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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Admits the Team Ran Out of Steam in 2021

The 2021 season might have been one of the most challenging for the Dodgers in recent years. With so many things seemingly working against them, it’s wild that they managed to fight all the way to the National League Championship Series. It was also no surprise to see the Braves knock them out with relative ease. 

But the sheer number of injuries endured last season alone took the life out of the Dodgers. They tried to overcome that by landing Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a deal, and that worked through the end of the season. But those injuries combined with Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave were just too much to overcome. 

The Giants overperformed all season long, eventually leading Dodgers fans to realize that they are just a good team. The two NL West teams exchanged blows all season long, with San Francisco ultimately taking the division title. But the Dodgers got the last laugh in the Division Series. 

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But for what feels like the first time, Doc admitted to the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett today that the Dodgers just ran out of energy in 2021. The constant fight of the season combined with the injuries took it out of them, and the Braves rolled past. 

“We were gassed. Having to play tooth and nail to ultimately concede the division to the Giants — which they earned it — and then to play a one-game, do-or-die to find a way to win a game. Then to go up to the Bay and play five games and then to go on the road and play Atlanta. We were gassed. No excuses. We lost to a better team, playing better.”

The Dodgers came into the postseason and struggled to get things going offensively. With the exception of a few players, all of the bats struggled at all of the wrong times. It’s hard to say exactly what was the cause of that, but the emotional and physical stress that the 2021 season brought cannot be discounted. 

It was a rough year for a lot of different reasons for the Dodgers. But they come into the 2022 season ready to go, and hopefully with the depth to make a run.

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  1. The Dodgers offense going cold in the playoffs was nothing new, but the ineffective starting pitching was. Without Kershaw and Bauer they had 3 excellent starters but didn’t pitch to their potential. Post season ERA was ridiculously high for them. Might have been one of the best Dodgers bullpens I can recall (from 1-8) but when it mattered most management went to the starters to close games. In hindsight that only made the ineffective starters more ineffective.

  2. Roberts screwed up by not pitching David Price as a starter, wearing down Sherzer and the others. Bauer should have been allowed to play when the scam/DVP was tossed. Another World Series loss caused by Roberts’ mismanaging of pitchers and Rob Manfred’s INCOMPETENCY!!!!!!!!!

  3. It’s the analytics. Actually I didn’t think Roberts burned up the pitchers as much as previous years, but that’s damning with faint praise. But he continued to put players in a position to fail, rather than in a position to succeed. Now it’s possible (likely?) that he wouldn’t have a job if he managed as if it were people he was managing, but he manages as if they are interchangeable widgets, not people. Some players can step outside their normal roles and thrive, but it seems most cannot.

    Kershaw going down, May going down, Bauer out with admin leave, Seager on the DL for 2 months, Belli hitting what, .057? An absurdly overtalented team was only very good as the season wore on, but still, pitching was misused. You don’t go, well, this middle reliever has been going pretty good for the past month, one or two innings at a time. He should be good to start and go 7 now, right? Facepalm.