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Dodgers NLDS Defeat Was A Win For Analytics Says FOX Sports

“The idea that Dave Roberts isn’t about analytics, well Dave your team is completely built on analytics.”

Already, we have seen the Los Angeles Dodgers taken to task by pundits in the national media with their sad exit in game five of the NLDS.

Now, it’s happened again. Honestly, I wanted to peruse this video and be critical of Doug Gottlieb. I wanted to tell you that Gottlieb doesn’t watch enough baseball to be critical of Dave Roberts and any managerial decision made in the past or future.

However – Gottlieb was spot on – at least in this segment.

It’s towards the end of the video below, but the quote that hit deep in the core was this one.

“The idea that Dave Roberts isn’t about analytics, well Dave your team is completely built on analytics.”

While I wanted to side with my team, the host is 100 percent right. Of course, you can see the entire segment below from Gottlieb and FOX Sports airwaves. Moreover, let’s take a look at what other points that Gottlieb makes in that disaster of a defeat of game five.

Equally important, Gottlieb’s thesis of the entire segment is that the Dodgers have shown why you cannot be built by analytics in a sport that has human element in such high-drama spots. First, think about what I am saying here. Then, read the quote below.

“Last night was a win for analytics, and a loss for all those ‘go by feel, go by history of a guy, go by name’.”

Without question, Gottlieb is referring to Roberts sticking with Clayton Kershaw in a bad spot for Kershaw. We know by his comments that Roberts did this based on ‘feel’. Undeniably right or wrong, Roberts trusted his gut and not the data. While in a way that is an admirable trait to someone like me, Gottlieb’s following comments start to make one realize that you cannot just go off gut in that situation.

“Um, he’s not one of the best pitchers in baseball anymore. He’s your third best starter, and he’s your starter not a reliever. That’s not what he does – and you’re going by what he’s done over the last ten years and not what he’s done this year. Adam Kolarek against Juan Soto, and Soto was hitless in three at-bats. Couldn’t hit the guy, but you leave Kershaw in.”

Finally, Gottlieb has issue with the fact that Roberts didn’t even walk out to the mound for a chat. Instead, he just sat in the dugout and allowed two gopher balls to be tossed.

“It’s a tie game, and you don’t even go out there and ask [Kershaw] ‘are you alright man’.”

Sometimes, you expect to be able to have a different take then the pundits or experts. And sometimes, you simply have to tip your hat and agree. Admittedly, I am with the critic on this.

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.

4 Comments

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  1. Watched it maybe 3 times before seeing this article. He has the best take on what happened and what is going on with Roberts of any I can find and I have seen maybe 8 or so some really lacking substance but this has a lot in to unwrap. It brings out the Roberts problem which is he has no defining approach to managing the team other than being a so called “players coach” and he’s done well for himself with the last contract extension. His decisions balance between gut and analytics and is wrong with hit gut choices…. like I don’t know maybe up to 95% in the playoffs, Here is what I mean, analytics Kolorek for 1 batter Soto then gut Kershaw for Soto. Analytics Kelly has been good only for 1 inning but gut letting him go 2. Bochy used gut instincts and was right leading his teams to 3 WS titles. Roberts uses gut and has maybe blown 2 WS chances and now a third time underachieving in the playoffs. Gotlieb points out he didn’t even go to the mound when Kelly was having a tough time. The mere presence of Roberts time there would have given the poor guy a breath. Common sense would tell you to remove the guy but clearly at a minimum a Manager goes out to give the struggling pitcher a moment doesn’t he? That was a highly pressurized situation Kelly was traumatized and did not want the moment, a lot like 17 with Darvish. Roberts is far worse than Mattingly ever was and the FO is so cheap they will get their pound of flesh by letting him stay through his contract. I don’t think he has the clubhouse any more. They see his decisions and know way more than I do. It can’t be all that great having this faker as a Boss unless you are the chosen Vets who are fading.

  2. Apparently, Gottleib has seen enought of how Roberts manages during the post-season. Roberts’ decision on Kershaw in the 8th, even letting him go back out for the 8th, was stupid, but consistent. Everything Gottlieb said here is pretty accurate, but not surprising. Kenta in the BP, all warmed up for exactly the situation he’d been groomed for since August. LA will never win a WS with Roberts as manager.

    • Roberts, in the opinion of MANY should have been fired because that NLDS game 5 was only 1 of MANY PS games where he has made totally horrible decisions. And I don’t think there are too many fans that will give him any warm greeting upon ST and the opening of the 2020 season. You are totally right on, Dodgers will NEVER NEVER EVER EVER NEVER win a WS with him as manager…end of story.

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