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Dodgers Playing with an Unwarranted Arrogance as 9th Division Crown Slips Away



After a Giants win this afternoon — another Giants win — the Dodgers sit a full 3 games back of the division lead in the NL West. Just a week ago, LA had finally caught up to San Francisco at the top, entering an all-important series in the bay area tied at 85-49. Then they seemingly took their foot off the gas.

Dave Roberts didn’t lineup the best 3 starters LA has against the Giants. They lost the series 2-1. Then heading to St. Louis, Dave Roberts didn’t send out his best lineup for all 4 games while chasing the Giants by two in the loss column.

They split the series 2-2.

Dodger players have said it and felt it — there seems to be no sense of urgency at times. Max Muncy called the offense “inconsistent” adding that the talented LA roster is “just not putting it together.”


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There’s a spark missing on this team but the manager and brass at the top seem to have a certain bravado and a feeling that everything will just regress to the norm and that the Dodgers will once again reign supreme in the NL West.

One Dodger insider, Bill Plunkett of the OC Register agreed with the idea that it’s an arrogance the team is showing right now and really, this shouldn’t be a time for arrogance.

“I think there is some arrogance about the decisions they’ve made. They could have set it up so Urias, Buehler and Scherzer could have pitched against the Giants but they prioritized ‘rest’ … but they’ve made a lot of decisions based on long term with the assumption that they’re going to be playing deep into October … I do think they’re not as afraid of the one game Wild Card.”

The assumption that they’re going to be playing deep into October… Gives off real 2019 NLDS vibes, if you ask me.

The Dodgers now enter an all-important 3 game series with the San Diego Padres this weekend. San Diego often times has shown that they’re more interested in winning than the Dodgers, at least when they play each other. Another point Plunk agrees with… for both the Padres and Giants teams.

“It felt like the games were more important to them than they were to the Dodgers.”

The last time LA and San Diego matched up, the Dodgers surprisingly swept the series. Surprisingly only because the Dodgers have struggled to do that over the past two seasons as the Padres have gone all in on talent acquisition and, more importantly, energy.

At the moment, this is a Wild Card game preview. And, with the Dodgers sitting 3 games with only 21 games to play and no more head-to-head matchups with the division leading Giants on the schedule, it’s more and more likely this is the matchup we see on October 6th at Dodger Stadium. Unless a minor miracle takes place and the Dodgers pull their heads out of you know where.

Sure, the Dodgers have overcome more dire odds stacked against them. But that 2020 NLCS is getting further and further in the rearview mirror. That team had heart — it had a soul. This team has guys showing up to work and then going home.

Prove me wrong, boys.

NEXT: Could LA Go With Max Scherzer Over Walker Buehler in a Wild Card Game?

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. Certainly they lack urgency as had been said before. And if they get knocked off in the wild card game, they will be the first to throw their arms up and say “what the heck just happened?” This obsessive “resting” has me worried. What do they know that the public doesn’t? Is is possible the team is wearing down too soon?

    • I agree on the resting thing. Unless somebody has a known issue like Bett’s hip, it’s time for the stretch run to win the division. We need to put our best players on the field every day. And keep the non-performers, like Bellinger, out of the lineup. On a side note, Urias was awesome today. He is more than pulling his own weight. He has taken ownership of his rotation spot. They all need to play like that.

  2. Players want their parade sine they didn’t get one last year, players/managers assumed it was a given, after all, see what The front office has given them. Of course, the rest of the league (most notably the Giants) did not get the memo that they should just stay home? Arrogance from the players and coaching staff down.

    • I disagree. I don’t see much arrogance from the players. But I see an abundance of both arrogance and incompetence from Dave Roberts. That guy single handedly screwed everything up from insisting on playing Bellinger, McKinney sending down hot bats like Matt Beaty and starting 3 really bad bats against the Giants while chasing them for first place. Not to mention sitting his best players so they can be “fresh” in this title race that only has about 20 games left to play in the season. And lets not forget last year when Kenley Jensen was struggling mightily when was forced to take him out of the closers role after blowing several key saves. And I can go on.

      Dave Roberts is solely to blame for squandering the investment in talent that management sent him this season. The Dodger ownership gave Roberts thoroughbreds this year, which any competent manager (think Lasorda) would have ridden to success. But Roberts used them to plow a field with and then drove them into a ditch. Listen, I like the guy as person and a human being. But as the manager for the Dodgers he sucks really bad.

      The Dodgers management needs to move on from Roberts. Move him upstairs, VP of something make him an Emeritus Manager, do anything. But just get him out of the Dodgers managing role.

  3. Lack of urgency seems to be more on Roberts than the players. Couldn’t believe he didn’t line up our best rotation against the Giants, and then rested our best hitters on game 4 against the Cards. Had automatic outs the last 4 hitters in the line up.
    Couldn’t believe it and don’t know what Roberts is thinking.

    • Roberts is thinking his job is secure. If they don’t play far into October he may find out otherwise.

  4. Roberts needs v to be fired now. You don’t rest your best players ever on the same gsme. They are player ing a game not out doing manual labor. Suck it up and play every game and keep Belonged off the postseason roster he does not belong you can’t have an automatic out in the lineup. The games left are to importsnt. Roberts pull your head out now.

  5. With roberts as manger… you are not wrong.. he sucks as amanger and has from the start… he did not really have to manage until this year.. and has shown how inept he is

  6. Giving extra days to the three starters too in favor of bullpen games. Come on man these are young (Urias and Buehler). They don’t need extra days. They rarely throw 100 pitches. And as said unless someone has a nagging injury the best starting lineup should be out there. I’ve thought there was arrogance too. Putting lineups out there as if they were 10 games up. Our bench is not what it has been. Pujols is a threat but McKinley should not have been kept over Beaty.

    • Well as of this post McKinney is on IL with a so called hip impingement that no mention about that was ever made until yesterday. Bellinger and his .158 BA will get a few days off.

  7. I’ve been watching this season and I cannot remember a Roberts’ error in a game-winning situation or a Roberts’ blown save or Roberts not moving a runner over. I cannot believe the whining on this site. The Dodgers began the season with “too many” starting pitchers. At one point they were down to only three. They have endured extremely long stretches of the season without their starting shortstop, right fielder, center fielder, three prominent relievers, and now, their starting left fielder. In spite of all of these obstacles, they find themselves only 2.5 games behind the team with the best record in the majors. Yes, every team in the majors will seem hungrier than the defending champions. The Dodgers have a target on their backs and they will get every team’s maximum effort. The strategy is to play for the long run into the fall. The team is not full of youngsters and strategic rest now may pay off in October. If anyone is to blame for the predicament the Dodgers find themselves in maybe it’s the front office who decided they didn’t need defensive stalwart and energy guy Kike Hernandez. The bottom line is it is way too early for a post mortem on this season and as of today, like it or not and given the circumstances, this may be Roberts’ best managing job to date.

    • You’ve been watching ‘WHAT’ this season? Reruns from last year? “This may be Roberts’ best managing job to date”…..You should be a comedian.

    • great points Ronald. The only thing I might disagree a bit with you is missing Kike. Lack of a 2nd utility player besides CT is the last thing wrong with the team. But despite all of our buddies constant whining, I agree Doc has done a great job this year despite all the injuries to the starting pitching, hitters and pen. Getting Tgon and Kershaw back just in time and AJ by October should do the team just fine. If they don’t win the division, I have full confidence they will beat the reds in the Wild card game at home with Scherzer on the bump!

  8. This is on Roberts, but where is the veteran leadership from Betts, Turner, Muncy, and Pujols?

  9. I agree, this hubris/chutzpah is misplaced and may doom this team—but it’s top management (Friedman and Roberts) that’s made these awful decisions on roster and line-up choices that’s resulted in 3games behind the Giants—when they were tied a week ago (after beating the Giants on the 2nd game last Saturday).
    Bellinger has been playing subpar since coming back from his 2 injuries—yet they allowed him to stay in the line up everyday to work through his hitting woes that contributed to their losses when clearly they had other options.

  10. I’m also conflicted with their decision to put Lux (BA .220; 0-2, BB last night) on left field—when Beaty (BA .262) an experienced left fielder, was available on their bench. They’re experimenting again here with Lux who was recently sent to the minors to work on his hitting woes and try the outfield.

    • We all wonder the same thing B-maxx……..Roberts can’t stand the fact that Beaty has been supported by the ENTIRE fan base and he has to EAT his hatred for Matt….But still, he’d rather put the 220 hitting Lux who’s never played left before in his career j in front of Beaty for absolutely Zero reasoning. There is absolutely NO reason the Dodgers should be 2.5 games behind the Vagiants at this point of the season. It’s all on Roberts, he can either rot in his own bias, or do the right thing and win this thing…..So far he’s still ignorant of Beaties bat, and his chances are dwindling……

      • too funny kirk. doc knows Beatty’s game better than all of us put together, and he’s a liability in left field. He may still get in a game if Lux doesn’t rake.

        • Joe , The only thing roberts knows how to do is Sit Hot Hitters, Make excuses for his Buddies on the team, talk out of his exterior on interviews , make up Madden video game line ups and push Manfred’s political Agenda using his position. Beaty is better than all of his other options including Lux.. He already gave Lux his 9 lives of chances and he still can’t deliver. But the imbecile won’t put in Beaty ……..A real manager would play his best horses down this stretch in the midst of a Divional race, but not Roberts, he’s incapable…………

  11. Roberts is failing to start the proper pitchers and others. Beaty should not have been demoted. If the Dodgers lose the division, fire Roberts and hire Bochy.

  12. What a weird year even though the Dodgers will likely win at least 100 games and finish the regular season with the 2nd or 3rd best record in MLB.
    Maybe, in part, this season has been so weird because it follows last years’ unprecedented Covid shortened season, but it feels like so many of the Dodgers’ players are just ghostly apparitions out there. Betts, even when he’s felt better and played well for short stretches–is just a shadow of himself. Seager, even before he got hit on the hand, had a strange vibe about him, with the defensive issues, being a half-step slow to the ball, especially when ranging laterally. After a great start to the season, Beaty “disappeared” and McKinstry who was outstanding early on, seemingly has been banished to Baseball purgatory (even factoring in the Oblique injury). Lux has been a bust and then he was “banished” only to return last night. Bellinger looks like an imposter, like someone hijacked his body. Kershaw has been out for 2 months, returning on Monday. But it just feels like so many players, too numerous to mention, have just “flickered” off and on, alternately burning brightly and burning out as if there’s a short circuit somewhere.

    • sure seems like it, but in a way with a 100 win season, they really are a great team. We are so spoiled thinking they should win every game they play with such unrealistic expectations, no wonder it seems they all aren’t there. The injuries this year have thrown a wrench in more than a few games, but nonetheless, we’ll be good with everyone back at month end. FINALLY!

  13. Do NOT forget loosing 3 out of 4 against the lowly Marlins that was in July. But then that same July where the Dodgers LOST 3 out of 4 @ HOME vs the Gnats and then LOST 2 out of 3 (again) the very next week which included a WILD throw by somebody. This team is NOT meant to win it all this year and certainly NOT even meant to win the division.

    • When we get the full team back at month-end, then we’ll see if they have what it takes in the playoffs. I think they do, despite all of the bandwagon fans at this site

  14. Roberts has got to go. And Dodger Nation has got to stop with the ‘Roberts says this’, and Roberts says that’ articles to fill the pages…We are pretty much fed up with this guy’s ….bs. The Dodgers should have been in 1st and the Giants should have been the team trying to catch-up. Now, there are only 5 guys in the line-up having to pickup for the bottom 4….every game! Who’s running this show? 2 batting coaches that aren’t worth a dime. Get rid of ’em both. They’re a worthless duo..

  15. Roberts has been basking in the sun for to long AND we know if you are out in long enough it will kill you. If that is the case, he is killing the whole team.

  16. Why not try Knack or Miller for a start or 2? Jackson, Uceta and White don’t cut it.

  17. It’s dumb roberts fault fo resting his starters once a werk specially now . Problem is us fans have to accept roberts cause he’s not going anywhere as long as friedman is the boss cause he doesn’t want a manager like Sciocia he wants a yes sir puppet like roberts and owners don’t know shit about baseball and don’t care about fans feelings towards roberts incoptence as manager.

  18. The problem with the Giants series was not the pitching. It was the offense. The writer assumes that Urias, Buehler, and Scherzer would hold them scoreless for three games???

  19. Sure, there’s been “whining” here from fans who feel passionately about this team that shouldn’t be in this predicament with the caliber of players it has. It’s good to see them sweeping the Padres, with Belli and Lux showing some improvement and contributing again. With 3 weeks to go in the regular season, no fans here want to see this team falter. Go Dodgers!!

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