The ominous premonition did not go astray.
When the LA Dodgers won the National League (NL) West division and advanced directly to the Division Series (DS), experts cited the poor starting lineup as their biggest weakness. When the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Milwaukee Brewers with two wins in the Wild Card Series and was selected as the Dodgers’ DS opponent, there were expectations that advancing to the League Championship Series (NLCS) would not be easy.메이저사이트
Still, fans who believed in the potential of the Dodgers, who had won the 10th district title in the past 11 years, expected that the team would advance to the NLCS with ease.
Coach Dave Roberts brought up Clayton Kershaw in the first game of DS. Rookie fireballer Bobby Miller was also a candidate for selection in the first game, but Kershaw was trusted more because of his wealth of experience and stability at the end of the season. However, he was stabbed in the foot by the ax he trusted. He pitched his worst, giving up 6 hits and 2 walks and allowing 6 runs in the top of the first inning, and walked off the mound with his head down. A crushing defeat of 2-11.
Miller, who started Game 2, allowed 4 hits and 2 walks in 1⅔ innings and gave up 3 runs before being replaced. The Dodgers bowed 2-4. Since the first and second games held at home were lost due to a lack of a one-two punch, it should be said that the series had already moved to Arizona before moving to Phoenix.
Game 3, held at Chase Field on the 12th (Korean time), was also decided in the battle for the starting pitcher. Dodgers starter Lance Lynn did well until the second inning, allowing no runs, but hit four solo home runs in the third inning and gave up four runs. The Dodgers lost 2-4. The points Lin gave up were all the points conceded.
It could be said that the Dodgers’ failure this postseason was due to a lack of starting pitchers. MLB.com said, ‘There are many reasons to criticize the Dodgers. In early August, the Dodgers attempted to resolve the issue internally without reinforcing the areas most needed in the trade market. He commented, “The pitching plan for this series ultimately ruined the Dodgers’ fate.”
This means that it has been four months since Dodgers President Andrew Friedman failed to recruit a top starting pitcher last summer. Even Lin, who moved from the Chicago White Sox through a trade and played his part with 7 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 4.36, drove Game 3 to the ‘gates of hell.’
Lin allowed 44 home runs, the most among all pitchers in this regular season. It was no coincidence that he hit 4 home runs in one inning that day.
How did Manager Roberts feel when he left such a starting pitcher until he hit four home runs? Lin gave up his first home run to leader Heraldo Perdomo in the third inning, breaking the 0-0 balance. Arizona home fans began to go crazy.
With one out, Lin hit Ketel Marte’s second home run to right. However, Coach Roberts lost confidence and did not move even after seeing Lin’s red face.
With 2 outs, Christian Walker hit a solo home run to left field. Only then did the Dodgers bullpen move. Left-hander Caleb Ferguson appeared and began to warm up.
Coach Roberts remained on the bench even for a long time when the next hitter, Gabriel Moreno, pushed Lin’s fourth pitch to the right, which was overturned from a home run to a foul by video review. However, Moreno seemed to be laughing at Coach Roberts’ attitude and hit Lin’s next ball over the left-center fence. Only then did Director Roberts saunter out of the room.
Of course, the responsibility for this DS cannot be placed solely on the director. Regular season MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman’s poor performance in this series deserves to be remembered in history. In three games, Betts went 0-for-11 with one run scored, while Freeman went 1-for-10 with one run scored.
Director Roberts is evaluated as the best director in existence. Manager Roberts, who took charge of the Dodgers in November 2015 while serving as the San Diego Padres bench coach, recorded a total of 753 wins and 442 losses (0.630) in the regular season over the eight years until this year. Among the 839 coaches of all time, he ranks 4th in winning percentage, and is by far the 1st among the 142 who have led more than 1,000 games.
Excluding the 2020 shortened 60-game season, the Dodgers achieved the feat of winning 100 regular seasons for the first time in major league history for four consecutive seasons from 2019 to this year. It is no exaggeration to say that this is Director Roberts’ achievement. However, the Dodgers have experienced the humiliation of being eliminated from DS, the first hurdle, three times in the postseason over the past five years. Last year, despite winning 111 games, the most in the team’s regular season history, they lost 1-3 to San Diego in the DS.
Until today’s loss, Coach Roberts has recorded 45 wins and 39 losses in his postseason career. Since the win rate is over 50%, it may be difficult to raise an issue. Additionally, the achievements of three NL championships and one World Series championship achieved while leading fall baseball for eight consecutive years should not be disparaged.
However, the reason why Coach Roberts is said to be weak in fall baseball is because he often uses mercenary techniques and strategies that are difficult to understand. In particular, the Dodgers’ DS performance last year and this year can be considered the worst in the club’s history.
Nevertheless, the reason the Dodgers gave Manager Roberts ‘long-run authority’ through two extension contracts is because it gives the club what it wants. The Dodgers are the highest-grossing team in Major League Baseball. From 2013 to this year, it continued to rank first in terms of audience mobilization for 10 consecutive years (excluding the 2020 Corona season without spectators). This is the 7th consecutive year under Director Roberts.
There is no management evaluation standard as important as success for a professional club. Attendance directly leads to an increase in the income and value of the club. This is the reason for the existence of a club that can only be guaranteed by regular season results. In the team value announced by Forbes in April, the Dodgers ranked second with $4.8 billion, following the New York Yankees ($7.1 billion). It can be interpreted that this is partly due to Director Roberts’ commanding ability. Postseason performance is truly seen as a ‘bonus’.
This is why the Dodgers trust Manager Roberts even though they suffer from ‘nightmares’ every fall. Even if the media and fans criticize Coach Roberts, President Friedman may announce, “Our coach will be Roberts next year as well.” Manager Roberts signed a three-year contract extension in March of last year and will lead the Dodgers until 2025.