Friday, June 23, 2017

Dave Roberts Is A Genius

I was at the game last night and saw the Dodgers finish off the sweep of the Mets with a 6-3 victory. The post-game wrapup focuses on Joc Pederson's tie-breaking HR to lead off the bottom of the seventh, making it 4-3 LA. However, from my perspective, the play of the game came later that inning, when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a bold gamble that totally paid off.

As that frame continued, with the Dodgers up 4-3 and two out, Kike Hernandez walked to load the bases (Logan Forsythe had singled; Chris Taylor had walked). Up came Pedro Baez, who got Wilmer Flores to ground out and end the top of the inning, and therefore had only pitched one out.

This would have been a good time to put in a pinch-hitter for Baez, so we could go to another reliever. Instead, Roberts let Baez, who does not have a single hit in his entire major league career, come to the plate. Mets pitcher Jerry Blevins, who had already gotten Cody Bellinger out for the second out of the inning, may have been rattled by walking Hernandez. If so, Roberts somehow knew it, and rubbed it in the Mets' face by sending up a relief pitcher in that situation.

Baez then earned a four-pitch walk to walk home the Dodgers' fifth run. And Blevins was so flustered, he proceeded to walk Austin Barnes right after than, stoking LA to a 6-3 lead. Terry Collins had seen enough then, and replaced Blevins with Fernando Salas to get Yasiel Puig to ground out. But the damage was done. The Mets didn't get any closer than that.

The Mets are obviously struggling, 12 games out of first in the NL East, having allowed 15 HR in the four-game series with the Dodgers, and a number of their stars on the disabled list. But Roberts' bravado to make that call in this game was about as insulting, and incredible, a call as you could imagine. Almost 20 hours later, I remain blown away at what a brilliant call that was to leave Baez in the game.

Way to go, coach! What a sweep.


Orlando Zepeda said...

Did that upset Wilmer Flores as well?

Steve Sax said...


QuadSevens said...

That was definitely a bold move by Doc. On tv, Joe Davis was saying that it may have been done because Doc wanted Baez to face the heart of the Mets lineup in the next inning. Worked out well for us either way!