Results tagged ‘ Dave Roberts ’

The eighth inning and the epitome of the Dodgers

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By Cary Osborne

The October sky had fallen into a million pieces and landed on the field at Dodger Stadium again. A 5-2 Dodger lead heading into the seventh inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series left the frame in a 5-5 tie. And either someone was going to sweep away those pieces, or pick them back up. Maybe you’ve seen these Dodgers before.

“If anyone gives up on this team,” Dave Roberts said after the game, “they haven’t seen us play a whole lot this year.”

In the bottom of the eighth inning, one of the game’s top relief pitchers in 2016, Washington’s Blake Treinen, got the first two outs.

Then …

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Bullpen usage key in decision to start Kershaw

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Nationals
Trea Turner, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jayson Werth, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Danny Espinosa, SS
Pedro Severino, C
Joe Ross, 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
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Two critical factors in favor of Julio Urías starting today’s Game 4 of the National League Division Series fell away Monday.

No. 1 was that the Dodgers lost, making today’s game an elimination game. No. 2 was that the Dodger bullpen, already on its heels after Saturday’s postponement and Sunday’s 3 2/3 innings, was forced to throw 131 pitches Monday after Kenta Maeda’s fourth-inning exit.

Whatever you might speculate about Clayton Kershaw’s durability at this point, his typical outing is longer than a typical outing for the 20-year-old Urías. With that in mind, the Dodgers decided to put their best pitcher out there today.

One whom, it must be added, has actually thrived on three days’ rest, with a 1.89 ERA in 19 such innings over three starts.

“With Clayton, we had complete certainty from the training staff (and) doctors that health wasn’t a factor,” Dave Roberts said. “Obviously, it’s a game we need to win. One, Clayton gives us the best chance to win, and two, he gives us the best chance to go deeper into a game.”

Basically, the Dodgers need to play 18 innings of winning baseball over the next three days. The Dodgers will start attacking those innings with Kershaw, and then use the remaining 10 pitchers on their staff (except, one supposes, for Kenta Maeda) to cover the rest.

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Roberts went for early knockout with Jansen

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

With all the second-guessing and debates already in this postseason about back-end bullpen usage (re: Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia and Andrew Miller), Dave Roberts didn’t shy away from risk.

In the eighth inning, the Dodger manager moved aggressively, asking Kenley Jansen to get five outs and protect the Dodgers’ 4-3 lead — only the third time in his career Jansen had been asked to get five outs and the first time in his 11 postseason appearances. And it worked.

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In case you missed it: Pre-NLDS news and notes

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Tomorrow really is just a day away. Friday’s opening game of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Nationals comes in about 24 hours, depending on when exactly you’re reading this.

Here’s what been percolating …

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MLB’s Rookie of the Year might be the Dodger manager

Los Angeles Dodgers

Patrick Gee/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

Both times Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman used the word optimism when referring to Dave Roberts, he thought it needed a forceful descriptor in front of it.

What Roberts brought to the Dodger organization in 2016, Friedman said, was “relentless optimism.”

And through the countless adversities of a season so unique, there is a direct correlation between the Dodgers reaching the postseason as National League West champions and the manner in which Roberts skippered the ship.

Yes, it was a world-class, top-of-the-line ship. But 2016 was typhoon season for the Dodgers, with an onslaught of injuries (including losing the best pitcher in baseball for two months), first-half offensive woes, balancing playing time, guiding rookies and falling eight games behind the San Francisco Giants in late June.

“Dave has done an incredible job this year,” Friedman said. “Just his ability to communicate. His relentless optimism and his ability to put guys in a position to succeed have been a huge part of our success this year.”

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Andrew Friedman, Dave Roberts explain Dodgers’ NLDS roster choices

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers faced several hard choices in coming up with their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series — and to some extent, the specific matchup with the Washington Nationals served as a tiebreaker.

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One celebration down, ‘three more celebrations’ to go for NL West champion Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

One of these years, it wasn’t going to happen. One of these years, the National League West title would go to someone else.

Three months ago, 2016 looked dangerously like it would be that year. The Dodgers began the season in pursuit of their fourth straight division championship, but on June 26, eight games down in the division, one ace down on the disabled list — it was a feeding frenzy for those looking to bury Los Angeles.

Exactly three months later, on September 26, the Dodgers will wake up not eight games down in the NL West, but eight games up — and playoff bound.

Instead of surrendering with Clayton Kershaw out, the Dodgers found a deep resolve. Not coincidentally, it came from a deep roster.

“We talked a lot at Spring Training about depth in the organization,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, in the bombastic clubhouse after today’s clinching victory over Colorado. “It wasn’t something that we were necessarily eager to showcase, as early as we did and as often as we did. But it’s an incredible organization. The number of fingerprints on this division title spans so many different players and so many different departments in our organization. So many people can be proud of it.

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A Hill of beans in this crazy world

Dodgers at Marlins, 10:10 a.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Andre Ethier, LF
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

I guess my wife and I picked the wrong day to take the family to Disneyland.

Exactly 51 years and one day after Sandy Koufax threw the last perfect game by a Dodger pitcher, Rich Hill nearly did the same (in a 5-0 Dodger victory). And in the process, he became the first Dodger pitcher since Hiroki Kuroda in 2008 to throw seven perfect innings — and the first ever to do so without facing another batter.

The controversy arose from the latter fact. In the overnight chatter since Hill was removed, many have had a chance to weigh in, and so with the Dodgers’ next game already about to start, I’m just going to highlight a few points …

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Seemingly lost without Clayton Kershaw, the 2016 Dodgers found themselves

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sans-kershaw-standingsBy Jon Weisman

On Wednesday, the Dodgers played what they hope will be their last game with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list.

The standings (seen at right) for those 73 days without their incomparable star, at least on the surface, tell as unexpected a story as one has seen from the Dodgers since 1988 — a story equal to if not beyond their 2006 playoff push after going 1-13 to start the second half of the season, the Manny Ramirez-led charge to a division title in 2008 or the 42-8, last-to-first comeback in 2013.

That the Dodgers have gone from eight games behind the Giants in the National League West to five games ahead, without their best pitcher (or double handfuls of other injured players at given moments), speaks to something beyond magic, let alone the Giants collapse. Playing .613 ball, a winning percentage second in MLB only to the Cubs, has been a result of a level of talent and depth that few seemed to appreciate when Kershaw went down.

man-down

In the latest Dodger Insider cover story, we trace the evolution of the 2016 Dodgers from what was perceived to be a one-man team into an all-hands-on-deck, grinding contender.

“I would hope that it was going to come out all along,” Dave Roberts said. “But I do know that when your best player goes down, there was a concerted effort for us to do a little bit more each individually. So it’s hard to say, but the way we have responded with Clayton being down is a testament to our guys.”

Read the entire story by clicking here.

* * *

Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who still wish to subscribe can do so at dodgers.com/magazine

Uriás strong again, but gets nicked on fingers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

With pink foam bandages wrapped around his left index and middle fingers, Julio Uriás said he was alright after the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Padres at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.

The Dodger starter caught some baseball while trying to bunt in the fourth inning off San Diego starter Clayton Richard.

“I felt I could still hold the ball and control it,” Uriás said after the game.

And to cool any panic, Dave Roberts said the prized lefty took some X-rays, and they came out negative.

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