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Dodgers: Game 5 Win Offers Opportunity to Erase Postseason Pitching Mistakes

The momentum shifts back to LA.



Earlier in the postseason, Dave Roberts made several moves that were very controversial and almost blew the NLCS altogether. Instead of relying heavily on one of the best bullpens Los Angeles has had in some time, he turned to starters Max Scherzer and Julio Urías to work in relief on two different occasions.

I’ll let the Max relief appearance slide as it was a winner take all game against the Giants, yet Julio’s relief appearance in Game 2 of the NLCS did not sit right with me, especially since he was scheduled to start in game 4.

Any matchup pitching advantage was ultimately wiped away as both Scherzer and Urías fell flat in their outings. It seemed as if Dave Roberts blew any chance of winning the series and a chance at repeating as champions. Going with a bullpen game in Game 5 didn’t give any slimmer of hope either.

There’s still hope for the Dodgers!

However, thanks to the bats finally coming alive in an 11-2 win, the Dodgers will head back to Atlanta with the momentum shifting in their favor. They’ll get the chance to run out a fully rested Max Scherzer in game 6 (extra rest, actually) and a fully rested Walker Buehler in game 7 if they can push it to that point. 

While the offense will need to continue their barrage against Braves pitching, I really like the chances of the Dodgers repeating their 2020 surge to rally past Atlanta. Despite Scherzer’s inability to pitch deep into the game his last time out, he gave the Dodgers a fighting chance. He’s an animal on the mound and one slip up shouldn’t make you think otherwise.

As for Buehler, he was roughed up in his last outing, but part of that was due to a misplayed ball by Gavin Lux and a missed strike 3 call that led to a big inning. Still, Big Game Buehler should be able to give it everything he’s got and will have plenty of help with an all-hands-on-deck approach in game 7.

Final Thoughts

As much as this team has frustrated every fan with their inconsistencies, they are still the better team on paper and between the lines. Hopefully, with the huge win on Thursday night, they’ll have the energy and fire to shock the Braves once again.

NEXT: Max Muncy Out of Elbow Brace, Remains Hopeful for Return

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. I agree, let’s stop trying to prove we are the smartest guys in the room. LET THE BOYS PLAY!

  2. Our problems (concerns) are season long, not just the playoffs…..

    Way too many blunders or mismanagement by Roberts and/or the FO.

    How many times this year did say to ourselves, ‘how can Roberts screw this up even more, then see that days starting lineup and just shake our heads’. His spa days were just way over the top for many of us.

    I will leave it there…

    Game 5 – Mad Maxx, we are Thunderdome! Let’s go Blue!!!!!

    • Yes sir Doug. Actually Muncy and Turner being out is forcing Drrr’s hand to play Pollock and Pujols. They picked Pujols up for this moment.He’s not good off the bench, he needs to be in the game. His defense was excellent last night, and the man is going to the hall of fame!!! Pollock is streaky and has been his career, he is starting on the up streak just in time. I seriously hope Drrrrrrr doesn’t have a brain fert and start Lux out of position again, or one of the 00.050 bench players. Go Dodgers

      • Unfortunately we have to actually worry about whether or not we see the right lineup for game 6. It should be the least of our concerns but you never know with these nerds who run the team

      • Kirk,

        Think about it…. Muncy HAD to play in game 162.

        Had Roberts not been so into his spa days, we could have won a few extra games thus not needing to field the first string players on the last day. Then we’d have Muncy right now.

        Truth.

        • Right you are, unfortunately we can’t go back and redo. Need to be sensible and put out the best possible lineup and I’m sorry Luxy…for this weekend it’s EL BENCHO buddy.

        • Doug, I’m sure you remember our philosophy at the time when Drrrrrrr was sitting Beaty and Lux, while playing Mckinney (EVERY GAME) and bellinger as they crippled the offense. Then there was the Spa days and playing 4 players with a below 200 BA. If you remember, I had suggested conceding the division to the Vagiants and resting the entire team to get ready for the Playoff’s. We knew we had the #1 home field wild card with like 15 games left. Think if Drrrrrr had done that…..I’ll bet Muncy, turner, Kelly etc would all have life right now. He wouldn’t have had to burn up urias and sherzer, the pitching would have been lined up perfectly from the beginning etc. It is hind site, but it also made a lot of sense. Something this org tends to forget often with their launch angles no bunt or sacrifice or squeeze neglection. they make things MUCH harder than it should be with the money they spend and the talent they have…

          • Kirk, tough to argue against your points. What I find most interesting is there seems to be more consensus developing here. Hmmm

            LFG!

          • Spot on Kirk, spot. on.

            And using 2/3rds of your starting Big 3 out of the BP is totally inexcusable.

            But, here we are…

            One game at a time again, keep it simple and for God’s sake. Rather than use a PH for the pitcher (here is that Souza guy again who SO), maybe have the pitcher BUNT the runner on first over to 2nd? I remember way back in the day, that was the ‘go to’ way to play baseball. What part of the analytics game am I missing here????

            Dodger FO and Manager – All of us guys here who post ideas, please feel free to ‘steal’ our ideas!

    • All of those blunders that lead to 106 wins and a NLCS.

      You guys are relentlessly negative and continually over look all the good things Dave and the front office does.

      Do you even realize that? All of you… ???

      The Urias move was questionable, I didn’t like it, but I understood it. If it worked out, nobody would be saying a thing.

      • You do not seem to recall that several bone-headed moves by Roberts throughout the season resulted in losses. Just one or two of those many mistakes cost us home-field in the NLCS, and, of course, forced the wild card game. That is not being negative, it is pointing out facts. With the huge payroll and “best team on paper” description, we should not be in this position save for Roberts, and I don’t subscribe to the “well, if so-and so didn’t get hurt” excuse, either. This is on Roberts, the FO not retaining both Kiki and Joc, no one else.

      • Thank you, John. It gets pretty darn old, doesn’t it?!? It seems to me there are a few teams out there not singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game…

    • Doug, unfortunately over 162, spa days are a necessary evil. Same for the other 29 teams in MLB. My solution? Regular season 120 and expanded play-offs. Win win if you ask me. After-all It just doesn’t get any better than October baseball! Just sayin.

      • Perhaps I should throw my hat in the ring for next Baseball commish? Anyone could be better than that worthless p.o.s. Bob Manfred!

      • I’m old school….. and, if you are giving spa days, don’t give 4 players the same day off. Remember we lost by one (1) game, just one. Our guy Roberts made more errors than just one.

        BTW, did you see our future manager Albert P take command of the dugout and start taking the real phone calls from the BP? With authority!!!! lol

        • Doug, fair enough, you know for certain I’m old school too (I’m afraid too old lol). I’d be fine with Tio heading the juggernaut.

          As I stated if the “brain trust” starts Lux in CF, they will simply prove they haven’t learned anything. It might even make me wonder if they would be so stupid as to not re-sign CT3. Hoping to God this a red herring.

          Pensively awaiting the official game 6 lineup.

          • DFFL4,

            Yup, I’m old school, too. I already posted here that no way should Ruin Our Chances To Win Roberts put Lux in CF. He should stick with last night’s lineup in the same positions. I don’t care if the beloved Human Tortoise goes 0-4 as long as Belli plays CF. But Pujols shows he can contribute and looks like he will be extremely motivated after his performance last night; he also now realizes he doesn’t need to swing for the fences to be effective. If he comes in as a pinch hitter, he always seems to be put there by Roberts with a need to hit a HR. Not really a knock on Lux, but he does not belong in the outfield, at least right now. The big question is he capable of performing with the bat to offset his outfield defensive liabilities. – and was his recent end-of season- surge at the plate an anomaly, or what he is actually capable of in this critical game?

          • RichardH, while we all know Lux has great speed and athletic prowess, the sample size is simply too small to be thrust into the limelight, at least out of position! Offensively I have no problem whatsoever. It’s where do stick him on D. I’m ok with him in LF but no can do in CF! If you must have him in there, at least swap he and AJ in the field. AJ came as a CFer.

            I would roll the dice with Tio personally. If that is simply unacceptable to the “brain trust,” then at least don’t compound the error and start Beaty at 1B. Need to have either Cody or AJ in CF. I love Mookie but not in CF either.

            Two of our best pitchers, Butane and Julio both got unraveled due an unfair situation of an inexperienced kid being thrust into CF. Not either of their fault…”brain trust” are you listening???

  3. 11 runs? Same lineup for game 6 please. Tio’s post season history speaks volume as it continued last night. And since that base hit in game 4, A.J. is scorching the ball. That said, ‘if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.’ GO DODGERS!

      • Strength in numbers..lol. I get the matchup logic, but when your hot your hot. Like the defensive alignment as well, and Tio can handle himself at first and is plenty rested.
        Still shaking my head with what our team can do when we dial it in. Unreal!

        • John, I think that is thing that has frustrated us all. We know exactly what they are capable of and when it doesn’t show up? Well, we all know what happens then. We get enough Monday Morning Quarterbacks to fill the Million man March lol.

          • In my view, we haven’t found flow until last night. At zero hour, there it was. 11 runs, double digit hits, everyone in the right place playing next man up baseball. No margin for second guessing, let it ride.

      • Yeap….

        Is there a LHP starting game 6? If not, we will see a new lineup…. I don’t see Roberts playing Manager Albert against a RHP. Which I kinda agree there as we have no room for ‘free’ outs.

        • Doug, if you wanna sit Tio, ok. But then at least don’t compound the error and at least start Beaty at 1b!! Cody HAS TO BE IN CF!!! Or AJ. Lux can’t be there!!

          • Tio is dialed in and has major playoff experience, some of the best numbers all time! Didn’t blink an eye last night, just delivered. Throw pitching matchups out for this one. No brainer.

  4. With the possibility that this will be the last game he ever pitches as a Dodger, Scherzer must be allowed to leave it all on the field. I don’t care if he gives up a couple early runs or doesn’t seem to be at his best, the dude is a baller & his competitive fire is unmatched. If Roberts even looks at him funny before the 8th inning, no matter the score, it will be a massive injustice. Give the people what they want! Mad Max pitching deep into a huge postseason game!

    • …And for cryin’ out loud, would somebody -PLEASE- buzz Rosario high n’ tight & move him off the plate?!? He is waaaaay too comfortable up there…

      • I’m all for buzzing the tower once in a while. Unfortunately we don’t get to see Mad Max unless we take two this weekend. Bummer. Just love the compete.

  5. Credit where credit is due: Roberts managed well last nite; Pollock and the rest of the lineup redeemed themselves. Even Trea had better at-bats. All is good when everyone executes. I did not like starting Kelly; it just felt wrong as soon as I saw his name in the lineup as an opener. But, even that would have worked out if he was healthy. Roberts went with his most reliables.

    Folks, some commentary can be really annoying! Lux was a golden boy until he clanked one under difficult circumstances; Pollock was dirt until last nite; bullpen games were horribly stupid until they work, etc etc..teams loose games they should win, that’s baseball. Managerial moves that don’t work out aren’t necessarily bad decisions. Although some you know in your gut feel wrong. Roberts blunders, we all know that, but risk, odds and probabilities factor in. I’m way more concerned about umpires each having their own strike zone. Guys like James Hoy (sp?) who think it’s ok to squeeze pitchers in a post-season game! God grant us an electronic strike zone and get rid of that 3 batter minimum rule. This is baseball not high school gym class.

  6. We have to start hitting those lefthanders that the Braves throw at us. We haven’t touched Matzek or Minter and if the next game is close and they come in and we don’t hit them, we are in big trouble. We have to assume that Lux may play tomorrow especially with a righty throwing, Trea Turner has played centerfield and that would be a good option because Lux is a liblility in the outfield unless we have him play 3B with Taylor back in the outfield.

    • Koofoo, seriously doubt we would see Trea in CF even though he has played it some. Lux has all of one game at 3B. That would be just begging for trouble too. WTH can’t we just run game 5’s lineup out there? Just because they are starting a righty? If the bats show up he might be gone by the 2nd! Then they bring in their boatload of lefties out of the pen and we are sitting pretty! Throw the dang analytics out the window here. Hot streaks trump analytics every day and twice on Sunday!

  7. I have commented ad nauseam at the beginning of this postseason how it always brings us unlikely heroes…CT3 can hardly be considered unlikely, we’ve seen is act before!

    I’ll give you one truly unlikely one…EVAN JOHN PHILLIPS! Couldn’t make the roster of the worst team in MLB, the Baltimore Orioles! Cut by them, picked by the Rays, they give him a one game look, put him on waivers. Picked up by the Dodgers!

    Rub of the grin? Brief stint with the ATLANTA BRAVES in 2018! Bet they wish they kept him lol.

  8. ….but we have failed to find continuity in our lineups. And considering all the injuries, I’ve gotta believe we’ve found it, at the right time. No time left to second guess…..

  9. The Dodgers win in spite of Roberts, not because of him. His shortcoming is not putting the right players in the right position/situation that gives the team the best shot at winning. This team is loaded with talent and pitching. How many more games would they have won were it not for DR’s boneheaded decisions?

  10. For anyone questioning Pujols. How in the F did he demolish ALL pitching throughout his HOF career? Simple, Larusa wasn’t stupid and played him EVERY game, didn’t matter what arm a pitcher threw with. Pujols is a better player when he’s in the game. Drrrrrr and management can NOT afford now to play their insane righty lefty matchup b.s. Fried dominated the 1st game against the Dodgers and Drrr had his righty guys in there. They were exhausted from the Vagiants series and Wild card game. they flew with jet lag to Atlanta, and yesterday was the 1st day they caught their breath and the wear has now shifted to Atlanta. they finally have used their bull pen and are getting worn down by the dodgers…Play Pujols drrrrrrrrrr!!! Act like your Larussa!!!!!!!

  11. File this under play-off shocker: gold glover Kike has a deep drive clank off the heel of his glove! Allows a two out runner from 1st to score…wow.

    CF D simply cannot be compromised!!!!

  12. So much for erasing and forgiving Dic’s pitching miscues! Scherzer’s arm shot and scratched leaving who, David Price?? Offense better score 11 per outing cause the staff is toast thanks to Dopey Dave

    • Kirk, it’s only obvious that a team usually reaches the WS by having at least 3 or 4 healthy ready starting pitchers. We now have Buehler, and that’s it. If Dodgers don’t score a bunch tomorrow it’s over.

  13. So now is it possible that the mis handling of some of the stating pitcing by Roberts and Freidman will cost Dodgers a chance to reach the WS? I just heard on MLBN that yes, Dodgers meddle too much with everyone instead of just letting them play. Look, without enough starting pitching now, it is not promising at all. But without CK, Muncy, JT, Kelly and now Scherzer, it just may be too much to ask going forward.

    • Just need the bats to show up like they did in game 5! Dodgers certainly have the talent, they proven it. Maybe just maybe the bats can stay hot for more than one game. After all AJ, Trea, and CT3 are all very streaky players. Belli has really come around. Mookie usually shows up big in elimination games. Folks this is a scary lineup when rolling. This ain’t over yet. I was much more concerned in game 5 because the bats hadn’t shown up previously. Now that they have, just stay hot baby. We can do this. It’s just one game!

      LFG Dodgers!

      • Not only the bats, the pen has been unconscious! Every single guy other than Gonsolin has been money coming outta there! Korey kicks it off goes one, maybe two. Hand it off to Phillips for two, and so on down the line! They did it in game 5 too! They’ve done it all year. And boy how “Choke City” is gunna feel if we take game 6! Go General Sherman on them!

        Let’s go Dodgers! Down but not out!

        • Man you’re all over these pages, LOL . But at this point. The offense must show up for game 6 for a chance to see game7.Correct about Gonsolin. He’s not right physically.

  14. When was the last time this putrid offense performed two games in a row?? The supposed stars stunk it up again. One through four cost them the title. Can’t score, can’t win! When it’s counted most, Mookie’s been average, Seager has been garbage and probably cost Boras some cash, Turner not good and Smith average.

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