Results tagged ‘ Dave Roberts ’

Seager, Roberts, Maeda finalists for top MLB awards

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Corey Seager is a finalist for both the National League Rookie of the Year Award and the NL Most Valuable Player Award, MLB and the Baseball Writers Association of America have announced.

Kenta Maeda is also one of the three NL Rookie of the Year finalists, while Dave Roberts is in the final countdown for NL Manager of the Year.

With Max Scherzer of the Nationals and Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester of the Cubs announced as finalists for the NL Cy Young, Clayton Kershaw’s streak of five consecutive top-three finishes has ended — though Kershaw still led NL pitchers in WAR despite being limited to 149 innings.

The winner of the NL Rookie of the Year Award will be announced November 14, followed by NL Manager of the Year on November 15, NL Cy Young on November 16 and NL MVP on November 17.
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Success and shortcomings alike fuel Dodgers’ 2017 World Series bid

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

When you fall short of a championship, as the Dodgers did this year, there’s a certain game face you’re required to display — a certain stoicism or even gravity.

Show any pride in partial achievement, and you risk conveying that you aren’t committed to the larger goal, that you don’t understand how important a title is, that you just don’t get it.

The reality is, yes, you can feel good about the positives from a season without diminishing the craving — the gut-wrenching craving — for ultimate greatness. Pride and desire aren’t opposites.

Think of your team as you would your child. To want anything less than the best for your kin would be negligent. To dismiss your children’s smaller accomplishments wholesale when they aren’t the best — that’s negligent, too.

You learn from failure, but you can also feed off success.

When Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts met reporters this afternoon to bring closure to the Dodgers’ season, the different threads were front and center. No one felt ashamed of the effort or the intermediate achievements, even if no one was satisfied with the final result.

In other words, there was no mistaking the determination to go farther. Pride and desire.

“Obviously, the No. 1 goal is to play in the World Series, and we came up short,” said Roberts, who was named Sporting News NL Manager of the Year today. “I think a lot of good things are in place to bring a championship back here to Los Angeles. Since last December, the process of how we go about things as an organization, how the guys on the field play the game … I think we did a lot of good things.

“You can look back at this past series (against Chicago), and we didn’t play our best baseball and certain things could have changed that would have affected the outcome. You can talk about that forever. But I think the time we put into creating an environment, syncing it with the ownership, front office, coaching staff, players, training staff — those are things that are really tangible I think. I think that is something we’re going to hang our hats on, and we’ll be ready to go next spring.”

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Sporting News awards honor Roberts, Seager

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs

By Jon Weisman

The Sporting News has named Dave Roberts its National League Manager of the Year and Corey Seager NL Rookie of the Year.

Remarkably, Roberts is the first Dodger named Manager of the Year by the Sporting News since Walter Alston, who won the honor in 1955, 1959 and 1963, when there was only one award to cover both leagues. Leo Durocher was the first in the franchise to win the award, in 1939.

During the Dodgers’ two World Series title seasons under Tommy Lasorda in 1981 and 1988, the Sporting News honored Oakland’s Billy Martin (1981 overall winner) and Pittsburgh’s Jim Leyland (NL 1988).

Major League managers form the voting body for this award. Roberts won seven of a possible 14 votes in the NL, followed by Washington’s Dusty Baker and Chicago’s Joe Maddon, who had three apiece.

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Reflecting on a Dodger season that came so close

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs

By Jon Weisman

Late on Tuesday evening, it had started to feel real, more real than it had felt in a long, long time.

Three nights earlier, the Dodgers had nearly stolen Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, despite their most disadvantageous pitching matchup and coming off an exhausting National League Division Series. No matter — over the next two ballgames, the Dodgers completely shut down the best team in baseball during the regular season, allowing not a single Cub to score. The offense pushed across six runs in Game 3, the pitching was as rested as it had been in two weeks.

Los Angeles was two games away from the World Series with four to play.

Four nights later, the Dodgers went to bed with their season over, left to ponder how far they had gone, how close they had come and how short they fell.

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It’s who scores the most, but it helps to score first

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-36-58-pm

By Cary Osborne

One truth about this National League Championship Series is that the team that has scored first has won every single game.

Is that coincidental? Maybe. But consider the starting pitching we’re seeing here. Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, in that order, ranked one through four in ERA among all starting pitchers who threw at least 100 innings this season. Jake Arrieta was 10th in the National League.

When these pitchers have a lead, the pressure appears to shift onto their opponents.

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Game 4 is here today and gone tomorrow

d4j_7182

By Cary Osborne

For a Dodger team with a mantra that has been “Win the day,” the Dodgers have a couple of tomorrows left in them.

And by tomorrow, the news of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series will all be what the British would call “fish-and-chip paper.”

We know the scenario for the Dodgers to win this series now, and even after a deflating 10-2 loss that saw the Dodgers both unlucky and underwhelming, that scenario is still ideal.

The Dodgers are tied at 2-2 with the Cubs in the NLCS and will have Kenta Maeda going in Game 5 in the National League Division Series — at home — with the opportunity to send the National League West champions to Chicago with a 3-2 lead in the series and Clayton Kershaw on the mound in Game 6.

“It happens and obviously it’s more magnified in the postseason, but we haven’t had a game like that in a long time,” said Dave Roberts. “It wasn’t to be. So I think for us it’s one of those things you have to brush off and get ready to go tomorrow.”

What bearing will four errors, a replay that didn’t go the Dodgers’ way in the first inning and a short outing by Julio Urías have on the Dodgers later in this series?

Not much.

The Dodgers got lengthy outings — by the 2016 Dodgers standards — from Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill in Games 2 and 3, so if anything the Dodger bullpen needed the work it got on Wednesday. The five relievers the Dodgers used Wednesday didn’t appear in Tuesday’s game.

If there’s any concern, maybe it’s that some hibernating Cubs hitters woke up. Anthony Rizzo, who was 2 for 26 this postseason coming into Game 4, went 3 for 5 with a solo home run that put the Cubs up 5-0 in the fifth. Addison Russell was 1 for 24 before his 3 for 5 day. He hit a two-run homer off Urías in the Cubs’ four-run fourth.

Urías, who became the youngest pitcher to make a start in postseason history at 20 years, 68 days old, was impressive in innings one through three. He retired the side in order in the first inning, got out of a second-inning jam and worked a mostly clean third.

But the fourth was his undoing. Ben Zobrist led off with a bunt single and then Urías surrendered back-to-back soft singles — the second gave Andrew Toles a chance to get Zobrist at the plate, but he threw it wide left and to the backstop. After an RBI groundout by Jason Heyward, Russell homered and ended Urías’ day.

The Dodgers’ best opportunity to jump back in the game was the bottom of the fifth after Cubs starter John Lackey departed following back-to-back walks to Toles and pinch-hitter Andre Ethier. After a Howie Kendrick single and Corey Seager strikeout, Justin Turner knocked them both in with a one-out, two-run single off reliever Mike Montgomery’s glove. Montgomery got groundouts by Adrián González and Kiké Hernandez to end the inning, though, stranding a pair of Dodger runners.

Two Dodger errors helped contribute to the Cubs’ five-run sixth.

You can also look back and shake your head on the second inning when Toles singled and González was thrown out at the plate — a play that was upheld by replay, but could have gone either way.

It was a forgettable game, one you can be sure the Dodgers have cleared out of their memory already.

And here’s another positive to look forward to. After Kenley Jansen threw 21 pitches on Tuesday, the blowout kept him out of Wednesday’ game.

The Yasmani Grandal we’ve come to know

Photo by Patrick Gee/© Los Angeles Dodgers

Photo by Patrick Gee/© Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

It just wasn’t a good at-bat.

Swinging strike on a Jake Arrieta curveball. Another flailing effort on another curveball. Short salvation came in the form of a high fastball. But then Arrieta hit the inside corner with a called strike three to end the second inning.

Yasmani Grandal turned and did the one thing a catcher shouldn’t do. He argued the call with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom.

It was the equivalent of spilling some coffee on your shirt and having a disagreement with your boss — all before 10 a.m.

Ah, but there were innings left and hours left in the work day. And if we’ve come to know anything about Grandal, it’s that one stain need not ruin his day.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Arrieta got ahead 0 and 2 on Grandal, but the Dodger catcher worked the count to 3-2, also fouling off a couple of Arrieta’s offerings. And on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Grandal dug a fastball from below the strike zone and drove it out 398 feet to left center field for a two-run homer — the biggest hit in the Dodgers’ 6-0 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. (more…)

Maeda to start NLCS Game 1, Kershaw for Game 2?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Kenta Maeda will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday, Dave Roberts confirmed, with Clayton Kershaw looking likely to make Sunday’s Game 2 start.

Kershaw was in good shape after Thursday’s late-night bullpen session that climaxed with the final seven pitches of the Dodgers’ National League Division Series clincher over Washington.

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Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen reach playoff glory

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

Clayton Kershaw threw 1,278 postseason pitches in his life prior to Thursday, but he wasn’t supposed to throw one in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

Instead, he threw the seven most courageous, gutsy and maybe important pitches of his baseball career.

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Turner and seven lefties lead surge against Scherzer

2016 NLDS Game One---Los Angeles Dodgers vs Washington Nationals

Nationals
Trea Turner, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jayson Werth, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Danny Espinosa, SS
Jose Lóbatón, C
Max Scherzer, P
Dodgers
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Josh Reddick, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, LF
Rich Hill, P

By Jon Weisman

The eight position players the Dodgers have used in their three previous National League Division Series games against right-handed starters will take the field tonight for Game 5 in Washington against Max Scherzer.

Over six innings in Game 1 six days ago, Scherzer walked none, hit one (Justin Turner) and allowed only five hits, but two of those hits were home runs. That’s basically the one vulnerability for Scherzer, who led NL pitchers with 31 gopher balls.

Including his final three regular-season starts, the 32-year-old Scherzer has given up seven homers in his past 23 2/3 innings.

“I think there’s a lot of confidence,” Dave Roberts said this afternoon of the Dodger offense. “Obviously, when you face Scherzer, whether you faced him a few days ago or you haven’t, this guy’s got elite stuff. He’s a big-game pitcher. Our guys realize that. But having known that we have gotten to him before, and recently, I think that that bodes good for us and our psyche.

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