1. Pulling Yency Almonte After a 1-0 Count
What … was this? In a win-or-go-home Game 4 for the Dodgers, Roberts got the team into a bit of a pickle with his pitching decisions. First, he yanked Tyler Anderson after just five innings and 86 pitches. The left-hander allowed just two hits and two walks. Only one baserunner advanced past first in those first five frames.
Going to the bullpen that early, quite frankly could’ve been the result of this undoing. Chris Martin got through the sixth (after allowing two hits), but then the seventh was where it all unraveled. Tommy Kahnle allowed three earned runs on two hits and a walk and Yency Almonte allowed two earned runs on two hits.
But that was because Alex Vesia gave up the game-losing hit to Jake Cronenworth after Almonte was pulled from the game on 1-0 count to the Padres’ second baseman. This move screamed desperation and without a doubt probably rattled Vesia, who more than likely wasn’t ready to enter a game in the middle of an at-bat.
Vesia worked the count to 2-2, but Cronenworth, with the stadium already rocking, ripped a two-run single into center field. If Roberts wanted to go lefty-lefty, why did he allow Almonte to throw a pitch? And why did he think it was smart to import Vesia behind in the count?
Additionally, Vesia pitched in Games 1, 3 and 4; Almonte pitched in Games 2, 3 and 4; and Kahnle pitched in Games 2, 3 and 4. Perhaps Vesia, the better pitcher, should’ve just come in to face Ha-Seong Kim, Juan Soto and Manny Machado?
Padres fans aren’t complaining, though. It punched their ticket to the NLCS.