Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Explains Why He Left In Joe Kelly During NLDS Game 5 Loss


The same question kept getting asked with each passing batter during the top of the 10th inning Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium: Why is Joe Kelly still out there?

Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers paid for it.

L.A., which was a wagon all season, was bounced in the National League Division Series with a 7-3, 10-inning loss in the decisive Game 5.

After a sharp ninth inning, Kelly was sent back out for the 10th and promptly allowed a walk to Adam Eaton before a double to Anthony Rendon. Juan Soto was due up next, and instead of going to Adam Kolarek, who had pitched well against Soto, Roberts intentionally walked the left fielder to load the bases, proceeding to leave Kelly in to face Howie Kendrick.

The veteran second baseman hit a grand slam, sending the Nats to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Championship Series.

So why was Kelly in there so long?

?You?re looking at obviously a tie ball game, and Kelly goes in there, throws 10 pitches, and he?s throwing the baseball really well,? Roberts said, via The Orange County Register. ?I liked Joe right there in that spot. I really did. After 10 pitches there was no stress. Ball coming out well. So for him to go out there and take down that inning and to have Kenley (Jansen) take down the other part of the order, I felt really good about it.

?If the blame falls on me, I?ve got no problem with it,? Roberts later said. ?I feel that my job is to put guys in the best position to have success and if it doesn?t work out, there?s always going to be second-guessing, and I got no problem wearing the brunt of that. That?s okay.?

The loss came as a result of a blown three-run lead, which Clayton Kershaw was at the center of.

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