The Dodgers closed out the first half of the season, tied for first place with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 51-38 record.
Manager Dave Roberts told Sportsnet reporter Kiersten Watson after sweeping a two-game series against the Angels:
“I’m proud of our guys…I thought they fought through adversity, they stayed together, and we finished on a good note.”
Since taking over the managerial position for the Dodgers, Roberts owns a career .627 winning percentage, managed 111 wins last season, and made it to three World Series while winning one.
This season has had its fair share of adversities. Instead of signing a shortstop, the Dodgers front office decided to give Gavin Lux a shot; his season ended with an injury during spring training.
The Dodgers placed one of their pitching reinforcements Dustin May on the injured list with a flexor pronator strain; his season ended after needing surgery.
The Dodgers gave top prospect Miguel Vargas the opportunity to be the starting second baseman. The Dodgers optioned him to Triple-A after hitting .195.
Yet, Roberts has managed the Dodgers to lead the division entering the All-Star break.
In recent years, Andrew Friedman has managed to build a team for the season. Friedman has set up a lineup that Robert can maneuver around to compete. He’s previously bolstered the lineup entering the season with players like Freeman, Betts, Geinke, and Jensen.
During the last offseason, Friedman signed Noah Syndergaard, Shelby Miller, and JD Martinez. Syndergaard and Miller are both on the injured list, while Martinez has found his pop by hitting 22 home runs.
The offensive changes like Martinez have made a difference with the team, but the pitching staff has been hard to juggle with no closer assigned to the job. The pitching staff’s ERA is the 8th highest in the league. Kershaw, their most productive pitcher this season, is on the injured list.
Yet, Roberts’ closed out the first half of the season at the top of the division after falling to third place. In previous seasons, Roberts has faced adversities like Seager missing the entire season.
Or dealing with the PR nightmare that came with signing Trevor Bauer. Or Jensen and Kimbrel losing the lead in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Yet, the previous misfortunes do not match the type of bad luck the Dodgers have had this season. It’s time to acknowledge the mastery behind Robert’s management of this current team.
This could easily jinx the Dodgers. Kershaw could miss the rest of the season. Urías may never regain his form from last year. Mookie may have ruined his swing by hitting 11 home runs at the derby. Freedman could slump till the end of the season. Friedman could not make any moves during the trade deadline and may continue to rely on the Dodgers’ prospect pool.
Anything can happen.
Before the fans call for Roberts to be fired at the end of another early October exit, take the time to bask in the ambiance of his current masterpiece.