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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Sort of Throws Matt Beaty Under the Bus in the Loss

Doc is usually one to defend his guys, but this seemed odd.



The series in San Diego did not go the way the Dodgers had hoped. Looking to keep pace with the Giants in first place, Los Angeles left the Padres series down 4 games in the west after getting swept. The offense was flat, the bullpen gave up runs in big spots, and the starters weren’t nearly as good as they needed to be to win. 

It got ugly. Wednesday night ended with the Padres taking a late lead over the Dodgers thanks to an 8th inning rally. Jake Cronenworth led off the inning with a double over the head of Matt Beaty in right field. The Padres would eventually put up 2 runs and never look back. 

After the game, Dave Roberts was asked about the ball hit over Beaty‘s head. The exact question was whether or not he believed Mookie Betts would have caught that ball had he been out there. The Dodgers skipper gave an uncharacteristically negative answer about one of his players. 

He does. He does. Mookie’s an elite defender. Matt’s not. He’s doing the best he can. But certainly Mookie makes the play, I expect, yeah.

Betts was forced to sit out on Wednesday due to an illness. The Dodgers gave him an IV treatment and sent him back to Los Angeles to rest up for the series against the Cubs. But it’s still very out of character for Doc to say something so negative about one of his players. 

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That’s not to say he can’t say things like that. Dave knows his players better than anyone and who knows what that relationship is like. Still, it did seem like an odd decision to seemingly throw him under the bus in the loss. Even if he didn’t mean for it to come off that way, that’s how it was received in the postgame. 

Austin Barnes came in to pinch-hit for Beaty in the top half of the 9th inning. 

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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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    • Barnes had hit a home run off Mark Melancon the Padres closer the previous game. He was the tying run. Doc took a shot!

  1. Even worse that Roberts felt Barnes gave them a better chance to get a hit that Beaty. I would much rather have Matt hit in that situation than Barnes. I rather see Julio hit instead of Barnes.

    • Steve, Barnes did hit a PH HR the night before but if Barnes isn’t as effective a hitter as he was last year is because he’s hitting in front of the pitcher this year instead of batting 9th in front of Betts last year. And that’s due to not having a DH this year. He simply isn’t getting the same pitches to hit now, so I don’t fault Barnes too much.

  2. I don’t see that as throwing Beaty under the bus. Every Dodgers fan knows that Beaty is, at best, an adequate defensive player. The question for Roberts, why take out McKinstry who is the superior defensive player? Yes, they moved Treinen into McKinstry’s spot in lineup, but he was never going to get to hit any way. Roberts is too automatic with changes. A more reasoned substitution was. to put Treinen in for Beaty.

  3. At some point Dave ‘everything is ok’ Roberts is going to blow a cork! You can say all you want about injuries but this team is under performing period.
    The Dodgers were out hit, out pitched, out played defensively, and out hustled by the Padres. Never mind on the basebaths!
    The problem with the Padres is that they always believe that they’ve won after beating the Dodgers. Ok they won June. Dodgers know it’s more important to win October.

  4. That’s not throwing Beatty under the bus or saying anything negative about him. He’s just stating a fact. Mookie’s a fast gold glove fielder and Matt’s not. If you asked Matt if he thought Mookie would have caught the ball you would get the same answer from him.

  5. Anyone who thinks that the Dodgers are the best team in baseball, needs to have their head examined. When the Dodgers play teams with winning records, they lose a lot.

    I see no way that the Dodgers win the division in 2021. I don’t care if they get healthy or not. The offense can not overcome great pitching. And of course the pathetic bullpen situation. You know the bullpen that almost blew a huge lead over Arizona and Texas.

    This team has very little in common with a 2020 team that dominated the opposition. Now here come the Cubs with their outstanding bullpen. I think if the Dodgers can go 500 on the current homestead, it would be a miracle.

    Just my 2 cents worth. My disappointment with this team in 2021 is massive.

  6. If this club keeps playing the way they did over the last few games against the Padres, Roberts is going to have to get a bigger bus to toss people under. If one wants to start looking for reasons for the teams underwhelming performance they aren’t hard to find, nor is there enough space in this message board to cover them all.

    Currently they’re just not performing in the same class as either the Giants or the Padres. Third place in the Division is about right thanks to the hapless Diamondbacks and weak Rockies.

  7. The person that should be thrown under the bus is Roberts, he’s the guy that took McKinstry out of right and replaced him with Beaty. Zack ran a great route and made a nice play on a ball hit to right earlier in the game. He could have also put Taylor in right and and Muncy or McKinstry at 2nd with Albert at first if he had Max change positions if he thinks Matt is not “an elite” defender. It was just another example of Roberts ineptitude at managing a ball game yet he has the gall to “throw Beaty under the bus”, way to shift the blame, Roberts, lot of class.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Everybody knows Beatty can’t play defense @ any position. I really don’t know how he’s on any major league team if can’t play adequately any position. If Doc left him in for his bat why PH him later? In a tie game late in game, you would rather shore up the defense when you’re back out on defense.

    • Everyone needs to remember that when Beaty was interviewed in the past and asked the question: “What is your best position?”, he answered “The batters box.” So when it comes to defense, he threw himself under the bus.

  8. You put him out there you moron your decision your fault for playing with numbers instead of just leaving Souza and Taylor and Pollock in the outfield.3 gold gloves but no you have to go with your sibermetrics. This sweep is on you Roberts take it like a man. It’s never your fault when it’s almost always your fault.

  9. Mookie is very fragile for a “world-class athlete”, between injuries, rest time, and tummy aches he misses a lot of playing time.

    • How the play mookie missed yesterday against the cubs? He makes some good defensive plays but also misses them too so there’s no guaranteed mookie would’ve caught that either Wed night. Woulda coulda shoulda after the fact…

  10. The Dodgers series loss to San Diego was a result of many mistakes and that leads to Roberts failing to take control of several key areas of managing this team. You could see it coming since the beginning of the season. His mismanagement of players both position and the bull pen come up over and over again. Like Trevor Bauer said, they were not ready to play the Padres or match them in intensity. Roberts got all the credit because they won the world series and that just put him up another notch or two. His management of his players sucks. Mookie has been off since the start of the season for one reason or another. Go back to the first few weeks of the season when Roberts wanted to rest him. Good God, he didn’t need rest, he needed playing time to get his hitting on board. Players stand around at their positions or sit on the bench waiting their turn to hit. All they do is run in and run out to their positions. Tell me that wears them out. The way Roberts is going we are not going to win anything. Yes, injuries have hurt us especially Seager and Bellinger being out for so long. Blaming Beatty for the ball hit over his head not being caught is another example of Roberts lack of leadership. If anyone should be shipped out of town its Roberts.

  11. Roberts speculating again. Here is a guy that started Rios over Beatty during the last long losing streak….What a putz and do not give me the crap about Roberts winning a WS, with this team any one of us could have won at least one……

  12. It’s the MANAGER’s job to use his players where they are most effective. Beaty has played very little in RF, even in the minors or college. Roberts constantly plays his players out of position. Everyone is not as versatile as Taylor and Kike Hernandez.

  13. Maybe, just maybe, Matt’s positioning card was not correct. They’re always peeking into their hats to see where to set up for each hitter. Had he been positioned 10 feet back and 5 feet to the left he would have caught that one like a can of corn.

  14. Dodgers are 13 – 7 (.650 winning percentage) with Albert Pujols in the starting lineup. Pujols is batting .263 with 6 HRs over 28 Games in limited PA. That’s on pace for 34 HRs over a full regular season for a 41 year old veteran. He’s slugging .513 with the Dodgers. Only Muncy has higher slugging at .533. If Dave Roberts can find a way to play both Pujols and Muncy in their everyday lineup, just use Matt Beaty as a sub, that will keep their offense more consistent. Matt Beaty is just what he is, a sub, he shouldn’t be sharing time at 1st Base with Pujols. Frankly I think Beaty has no business being in the majors.

  15. Dodgers are very disappointing this year. The entire team (save for one or two guys) are always swinging for the fences instead of taking what the defense is giving. They keep leaning on their injuries for their lack of being able to string together base hits. That is farce.. Does anyone think Bellinger is going to swing for a hit when he thinks he can go downtown ?? Personally, I didn’t think the Dodgers would fall into this complacency. Hopefully they will wake up soon and play like defending champions rather than also rans..

  16. Who tf cares it’s true. Frankly this entire team needs to be thrown under the bus and btw how many times does one of our elite players need to be food poisoned in a rival city before they start asking questions? This has happened many times in SF over the years and now in SD

  17. Wow. If these posts were posted on Dodgers Digest Blog those “Homer’s” would want to run all you reasonable fans out of town.

  18. Since when is Beaty’s prime position right field? Sometimes Managers can get so clever they outfox themselves

    Roberts seems to be among the best in doing that. He is so consistent with his moves and strategies that probably all commenting on this thread could manage the Dodgers by following his predictable playbook and be as (non)successful against any good pitcher or above 500 team

  19. IMHO the loss of a DH, now has shown Robert’s ineptness in managing position players and pitchers this year. He had many decisions he didn’t have to make last year and because of the DH in 2020 the game was easier for him to manage.

  20. I can’t say it any better than what has already been said. Against these GOOD teams, you have to put your best on the field. I agree with what U B said, “not everyone is as versatile as Kike or CT3.” What worries me more than anything is Mookie. I hope he isn’t doing what so many of the so called “elites” do…..sign a long term contract and then relax. There is no doubt that it is in there, if he just has the guts to get it out on the field. So far this year he has been pretty average.

  21. using Barnes to PH for Beaty in the 9th was unexpected and seemed to be punitive, if not outright dumb. and yes of course, Mookie would have caught that ball, and most other fly balls. Beaty unfortunately is a defensive liability, but we need his bat — until the late innings at least. it will help Beaty’s cause a lot when the NL gets the DH.

  22. Beaty didn’t lose the game. There were plenty of mistakes and an error by Turner that followed. Mookie is a better outfielder for sure but he dropped a routine fly ball a few days ago. Beaty is doing a great job considering his inconsistent playing time and moving to so many positions. ps Pollack is certainly not a good defensive outfielder. Beaty is at least as good defensively as Pollack if not better.

  23. Roberts is a loser.. how many games has he lost because of bad Managerial decision??? he I a loser.. and will find anyway he can to place blame on anyone but him.. GET RID OF HIM!!!

  24. Beaty in fact made a crucial error. A world Champion team can’t afford to making these errors. That is the second time I have seen Beaty screw up. If Betts were playing I an certain he would have made the play. Oh well I still like our team.

  25. As for Beaty,, I expect to see players who are great at bat and lousy in the field (or vice versa) in little league baseball but when it comes to major league (even minor) there are just too many good players out there that have spent extra training job to work on their weaknesses and become more rounded players. Guys like Beaty are dangerous for the team as seen the other night with Beaty on the field.

  26. When the Dodgers get no hits an no runs, it is impossible for a bad fielding play to make a difference. When playing against division rivals and other teams with a winning record, the hitting has been anemic and the non home run scoring almost non-existent. Roberts needs to take the criticism for the teams poor run production. The run differential is based on feeding on bad teams.

    Along with his poor lineup selection (benching Beatty when he was hot) and ridiculous choice of relievers in tough spots (too many to count) Roberts is a less than average coach who has ridden talent to winning records. When the talent drys up, Roberts has no solutions.

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