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Dodgers: Doc Explains the Reasoning for Using Justin Turner in the 9th Inning

There’s a new ERA leader for the Dodgers



Sunday’s 5-0 loss to the Rockies was certainly embarrassing. A team that has been the worst in the league this year when playing on the road managed to come to Chavez Ravine and take 2 of 3 away from the Dodgers. A big reason for the shameful series loss has been the Dodgers’ inability to produce at the plate. They were outscored by the Rockies 11-7.

Los Angeles only managed to scrape together 3 hits on Sunday which is almost never going to win a ball game. Dave Roberts believed that as he waved the white flag and sent out Justin Turner to take the mound in the 9th inning. Obviously, that raised a few questions, but Doc mentioned it was a necessary move.

I think to work backwards, we had some guys that we wanted to stay away from. When you’re down 5-0 and you’ve got three hits through eight innings, the likelihood of coming back to win – so to use a leverage guy in the ninth, I didn’t feel good about that. I talked to Justin, he was on board with saving the pen. That just speaks to – I’ve gone on and on about Justin. To save our pen, a leverage guy, to be a team leader, to take it for the team, that was that piece.

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Instead of using closer Kenley Jansen in the 9th, he was called on to work the 8th which set up Turner’s pitching debut. It looked like things were going to get worse for the Dodgers as Turner quickly gave up back-to-back singles to Trevor Story and C.J. Cron. However, JT was then able to retire the side with two fly-outs and a groundout.

Not too shabby at all for the Red Dream as he now owns a spotless 0.00 ERA in the Major Leagues to add to his resume. Maybe the mound could serve as a backup option if his hitting career doesn’t pan out.

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Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. The game was lost in the 1st inning with the 3 run HR, which begs the question of the original lineup and pitching selections. Roberts seems to hunt for a successful lineup, and then when he finds it, immediately ditching it for some new idea. How about some continuity of what works? What is wrong with that?

    • Once again Roberts has shown that his decision making process is flawed and unforgiveable. Even though it was the first inning why would you even think about pitching to Cron with first base open a two outs and a guy hitting 170 just brought up from the minors for this series on deck? Almost everything Cron hit this weekend was a rocket, he led every offensive category for most of the month in MLB, why would not take the bat out of his hands, no matter what inning you were in, just put him on! After watching another one of Roberts incredibly stupid managing decision unfold, I made the best decision for me, I switched to the BMW Championship and watched on of the best golf tournaments of the year and that worked out fine instead of getting really pissed yelling at the tv for the rest of the ball game and another Dodger costly loss. Who loses a series to Colorado at home? NO ONE!

  2. No, Dave You Cant explain it. And even when you try we are not listening and neither are your players. You not only confuse us with your “spa Days for Players” but your bad lineups and pitching decisions are killing the morale of you team. You bagged on them last week saying the need to hit but yet why should they try when you handicap them by playing 3 really bad hitters in Bellinger, Mckinney and Barnes at the bottom of the lineup. It is like you are playing 9 against 6 every game and you still think you can win.
    So please stop even trying to explain your kine of thinking to us, it is giving us a headache.

    • Excellent retort. I’m sick of his frequent “Give away game day”. We can’t overtake the Giants when we have play against the opposition and our own “manager.”

    • Regarding the Belly, McKinney and Barnes trio…. they had 9 at bats that game, 1 hit. Basically he gave away 3 innings with those guys….. Like you say, 6 vrs 9.

      And the brilliance continues……

  3. The problem wasn’t JT pitching; it was sitting Smith and JT in favor Barnes and McKinney for a game you HAD to win. If the team scored a few runs the pitching decision looks completely different. I understand sitting Mookie who, frankly, might not last year. Yeah JT needs rest and an afternoon game after a night game for Smith blah blah blah. They’re in a division race that carries the benefit of no WC game and home field advantage in the playoffs. They need to manage and play like it matters.

    • Why doesn’t the front office canned Qberts a$$? Are they clueless about how a team should be managed? Qberts is an absolute moron.

  4. Dave you have a crazy style that I can’t figure out.
    What you did Sunday is what last place teams do.
    Call Tony LaRussa,Bruce Bochy for some lessons
    It is amazing you still have a job!

  5. Regarding JT pitching yesterday:
    Hairston Jr., on the post game show went ballistic over that. He didn’t understand why Roberts and JT would risk injury, especially since JT just recently came back from a groin injury. Also, watching JT have to sprint off the mound to take a throw at 1st base as he came close to colliding with the baserunner, reinforced the riskiness of the decision.
    Regarding the Dodgers offense in the series:
    It was stunning to me how non-competitive the offense was throughout the 3 games. With the exception of some early solo HR’s and the 3 run 8th inning rally in Game 2, the offense was a no show. Dodgers’ hitters are back to that default mentality of walk first, hit second–an approach that often doesn’t payoff, especially when opposing pitchers are pounding the strike zone.

    • Yes, his starting lineup gave away the game. Six, 7, & 8 batter is the weakest lineup for the team. They had no chance for a win. It seems like the rest of the team went through the motion.

  6. If I was setting the rotation for the next seven days for this extremely important week, I would not pitch Scherzer in the Atlanta series and have him start in S F on Friday on extra rest. A win in SF is a 2 game swing with less than 30 games left at that point. Then Urias and Buehler will also be the SF series. I would use a bullpen game on Wednesday against Atlanta or bring up Jackson to start the game. Also rosters expand to 28 on Wednesday and more pitchers can be brought up to facilitate that game from the minors. I realize all games are important to win, but time is running out to win the division and there will be no more games left against SF after Sunday, I’m not the manager or GM, but that’s what I would do. What would you do?

    • I like your approach & logic. Max while
      effective since comin’ over- has at times
      lately ‘labored’ IMO while still gettin’ the
      job done. Perhaps extra rest for him w/
      Julio starting yesterday made more sense.
      They’re babying Julio ‘too much’ this year!

  7. Raising the white flag down 5-0? Sets a poor example but whatever. Pitching JT in the 9th? Absolutely the dumbest move ever. I can think of at least 10 position players I’d put out there before I’d risk injury to your 36 yr old, #2 or 3 hitter, fresh off a groin injury & (hopefully) making a push for the playoffs. Can’t believe Freidman signed off on this when Dave called upstairs to ask…

  8. “waiving the white flag” when only out 5 runs in bottom of ninth inning has NEVER been seen before by any team. No hitting is what is KILLING the Dodgers. Its seems when SF looses, the Dodgers do the same. If the Dodgers want to over take the giants, they need to start hitting and their manager has to STOP playing Bellinger in any games. He continues to hurt the team with mosl all of his at bats. YOU can’t continue to win games with hitters who are hitting 225 or less. NOW going into the last month of the year, it is imparitive that the Dodgers start hitting and STOP playing Bellinger. He has been given too many chances to come back to his previous form. Time to let him go while he has some value left. Maybe they should send him to AAA like they did to his buddie Lux. Dodgers need a winning streak to get back to the playoffs or its vacation time. GO DODGERS ! ! ! ! !

  9. Roberts never ceases to baffle the hell out of us fans. He’s horrible. it’s time to start working towards a consistant lineup. And quit giving away games with these BS bullpen games. LA’s begging for a new manager.

    • Oh, and quit calling Roberts “Doc”, he’s more like a mad scientist. And we know science can’t be trusted these days. Just ask God.

    • He chooses the names of starters out of a hat, then chooses what position to play them with the exception of pitchers.

  10. If Roberts decided to QUIT and throw in the towel,why not let Bellinger pitch?Since Roberts has FAILED to fix his hitting,Bellinger might need to start learning how to pitch to stay in the league!

  11. So, Mitch White made a bad pitch to Cron in the first inning. That doesn’t make him a bad choice to pitch the game and it doesn’t mean sitting Smith, Turner etc ahead of two tough series with Atlanta and the Giants was a bad choice. Those were good risks to take given Colorado’s road record.
    This team is looking really tired right now. If you think what’s going on now is bad, just roll out your top nine every day this late in the season and watch what happens then. Complain all you want about Roberts but he’s just doing what’s worked in the past and pretty much what he has to do given our roster and the injuries we’ve had. Operating with 3 starting pitchers has worn out our offensive players and the bullpen.
    A more valid concern is that even with all the rest players have been given so far this season, they still look and play tired. Baseball grinds you down, mostly because there aren’t enough off days in a season and the active rosters are too small to carry any marginal or under performing players. What’s going on with Treinin this past week is a good example of what I’m talking about. He’s worn because he’s the only true fire fighter we have in the pen.

    • White should never have pitched to Cron. Cron is blazing hot, first base was open, there were 2 outs, and the next guy up is hitting 170. I don’t like coming on negative but what stats do you need to put Cron on and pitch to Ruiz?
      Will Smith is 26 years old and he’s only played in 106 games this year with 406 PAs. Tonight, Smyly’s pitching for Atlanta. Smith’s OPS+ against LHP is 82 and 170 against RHP. You think they could have waited a day to sit Smith?
      You want JT off? Fine. Put Muncy on third, Pujois on first, and CT3 in the outfield. There’s no need – or excuse – for playing McKinney when Barnes is in the game unless he’s a defensive replacement late.

  12. Series with Atlanta a split. SF takes two of three, possible sweep, after Sundays game.
    Remember, Sundays are rest days for these highly paid multi millionaires.

  13. They don’t even look like they are one bit interested in the post season. Dave isn’t either with these lousy lineups he keeps putting out there. This time of year the best players should be playing every day!

  14. These bullpen outings have gotten old…3 starters and bullpen outings are not going to catch the Giants. When Friedman wasted getting Hamels and Duffy (both medical problems)at the the trade deadline, shortage of 2 reliable starters become a permanent weakness. Gonsolin and Price have failed as reliable starters. Friedman left us out cold with the starting GAP!!

  15. We need to boo Roberts every time he comes out onto the field so that he can hear our frustration with him. I’ll bet the cancer that he was diagnosed with messed up his mind.

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