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Dodgers Lost Because of Heavy Analytics, Pedro Martinez Says

“Kershaw has been over-exposed already to the entire league.”

In the wake of the crushing game five NLDS defeat to the Washington Nationals that ended the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2019 season, Pedro Martinez was one of the pundits second-guessing. Indeed, TBS followed up with their postgame show, and with Martinez on the analyst desk; he didn’t mince words.

Furthermore – Martinez was so proud of his take – he filmed it on his phone and posted it on his personal twitter account.

Surely, we all second guess the decisions made in the late innings of game five by manager Dave Roberts. Therefore, when you read Martinez’s comments, they’re really worth reading back twice. To preface things, this is a subject that many of you will feel passionately about. If you’re prepared, read ahead to what Martinez said.

“I wonder if it’s the analytics department that the Dodgers have, that have Dave Roberts kind of forced into saying what the plan is. Because Walker Buehler even though he came out of the game – and it was time for him to come out – but to announce it early? To say that Kershaw was coming in?”

While we have all made the tongue-in-cheek half serious jokes about the computers or algorithms ‘upstairs’ deciding on the lineup, or who plays, or even relievers entering; Martinez seems hip to this. Moreover, he seems dead serious.

Notably in the second half of his diatribe, he says that Clayton Kershaw has been ‘over-exposed’ to the entire league.

“Kershaw is a guy who has been over-exposed to the entire league. Everyone is aware of Kershaw and he hasn’t been healthy the last three years like you would like to be. This is a guy everyone knows. So if you tell people that he’s going to be in the game at any point, they prepare for him. And I wonder if it’s the analytics department that does that, or if it’s management upstairs the order to say those things. If I was Walker Buehler, I would be pissed.”

Finally, it’s obvious that Roberts has made enough blunders through the years that it’s fair to second guess to a degree. But Martinez brings up a good point. What if it wasn’t Roberts who was behind all of the little drips that led to a Los Angeles collapse?

The answer we will probably never know, but that doesn’t make Martinez’s take on things any less interesting.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

33 Comments

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  1. I’ve been saying that for years. Roberts is a much smarter baseball guy than what he is forced to show in the playoffs. This FO needs to be fired first giving Roberts one or two years to see what he can do on his own.

    • Roberts is their puppet, and that is why is going nowhere.

      He may be a ‘smarter’ guy, but he knows who’s the boss and he like his job…

  2. What this team needs to do is recognize who handles the postseason well, and keep them and get rid of everyone else and bring in fresh attitudes with no playoff baggage. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons the same things keep happening is because we have the same guys that don’t deliver year after year

    • Mia, well as of now anyone Dodgers just do not have a good enough club to compete in the PS and this was exposed yet again. IDK what can be done since it’s already decided that Roberts will return. IMHO the 2020 season as of now is lost before it ever begins.

      • I’d like to say the 2020 season is already predictable by the opposition. Our FO runs this team by the numbers. If it’s raining outside, but the weather forecast calls for sunshine, this Dodger FO will leave their umbrella at home.
        As far as Kershaw is concerned, yes, his job was to get those two guys out, but likewise, the batter’s job is to make contact. It’s not that they can’t bunt, but how they refuse to bunt. Part of it is youth. Millennial love the HR. It’s part of the ADHD in youth today. Either that, or it’s some real dumb baseball playing. How many strikeouts? Maybe contact and bunting isn’t stressed by the training, who knows, but I am sure any organization so analytical and controlling is mindful of everything that goes on.
        After all is sad and done, it falls on the FO. They created the system the Dodgers play under. Like my sister told my complaining ex-wife; “Hey he’s your problem….you picked him.”

      • Guess he’s just as lame as his puppet master. His gut should’ve said Kelly for one inning which he proved tharsvslll he can do or Maeda from the start of the inning, then Jansen

    • I have same opinion
      The Big Problem of the Dodgers is the manager Robert$$ I don’t know if he do
      Unporpuse, He think he invented the wheel
      Or what ?? I don’t know what kind of baseball he play. The point is our D?DGERS our boys in blue won 7
      Consecutives West Championship NOT for Robert$$$$ But for themselves because THEY are outstanding Players

  3. I’m wondering if it just wasn’t meant to be for the Dodgers. Yes, there had been so many misexecutions by Dave Roberts, but looking on the flip side the Dodgers were just 10 ft away from winning 2 series:

    In Game 2 of the 2017 World Series, had Cody Bellinger’s flyball in the bottom of the 9th traveled 10 ft farther, it would have been a home run; the Dodgers would have won Game 2 and won the World Series.

    Same thing again in Game 5 of NLDS Wednesday, had Will Smith’s flyball in the bottom of the 9th traveled 10 ft farther, the Dodgers would have won the series on a walk off home run. Even TBS announcers said Smith’s flyball would have been a home run if it was in the afternoon instead of the evening, balls carry farther during the day at Dodgers Stadium.

    Whatever reasoning we try to make sense out of the repeated failures, perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be for the Dodgers.

    • I agree to some extent, after watching other teams play in the postseason the last 3 years they all seem to get some breaks here and there, just the opposite of the Dodgers who haven’t got any luck but in the end the most damage has been self inflicted because LA has been winning in the late innings and just not being capable of closing the games, so no excuses for that.

    • Here is my rebuttal to your if argument.
      IF the Washington bullpen had not blown up the way it did in the 6th inning of game 4 after the gem Sanchez pitch then there would not have been a game 5.
      Come on man, what do you mean “IF”… there is not, there is DO or DO NOT…

  4. Overexposure is a stupid conspiracy theory, all pitchers due to the advancements in video technology have had ‘overexposure. Kershaw hasn’t had velocity since his back injury, and has always, since day one choked under the fear of success.

    • Ha ha ha. Overexposure? I agree. Aren’t all pictures who start over 25 games per year “overexposed”? So, put in your least used players to prevent overexposure? Okay, next year, we’ll only have Buehler pitch in 10 games, so he isn’t “overexposed.”

  5. Why is everyone is unloading on Kershaw. What Joe Kelly, he’s the that got the bases loaded and gave up the Grand Slam to non other than an ex Dodger Howie Kendrick. STOP PUTTING ALL THE BLAME ALL ON KERSHAW. ALL THE BLAME GOES TO ROBERTS.

    • Kershaw only left the game with a tie. Where were the bats? Half the bats were hovering at .200 You’d have to have Koufax, Ryan, Gibson, Johnson as your rotation to overcome teams batting at .200

  6. Robert’s seems to be a great person but as a manager he does not convince me. You don’t manage a 162 game marathon like you manage the playoffs. It is written about his winning percentage any morron that manages the Dodgers can win 90 games by writing a line up card. He does not know how to handle his pitchers we will never win the championship under him. He cost us wining in 2017, 2018 and again this year.
    If LA is serious about winning he must go but as long as the fans in LA keep filling up the stadium every night management is satisfy taking their $$$$ to the bank.

  7. The crazy thing is that after rigidly following the analytics all season, Roberts made the game 5 pitching decisions based on his gut instinct. Kershaw should have been out after he got the 3rd out and Maeda should have pitched the 8th. Kelly has been horse-bleep all season and should never have been given the ball for a 2nd inning.

    I’ve always defended Kershaw but no longer. He’s basically impossible to trade because of his contract and the fact that he’s basically a 1 or 2 pitch pitcher. His curveball is erratic and inconsistent so that leaves him with a mediocre fastball and a slider that’s pretty much the same velocity. That’s why he is giving up more homers every year. I don’t understand at all how at 31 years of age he hasn’t been able to develop a change-up. He is now a #3 starter. Buehler, Ryu #2 (offer him 2 years with a team option for a 3rd). May and Gonsolin deserve a look as starters and Hill should be cut loose. Convince Maeda to go to the pen full time and maybe a spot starter. Then go after Gerritt Cole. That’s my thoughts without delving too deep into the topic and seeing what pitchers are worth going after next year. In the pen, Jansen, Kelly and Garcia at minimum need to go.

    • I agree with Pedro Martinez in regards to Kershaw being over exposed. What if anything will Dave Robert’s do about it if anything??? Kind of like Pedro Baez accussed pitch tipping since last year???? I’m curious.

  8. I’m going to reply to this story, but first I have to consult my psycho-cybernitics analytic discombobulator, thing. Then I’ll send the results up to the brain trust in the FO and once they have devined which way the moon is rotating in relationship to the price of wheat in Russia, multiplied by the number of times the Dodgers have been eliminated by bonehead FO decisions in the last five years, I can get back to you.

    It’s all in the analytics…I think. Well, maybe its not? Wait, let me go get my computer and run the numbers again…

    How many decimal places should I carry this out?

  9. Earl. . . I agree with Don, Kershaw should have been out after he got 3rd out in 7th inning and Maeda should have pitched the 8th. Question: How can you start the best pitcher(Ryu) in baseball based on era the 3rd game of a playoff series…are we running a popularity contest or trying to win a championship? Ryu only pitched five inning the entire series…could have been up 2 zip out of the gate. Ryu was absolutely great at home this season. Reply

    • The Dodgers lost THREE games. If it was one inning in one game, then it could be called a mistake. This was a sign that we did not play as the better team. That simple. It’s not the best ream that wins, but who plays the best, otherwise, the season would end on Fan Appreciation Day.

  10. Roberts needs to become a manager that can feel/judge his pitching staff. Step up & make the right decisions. I have so many bones to pick w/Roberts/Friedman tweaking in 5 game series. Game one, Pollock batting 1st? Dodgers never did that all season, & bringing Pollock back 2 more games 0for13 11 SO?

    My biggest peave, deciding not to work pitch counts (@Dodgers best in the league) instead attacking as if 0-2 pitch counts. Dodgers had over 55 SO’s. WTF? And to lead off game 1 by pulling defense in on the corners which allowed a leadoff double. Thankfully Buehler shut Nats down, but it’s clear to see something was very different from the very first pitch in the very first game.

    Again why? Why these little tweaks, moving away from how the team won 106 games? Again Roberts out thinking & being out coached. I also can’t believe he chose to pitch a “Bullpen” game in game 4. Why not pitch Buehler in DC, end it. If Buehler doesn’t do well Roberts gets his bullpen game?Some say he only has 3 days rest, so what, he’s 21 yrs old, he’s not Verlander at 35 and Buehler doesn’t have a hot wife so he should be good to go.

    It felt like surrender, not going jugular. Playing not to lose instead of just win it now. Nats played the Dodgers the way the Dodgers played the Reg season and why Roberts ran from it may never be known.

    Roberts definitely hides behind the analytics. The numbers lead him towards decisions instead of understanding & reading his players. Makes his job easier if he always hangs his hat on the data. I just had to vent some. I can’t even watch the rest… Who cares.

    Fin

  11. The Dodgers keep depending on the same failures. Kershaw, Baez, Pollock, Kiki, Taylor, Pederson. As much as they have fans who will disagree, these guys are a problem year after year. Kiki gets an occasional hit in the clutch and is funny and that’s it. He sucks. The FO is a major failure in the FA market and that somehow gets ignored. Other teams come up with answers and get on track like the Astros getting Cole and lower level guys like Brantley, Cardinals Goldy and bring up young guys like Wong. The Dodgers get 2 negatives Pollock and Kelly who no one else wanted and then compound things by cloging up the lineup with Kiki and Taylor.

  12. I believe Roberts’ decision to bring Kershaw in WAS based on the analytics that showed him that Kershaw pitched well coming in as a reliever in the post season. So Roberts thought bringing kershaw in was the right move.

  13. ROBERTS NEEDS TO BE REPLACED AS WELL AS THE HITTING COACH. HE HAS PROVEN THAT HE CANNOT MANAGE A SERIES, HE HAS MADE BAD DECISIONS IN THIS IN COURSE OF SERIES. HIS FAILURE TO PLAY FREESE OR RUSSELL MARTIN INSTEAD HE PLAYED A ROOKIE CATCHER WITH NO EXPERIENCE, HIS FAILURE TO REPLACE SEEGER WHO WAS HAVING A MISERABLE SERIES WHO SWUNG FOR THE FENCE EVERY AT BAT. IN FACT THE DODGERS AS A TEAM STRUCK OUT 62 TIMES IN A 5 GAME SERIES, TWICE LA HAS BEEN IN THE WORLD SERIES AND TWICE WE HAVE LOST TO HOUSTON AND THE RED SOCKS RESPECTIVELY, IT TIME FOR ROBERTS TO GO

  14. Now that the Nats are on the verge of going to the World Series, we have to appreciate that they are a real good team. I’m cheering for the Nats to beat the American League. I still believe the American League is far superior, and will win again. I did not expect the Dodgers to make the World Series but not to exit at the first round. The Nats pitching is proving to be a far better rotation that we ever thought of. We became arrogant and felt we deserved a title. Always know, pride goes before a fall.
    “Wait’ll next year!”

  15. Mike, agreed. Roberts announced that he wouldn’t be going to the White house. The only move he made that he was correct on. Pride before the fall.

  16. I actually believe the best thing Dodgers did was Analytics.
    Making early announcement. I agree no one should know your game plan but the coaches and your players.
    The mistakes were too many, coaches, there was no plan, no expectations.if a player doesn’t perform during season what makes you believe he will post season ???
    The Batters other than a couple everyone Choked. Because they don’t play baseball. Everyone comes to the bat trying to hit a homer. How many time we had runners in scoring positions with no outs and we got NOTHING out of it. Stop playing selfish.
    The starters other than a couple everyone was inconsistent. You can’t expect to give up a few runs and still win in post season Mr. Kershaw. You must be sharp from FIRST PITCH.

    The bullpen other than a couple of the EVERYONE ELSE WAS INCONSTANT. When you are a bullpen pitcher you must come to game prepared EVERY SINGLE GAME.

    If you guys want to win you have to approach the game as professionals. It is not a child game you are making millions play like you are. Not one game, not two game every game every practice. From preseason until you win the World Series.

  17. D.R. DOES THE JOB OF MANGING PITCHERS IN M.L.B. IMPOSSIABLE TO TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS.. WE WILL SEE THE SAME OLD CRAP . MUST GET A MIKE S. OR SOME LIKE HIM WHO UNDERSTANDS BASEBALL. FRIEDMAN & D.R. MUST GO BEFORE THE S—-T HITS THE FAN. FORGET IMPROVING STADIUM, USE MONEY TO FIELD A TEAM TO BE PROUD OF.

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