We just watched Dave Roberts take a hatchet to Dusty Baker. And Roberts, in his first year of managing turned Baker inside out, and did it with an actual understanding of strategy, leverage, and managing to win in the postseason — something Baker hasn’t quite figured out — losing for the NINE STRAIGHT TIMES in postseason elimination games.
Some of that is bad luck. But a chunk of that is definitely bad managing and poor use of the bullpen.
The Lizard was playing checkers. Roberts was playing chess.
And not surprisingly, it was the Dodgers and Roberts celebrating in the clubhouse, while Dusty was staring off into the distance, putting away the wrist-bands and tooth picks until spring. And spewing extremely lame postgame nonsense once it was over.
Sure it’s easy to sit here and second guess. And we’re right to do so. What was Baker doing pulling his ace Max Scherzer in the 7th, at 99 pitches, after giving up a home run to Joc Pederson on a 96-mph heater that was on the black? You had a Cy Young winner on the hill, in the deciding game, at home, pitching lights out. And he made a pretty good pitch to Joc Pederson, who got him. It happens.
The game was still tied, your ace was dealing, why are you panicking and in such a rush to get him out of there? That was a big mistake. Which led to others. And to Baker dropping some utter nonsense when it all over. Baker showed up for the postgame with festivities with that same, “I have no idea what just happened, I just know it’s not my fault’ vibe, quote:
“I’d be interested to see — they won the war — but the effects of Jansen and Kershaw when they get to Chicago,” Baker said postgame.
In other words, you may have beaten us, but you’ll never beat those guys! Great take, Bake.
Yeah, we’ll see how those two studs bounce back on short rest. In the meantime, you and the pitchers you mishandled will have nothing to worry about since y’all will have the entire postseason to recover. Even for Baker, that’s extremely whack.
I didn’t expect much from him after yet another one of his postseason collapses, but I expected more than that. Next time, you’re in the position, Bake, if you ever are the proper response is: incredible game. Helluva series. The better team and better manager won. All you can do is tip your hat and try to figure how you let another get away.