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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Has No Answer for Uncharacteristically Bad Defense

The boys seem to be playing a little fast and loose with the baseball.



So far, 20 games into the new season, things have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the Dodgers. The team opened the season well, winning 13 of 15 games. However, since a loss to the Padres last Sunday, there’s been a marked change in the cleanliness of play for the boys in blue.

On the season, the Dodgers have committed 13 errors in 20 games, 2nd most in the National League. Moreover, 4 of those have come in the last 5 games. More than that, while not every miscue has been accounted for as an official error in the scorebook, there are some plays that — let’s be honest — the Dodgers make that aren’t being made this season.

Friday alone featured a wild throw from the outfield by AJ Pollock and a pop foul that Edwin Rios quit on and did not secure.

After Friday night’s loss to the Padres, Dave Roberts was asked about the uncharacteristically poor defense on display by LA. In short, he didn’t have an answer for it.

It’s certainly gotta get better. It’s certainly not what we’re used to doing as far as playing clean baseball defensively. I don’t know the cause, but I know that our guys are prepared every day … I wish I had an answer for it.

At the moment, poor defense combined with historically poor offense is a terrible combination against one of the better teams in baseball. And that’s evident in the win column. Or loss column more accurately.

Related: Dave Roberts Not Concerned With the Stalled Out Offense

I’m spitballing here, but the Dodgers have been noticeably flat recently. Games have felt more sluggish and without energy. Admittedly, the team is banged up and missing spark plugs like Gavin Lux, Cody Bellinger, and now Zach McKinstry. Still, a thought could creep into the back of your mind that begs the question, is this a late-onset World Series hangover?

After receiving a gaudy World Series ring, I too could see myself losing perhaps a hint of motivation. But that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

The Dodgers continue this 4 game set with the Padres at Dodger Stadium tonight with Trevor Bauer on the bump against offseason acquisition Blake Snell.

NEXT: Why The Dodgers Offense is Slumping, DJ Peters, Bellinger Injury Update & More!

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Roberts doesn’t have an answer for the poor defense. Roberts doesn’t have an answer for the poor offense. Isn’t he the manager?

    • Yea, he’s the manager of the team with the best record in baseball this year, last year, and last 5 years, however you want to slice it up. Re offense, manager of the team with the 2nd best team OPS in the NL, third most runs scored, and best run differential in baseball by a big margin. What do you think the answer to the defense is, benching Seager and Turner?

    • LOL, historically bad post, Dodgers offense still 3rd in league in runs. They are in a one week slump after 2 MVPs were on the bench and faced some very tough pitching, and some brutal luck with at least four 107 MPH low liners getting snatched by leaping, diving great defensive plays, all with runners in scoring position. Last year they had the best offense in baseball, I guess Roberts went from genius to clueless sometime about 10 days ago.

      • Last year they had that best offense in baseball with the use of a DH. Not expecting to be quite as good as last year with 1 less hitter in the lineup and the pitcher having to bat instead. And BTW. It’s historically wrong on your part if ya feel MLB playing with separate rules for each league is a fair playing field. No other major sport operates in that manner. It’s still early in the season but if a similar pattern of offense continues for an extended period, Dodgers won’t be near the top in the offensive categories that count the most.

        • Loss of DH affects the Dodgers more than any other team because it puts an almost automatic out before Mookie and Seager, two of the best hitters in baseball. Mookie, who is normally good for 80-110 RBIs from the lead off spot, is presently on a pace for about 20, obviously he’ll do a lot better than that, but point made. It also takes a lot of ABs away from Smith and others, and it minimizes the utilization of their depth advantage. But none of this has anything to do with Roberts, and they will be fine when they get healthier, and face more league average pitching.

        • Dodgers near the top in all offensive categories now as they lead all MLB in W-L. Dodger pitchers lead MLB in hits so how’s that for an advantage? Jackson is right!!

          • Being near the top won’t last long after such games as on Sunday when they left the bases full 3 or 4 times and coming away empty handed. Still, there’s one less hitter in the lineup without the DH and tonight we would not have had to see Kershaw having to bat in a crucial bases loaded situation late in a game that saw the BP blow a 6 run lead.

    • as do many fans that know next to nothing about baseball. a little slump – that’s all it is. Dodgers will win the World Series again this year if they stay healthy.

      • It’s not about this ‘little slump as you call it. The areas where the vulnerabilities were on display and injuries are part of the game. Good teams do better against LHP or at least a bit better than this team has shown over the past few years. And they can be as healthy as possible but with games like Sundays where a BP could not protect a 6 run lead and the offense fails to produce with bases full on 3 or 4 occasions and it’s hard to even imagine the team surviving all the way to a WS win.

  2. The answer is lack of hits and runs affect their defense. Failure to come through offensively affect their minds when they take the field. Lost focus and concentration results in a fogged head with no energy and nonchalant actions. Mental and physical errors can cost you games in the big league. Looks like they just going through the motions. Every pitch—- every out—- every inning—- every game is important! You can lose the division by one lousy game. WAKE UP! This is the MAJOR LEAGUE and you getting paid well to perform.

    • laughable. what’s is wrong with you people? Dodgers in a little slump, relax. They LEAD all of MLB in W-L – the only stat that matters!

      • Talk to us in a few weeks from now should the team stay on a similar course as we are seeing at the present time. Could things change,? Yes but it looks like some roster adjustments might have to be made, especially in the BP and the bench.

  3. A manager is responsible for putting his team in the best position possible to win, and that includes action-oriented leadership that motivates players to perform to their respective capabilities. It is time for Roberts to step up his leadership!
    This is inresponse to Dodgers getting hit by Padre pitchers (Betts last night) and seeing Roberts and Dodger pitchers failing to get mad enough to do a little pay back.
      *  *  *  *  *  * 

  4. There is a real throwing issue to first base especially after making a great fielding play. Its time for infield practice. Just throwing the ball to first base. Throw hard and strikes. How about bunts. When the defense is playing the percentage and we all know who strikes out the most try bunting for a change

    • Bad Manager wins 6 consecutive division titles and last years World Series? Right… anyone with an ounce of baseball acumen knows a slump when they see it. C’mon man!

      • Not necessarily a bad manager. Roberts isn’t the real issue with the current state of this team. The BP and the bench are. Check out what Rios and Peters have done so far. Those 2 players simply may not be able to adapt to a limited role on the bench with an occasional PH appearance.

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