2023 NLDS: Why Dave Roberts Kept Lance Lynn In During Dodgers’ Game 3 Loss To Diamondbacks

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their season come to an end behind a poor effort from Lance Lynn and another lackluster offensive showing that resulted in the Arizona Diamondbacks completing a sweep in the National League Division Series.

Lynn pitched well his first two innings of work, but received some luck when two fly balls fell just short of leaving the ballpark. However, the wheels fell off in the third inning when the Diamondbacks put on a Home Run Derby.

Geraldo Perdomo started the barrage with a leadoff solo shot, and later came by blasts from Ketel Marte and Christian Walker.

Gabriel Moreno then hit a ball down the line which was initially ruled a home run before being called a foul ball and upheld with replay. At the moment, it seemed like a much-needed break for the Dodgers, but that feeling was short-lived as Moreno blasted a home run on Lynn’s next pitch.

In total, Lynn gave up four home runs in the inning, and the Dodgers never recovered. Although manager Dave Roberts said he planned to approach the matchup like it was Game 7 and have more urgency, he instead left Lynn on the mound to put the Dodgers in another early hole.

“He threw two scoreless and was doing well, and then he gives up the homer to Perdomo,” Roberts said. “And then gets the grounder and the Marte homer. You’re still in the third inning, 2-0, then he gets Pham.

“You’ve got two outs and a low-pitch count, and you figure that this run of right-handed hitters, you’ve got to be able to navigate it somewhat with two outs, nobody on base.

“Then two homers later you’re down 4-0. I had some guys ready. Obviously I can’t predict the future. I try not to be reactionary and get ahead of things. I just can’t predict the future. The way he was throwing the baseball, I didn’t expect that.”

The Dodgers had Caleb Ferguson ready to enter the game, but Roberts did not consider him a potential option at the time despite Lynn’s inability to prevent the Diamondbacks from homering.

“Caleb came in and his run was essentially going to be at Thomas,” Roberts explained. “So to have a guy in Lance, if I could have predicted the future, to have a right-hander the second time through. Lance faced 14 hitters.

“To have Caleb come at Pham or Walker or Gurriel or Moreno, that wasn’t going to happen. Just what I saw I had to get him out of there and get Fergy on Gurriel, who ended up hitting the ball hard but got out of that inning. I think sometimes you’ve still got to trust the players to go out there and execute. Tonight we just didn’t get that start.”

Lynn had problems preventing home runs in the regular season as well, giving up an MLB-worst 44 long balls this season while pitching to a 5.64 ERA. Despite his season-long struggles, the Dodgers opted to put their season in Lynn’s hands while Ryan Pepiot, who posted a 2.14 ERA, didn’t throw a pitch in the NLDS.

Diamondbacks to set postseason record against Lance Lynn

The Diamondbacks became the first team in MLB history to hit four home runs during an inning in the postseason. That proved to be all the offense they needed as the Dodgers were held to just two runs.

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