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#pounditTuesday, July 16, 2024

Dave Roberts explains his questionable Game 1 pitching change

Dave Roberts

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a pitching change that may have cost his team Game 1 of the World Series, so naturally he was asked plenty of questions about it after an 8-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Roberts brought in right-hander Pedro Baez after lefty Julio Urias allowed a ground-rule double to Andrew Benintendi to begin the bottom of the 7th inning. Urias struck out Mitch Moreland, intentionally walked JD Martinez, and struck out Xander Bogaerts. Despite his effectiveness, Roberts brought in Alex Wood to face Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, aiming for the lefty-lefty matchup.

After Roberts made the pitching change, Boston manager Alex Cora countered by using Eduardo Nunez as a pinch-hitter. Nunez blasted a three-run home run over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox an 8-4 lead, but Roberts defended his decision.

“Devers is really good against right-handers, and to get a guy off the bench and Nuñez, I really liked Alex in that spot. I did,” he said, via Pedro Moura of The Athletic. “Whether they were going to hit Devers with a lead or go to the bench and go with Nuñez, I still liked Alex in that spot.”

The decision from Roberts would be more justifiable if not for Baez being so dominant this postseason. After getting two more outs on Tuesday night, Baez has allowed just two hits and one earned run in 7 1/3 innings during the playoffs, and the one run was Martinez scoring on the Nunez homer after Baez intentionally walked him. Wood, on the other hand, entered Game 1 with a 2.70 ERA and had an extremely shaky September, posting a 6.57 ERA for the month.

In that situation, Roberts probably should have just left Baez in. It seems like he overthought things a bit.

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