Currently, the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers are on pace for 105 regular season wins. Without question, that is the mark of an incredible team. However, even incredible teams have an achilles. Like every human that walks the earth – imperfection exists beneath the surface.
Once more – one of the Dodgers’ best writers Pedro Moura – writes about a harrowing quality that could follow the club into their postseason.
Dave Roberts said he pulled Joc Pederson tonight because Pederson did not run out his eighth-inning RBI grounder. “You gotta run the ball out,” Roberts said. “There’s a certain way to play the game. I didn’t see the effort there.”
Pederson said his effort was unprofessional.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 30, 2019
While it’s been no secret amongst us, some of these defensive miscues recently bled into other areas of play. At Coors Field in Colorado, Joc Pederson had a rough day over at first base. Certainly, you can all picture the sequence of events referred to if you were watching the game.
First, it was a ground ball off the glove of Pederson. Then, Pederson grounded out and didn’t run out the play to first. Manager Dave Roberts promptly benched his player for that, and Pederson talked about it after the game. To no surprise, the outfielder turned first baseman sounded frustrated.
“I let the emotions get the best of me,” he said. “I’m better than that. I’ve gotta continue to put in work and go through as many experiences as I can. It is what it is.”
Without question, errors become a larger flaw when you are taking those mistakes into your offensive phases of baseball.
The skipper himself has been around the game long enough to know this. With the great team the Dodgers have assembled, all the talent and chemistry in the world won’t be able to outrun this sudden weakness in the month of October.
“It needs to get better,” Roberts said. “I’m not concerned about the long term. But in the present, it’s important. It causes pitchers to go shorter in games because the pitch count gets up, and the rhythm of the game. Hopefully, it turns sooner than later.”
At this point, the club has to do more than simply hope things get better. While Pederson should be expected to hustle, you can only blame a player miscast in a position or role to a small degree.
The Dodgers are all about maximizing value – both on the field and in player acquisition. The month of August really needs to serve as a ‘turn the page’ string of days on the calendar. Primarily, you want to see what guys at what spots are yielding the best results defensively. Then, you start to chalk out your best nine that will go on stage when the lights shine the brightest.
Right now, this is an obvious area that must get cleaned up. Without that, a big error or two at the wrong time could be something we talk about for a long time; for all the wrong reasons.
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