During the longest regular season game ever at Dodger Stadium, many fans blamed manager Dave Roberts for the failure of the Dodger bullpen for not holding the lead. The Dodgers left 17 on base during a 6+ hour, 13 inning marathon.
Roberts has accomplished a lot in his three-year tenure, but many so-called Dodger fans dislike how Roberts runs a game. They are too critical. Baseball has changed since the 1980s. The easy access to statistics determines how managers run games.
Before Roberts took over the Dodgers in 2016 season, the Dodgers hadn’t been to the World Series since 1988. Though the Dodgers haven’t won a world championship yet, they have been to two consecutive World Series, a rare feat.
Last season, the Dodger bullpen was inconsistent. In the first two games of the 2019 season, the bullpen hadn’t been good, except for Scott Alexander, Kenley Jansen, and Dylan Floro. Although Yimi Garcia has thrown well so far in the season, he hasn’t had good results. It’s too early to pass judgment on Pedro Báez and Joe Kelly, who gave up two leads during Friday’s game, forcing his new team into extra innings. Roberts needs to discover which relievers he can trust. He couldn’t do that during spring training.
Stranding 17 runners on base is disturbing. Last year, the Dodgers were awful in the clutch and not able to make productive outs routinely. Already in 2019, the Dodgers have shown an ability to make a productive out. Though the Dodgers didn’t have a good offensive game on Friday, they have had good offensive games on both Thursday and Saturday. When baseball is a game of failure, occasionally the Dodgers will have a frustrating game.
The regular season will have 162 games. Baseball won’t let anyone get too high after a win or too low after a frustrating loss. If Dodger fans don’t do this, they will be emotionally exhausted by July.
Over the past three years, Roberts has done a fantastic job. I know it’s easy to criticize the manager, but it’s not right. Dodger fans must be thankful for having a World Series-caliber team for three years, including in 2019.
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