Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Lack of In-Game Adjustments by LA Players ‘Well-Known’ Around the League

Sometimes, there are conflicting narratives around a team. During the historic regular season, the talk was all about how the Dodgers had eschewed a dependence on iPads in the dugout in favor of talking with each other about what they were seeing. Among their 111 wins were 48 come-from-behind victories, the most in baseball.

Now that the Dodgers lost in the NLDS, the narrative has changed. According to David Vassegh and Jerry Hairston Jr. on SNLA’s Access: SportsNet on Tuesday, the Dodgers don’t make in-game adjustments and everyone knows that.

Vassegh: “At Dodger Stadium in the month of September, you see the press box crowded with scouts from all these teams that you’re going to see in the postseason. They know these players’ tendencies inside and out because they’re following them every single day. And the one thing that a lot of them noticed was the Dodgers hitters don’t make in-game adjustments. They’re very married to the percentages that they see before the game.

“But here’s the trick, the other teams know the Dodgers are married to that and they flip the script on them, and the Dodgers have not had great fortune adjusting in game.

“We saw that during the 2019 NLDS when (Stephen) Strasburg and Patrick Corbin pitched backwards against them. We saw that with Blake Snell in this series where all he had was his fastball. Yet for some reason, Dodger hitters are taking strike three with a fastball. That’s the only pitch he had working for him. So they know their tendencies.”

Hairston: “I get text messages and calls a month before the start of the playoffs, they go, ‘You know, you guys aren’t gonna win the World Series, right? It’s well known. You guys don’t make in-game adjustments, especially offensively. We all know that.’ … It’s around baseball, that we don’t make offensive adjustments and they flip the script on us.”

For purposes of this conversation, we’ll pretend that Patrick Corbin didn’t go 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in the 2019 NLDS, just to be nice to Vassegh. There’s no reason to believe JHair and DV are being dishonest; they really might have had those conversations with representatives from other teams. The timing seems odd — would a potential playoff opponent really tell Hairston, a month before the playoffs started, how they were going to beat the Dodgers?

More to the point, if it was so well-known throughout the league that the Dodgers don’t make in-game adjustments, and if those in-game adjustments are so important, how did the Dodgers win 111 games in the regular season? People like to talk about the playoffs like it’s a totally different sport, but the fact is, baseball is baseball. The Padres who beat the Dodgers in the NLDS are the very same Padres who lost 14 of 19 games to L.A. in the regular season.

Were the Padres playing possum in the regular season? Did they not learn the secret the rest of the league knew about the lack of adjustments until sometime between September 29 and October 12? Or could this possibly be another attempt by a couple analysts to identify The Big Thing, the One Reason a team underperformed when the actual truth is much more complicated?

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Yeah, we’re hearing a lot of this sort of thing because everyone – especially the analysts – is/are experts in hindsight. If the Padres were smart enough to sandbag the Dodgers, then they certainly would be playing in the World Series right now. Truth be told even a 111 win team can have holes (remember the 1954 Cleveland Indians, who were undone by a great catch and the cheapest home run imaginable). And the Padres took advantage of the Dodgers not coming to play, for whatever reason.

  2. You are wrong. The Padres weren’t the same team after the Trade deadline. Not nearly. And furthermore what adjustments did Dodgers make after Padres knocked off the Mets? The point Vassegh and Hairston were trying to make is that the weren’t the same team but dodgers expected them to be!

  3. could not agree on.the dodgers are guilty of this every single year.and they never learn

    1. Roberts over used (unnecessarily)and over exposed his bullpen to the Padres during September and the playoffs. Hitters like Kim
      And Nola were able to come through because they had seen So much of the stuff the two pitch relievers showed them.
      Roberts is almost as bad as mattingly as a mgr
      Is the FO more concerned with signing a puppet or a decent mgr who has some other strategy than remove your pitcher and after 5 inniings

  4. “…would a potential playoff opponent really tell Hairston, a month before the playoffs started, how they were going to beat the Dodgers?”

    Nowhere in J Hair’s quote did he say it was a potential opponent saying this. He was probably talking about people he played with during his career.

    The offense is a problem every single year in the Postseason. It’s not “just baseball” at this point. This is a trend that we see year in and year out. There is something wrong with the process once this team gets to October. And I firmly believe that Friedman’s “the Postseason is just a crap shoot” attitude has something to do with it. A team with as many wins as the Dodgers have had over the past 10 years shouldn’t be 1 for 10 in terms of winning it all. Something happens to this team once the calendar flips to October and it ain’t randomness. Whatever the problem is needs to be diagnosed and fixed or we’ll be in this exact same spot a year from now. Which is what I fully expect to happen.

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