Dave Roberts Hopes Dodgers’ ‘Sloppy’ Play Not Indicative Of Losing Focus

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers split their doubleheader with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday thanks to a five-run eighth inning in the afternoon matchup, but their defensive play throughout the day was overall poor.

The Dodgers committed a combined six errors, with two in the first game and season-high four in the nightcap, and trailed for the majority of both contests.

Prior to Tuesday, the Dodgers’ last time with four errors in one game was July 2, 2021, when they still managed to defeat the Washington Nationals on the road.

“We didn’t play good baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the 5-2 loss to the D-Backs. “The first game, we kind of stole that one. The second game, it’s hard to win a baseball game when you give up outs and give up bases. It just was a sloppy game.

“Their kid came out there and threw the baseball well. Never seen him, so you’ve got to give him credit. We didn’t do anything much outside of the homer by Max.

“But again, when you don’t play fundamental baseball, it’s hard to win a ballgame.”

Poor defense has been an issue for the Dodgers lately as they have made nine errors since clinching the National League West title one week ago. Roberts hopes that isn’t a sign of the players losing focus with not much left to play for.

“I like to think that’s not the case, but clearly when you’re watching the baseball game, it was sloppy and it wasn’t focused,” Roberts said. “I don’t know the answer, but let’s just hope that it was a day that we can turn the page on.”

While the Dodgers have been committing more errors than they normally do, they have also had defensive miscues that haven’t been scored as errors. On Sept. 17, the Dodgers were only credited with one error on Trea Turner despite a poor throw from Gavin Lux that prevented them from turning a double play in the first inning.

After the two middle infielders made their defensive mistakes, Julio Urías tried to encourage the pair.

Although the NL West is already wrapped up, the Dodgers still have a magic number of five to clinch the top seed in the NL throughout the playoffs and nine to clinch home-field through the World Series. But more importantly, they need to figure out their defensive issues before the postseason begins.

Roberts doesn’t believe doubleheader start time affected Dodgers

The first game of the day started at 12:10 p.m. PT, which is an hour earlier than the team is used to playing their day games at Dodger Stadium, but Roberts doesn’t think that was to blame for subpar play.

“Once the game starts, you play, and you make plays or don’t make plays,” he said. “You take good at-bats or you don’t. So I don’t think that has any bearing.”

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