Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Explains Why He Pinch-Hit Austin Barnes in Crucial Game 3 Spot

The Dodgers were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS, marking the third time in the last five seasons LA has failed to get out of the first round. It was a poor performance all around, and one of the worst that this organization has seen in quite some time.

But for a brief moment in Game 3, it seemed that LA had life. However, it ended just as soon as it started in the 7th inning.

Manager Dave Roberts decided to pinch-hit catcher Austin Barnes for David Peralta, and the move backfired. Despite Barnes not swinging the bat since September 30, he was called upon in a late-game situation to pinch hit. LA had finally gotten some things going offensively, but in the end, it was too late.

Roberts explained his decision to put Barnes in that situation.

“I think just for me, it was a situation we needed to get a hit. And I just think with the left-on-left, the ball going away from him, it’s a sinker. David has a tendency to put the ball on the ground.”

Per Dave Roberts

Peralta may have been the better play here, even with the lefty-lefty matchup. He hit left-handers much better than Barnes all season long, and it’s unfortunate that we won’t ever know what could have happened.

Barnes has come up clutch in the postseason before, so Roberts was likely banking on it happening again. But nothing that the veteran catcher had shown all season would warrant him in that situation.

This is similar to what happened last season in Game 2 of the series with the San Diego Padres when Roberts decided to pinch-hit Barnes for Cody Bellinger. I understand that Roberts trusts his guy, but this was a situation where a better hitter could have made a difference.

“Austin is a guy who has been in many postseasons, got huge hits for us. It was a chance to get a lefty — a righty on the lefty. And he just expanded. It was a ball down below the zone and let him off the hook right there.”

Per Dave Roberts

But this one decision from Roberts didn’t cost LA the series. Their entire performance throughout did, but this did kill any last-ditch momentum that the Dodgers had.

The offense let this team down after a record-setting season, and it’s difficult to think about. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, but once again the Dodgers will enter the offseason with more questions than answers.

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Levine

Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, growing up a huge fan of the Dodgers and Lakers. Matt Kemp was his favorite Dodgers player growing up.


  1. Barnes a non factor most of the yr. They can do better for a backup esp. w Kershaw perhaps retiring no need for his personal caddy. Lynn should not be resigned. They need pitching, pitching and hitting.

  2. Why do people think this man is a good manager? Since his arrival as manager he has been given a highly talented roster. What has he done absolutely nothing. Manages off of arrogance than logic. He has blown two ws and lead fans into disappointment every year. He is not a good manager.. let him go somewhere else and see how talented he is. How many free agents have passed on the dodgers over the years. Think about it.

  3. Barnes should have never been on the roster and it wouldn’t have mattered what Kershaw feels or thinks.

  4. I’ve been saying the same thing, with Robert’s at the helm Dodgers will not win an other WS no matter what talent he has.

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