoffs.

  12. And I’m sure most of you have noticed the Dodgers have padded their stats by beating up on the Marlins, Padres, Rockies, etc. but have a tough time when they face a good pitcher. I’d like to be optimistic but if, and I say if, the Dodgers meet the Astros down the road, they’ll be facing Verlander (no-hitter this week), Cole, Grienke, and Miley. Geez.

  13. Everyone relax. They’ll never say it publicly but there are two things going on here. First, they have lost focus (not a surprise, same thing happened in 2017). Secondly, the are doing “”Fall Training”. The FO is giving everyone a chance to make the 25 man playoff roster, so everyone gets a chance. And, don’t tell me about home field advantage. We had it in 2017 and still lost!

    • How about homefield in the NL? The Braves are unstoppable right now. Ever since they won a series from us. The Dodgers have a knack in this era of giving teams confidence and ascending them

  14. Roberts needs to be shown the door (because he can’t find it)….he has messed up this team in the worst way……year after year……no momentum to go to the playoffs…..low morale that is affecting how they play…..every starting pitcher feels they have to pitch a shutout and every batter has to hit a homerun…….sad that a multi-million dollar team is in such a mess…….Dodgers.showed up for the Yankees game and were taught they aren’t ready to play against the AL…..Boston showed them last year ……management needs to step up and put together some chemistry to be competitive with the leading clubs…..

  15. All I ask as a fan of 50 years is Roberts please try and win each game as if it was your last, because when it’s time to be your last game, you mng like there will be another one tomorrow. Like game 7- 2 years ago, and game 5 last year. As one person here replied, how about put a bunt down when the infield is playing back?How about trying to hit singles,doubles instead of trying to hit a homer every time? How about learning to manufacture a run against good pitchers in the tightest most pressured spot?How about NOT pitching FLORO ever again? How about pitching Russ Martin instead of half your god aweful Bull pen? any of the above would make me quit my bitchin Lol’s Maybe Not!!! Go Dodgers!!!!!

  16. I did not get to see the game last night because the Dodger’s broadcast was blacked out since I live in So. Oregon and the in market team is the Giants, but also the A’s and Mariners are in my local regional sports networks on DTV. A local channel here is currently unavailable that did carry last night’s game but when all is said and done, about the only thing missed was AJ Pollock’s 3 HR’s. Folks, if a team does not have solid starting pitching they won’t be around too long in the PS, it’s as simple as that. We already know the BP issues but IIWII.

  17. Dodgers- Kenley Jansen will not get us thru post season/World Series. Please stop believing he will get it together. It is September and he is looking terrible. Great guy, but not an effective closer anymore. Cannot repeat mistakes of last 2-World Series. This is the year to be champs. Take action…get a top notch closer.

  18. Hey Paul, you may be right but I wonder if the players feel the same way we do when we see Floro or Jimi, or Alexander, or basically anyone not named Baez, Kelly. I think the biggest mistake Roberts has made is not playing the hitters that are the most clutch. For instance Freese in the playoff’s needs to be in the starting line up every game. I think Russ Martin needs to play every game as well as he takes walk,gets hits and has the best OBP on the team. Muncy needs to play every game as well. This team has plenty of good hitters, but it doesn’t have hitters that show up in Big moments. JT, Belli,Seager are pretty clutch but Pederson Kike and the rookies are not reliable. Beaty is a player I would start over those 2 because he always has good Ab’s. Taylor is a good bench guy and plays good D, but in the playoff’s I don’t want him starting. This lineup would hit better in the Playoff’s if the Manager was looking at what type of a clutch hitter they are rather than how the sabermetrics line up..

    • Well, Martin has an obp of .344. Will Smith is at .338. But look at slugging. Smith .640, Martin .335. Snobs advantage of .006 isn’t worth the loss of pop. Martin (4 doubles, 6 hrs in 188 abs). Smith 8 doubles, 13 hrs in 125 abs. Not close.

  19. Regular season stats sure. Don’t think I’m down on Smith Caporange, he’s truly GOING to be a great Dodger. Probably not a good time to talk about his quick start though. What have you done for me lately. Smith is hitting like a smooth 160, with dozens left on base. But yesterday Roberts did say that he is all fixed now and ready to get rolling again so last nights o fer probably isn’t a good example.. I’m still starting Martin in the postseason.

  20. Watching Lux going back for that popup, is questionable. Infielders have this annoying habit of trying to run down pop ups into the outfield, when clearly, the outfielder has the advantage and better angle.

  21. I see the Dodgers out of the playoffs in the first round. No juice or life to this team. The Dodgers are built for the season ,not the playoffs and World Series. They’re lucky they play in an extremely weak National West and National League overall where 90% of the teams are awful.We have one ace pitcher in Buehler and the rest number 3 and 4 starters going into the playoffs. Our offense can be pitched to as seen by the Yankees, Braves and lowly Giants. Another disappointing end to the season coming.Sad!

    • Let’s walk through some questions. In the starting rotation who is the true “stopper”?
      When the games on the line in the 9th and the other club’s up, who is the closer?
      With runners in scoring position who’s the clutch hitter?
      If this club get’s erased in the first round of the playoffs, what will the FO and Roberts “fix” to improve the club for next year? Another quality starter or two or some rehab project tryouts? A top flight closer or another Kenley is coming along press release?
      Starting good is fine, finishing good is better.

  22. The time to have roster try outs is during ST, not in September by shuffling players around and as 1 poster indicated, it’s extremely difficult for players to remain consistent . And it’s because they are in and out of the lineup based upon the handedness of the pitcher, they are asked to play different positions daily with a few exceptions and the order in the lineup is different every day. Results are are great invitation to what we have seen in these last few weeks. enough said.

  23. Interesting how my comment about anti-Roberts sentinments was deleted. Highly successful MLB manager, non-stop whining by so-called fans. Pitiful. I guess African Americans aren’t allowed to post about the obvious racist attitudes towards DR. This says a lot about the non-journalists who run this blog. Make America White Again. Right, fellas? I probably won’t receive a response from those who run this board. But I intend to make the irresonsibility of this site an issue elsewhere. Welcome to the real world, children.

  24. What momentum? We don’t have any, this is the worst we have played in a long time…….and the starting pitching, which had been this teams main crutch all season long. that cushion is gone now.

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