Dave Roberts: Rise In No-Hitters ‘Probably Not Great’ For MLB

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Major League Baseball saw six no-hitters thrown through the first month and a half of the regular season, then a seventh last when the Chicago Cubs used four pitchers in a combined no-no against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On May 19, New York Yankees starter Corey Kluber was the second pitcher in as many nights to throw a no-hitter, following the Detroit Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull. MLB has already tied and is well on pace to break the modern record for most no-hitters thrown in a single season.

“I probably don’t think it’s great for the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said about the increase of teams being held hitless.

“I think it’s great for Corey and the guys that have thrown no-hitters. Certainly a feather in their cap, but the ball in play, moving it forward, the numbers say it’s certainly at a big time downturn. Position players need to make an adjustment.”

In addition to the seven no-hitters that have been thrown, strikeouts are at an all-time high and batting average is at an all-time low. “It depends who you ask,” Roberts answered in response to whether this is a good trend.

“If you’re talking on the pitching side, certainly. But on the hitting side, no. I think overall, probably not. I think you see some of our guys shortening up a little bit, taking the base hit the other way, trying to put the ball in play.

“I think teams and individual players that kind of act on that sooner than later are going to benefit a lot more. Pitching is at its all-time high in my opinion.”

Like Roberts, Clayton Kershaw expressed concerned about the direction baseball seems to be heading. He blamed MLB for the growing amount of no-hitters being thrown, citing the adjustments they made to baseballs prior to the 2021 season.

Roberts highlights Dodgers’ contact percentage

Recognizing the league-wide trends, Roberts explained the Dodgers placed more emphasis contact percentage after the 2018 season. “It’s an organizational thing that we have been on top of and our players have bought into,” he said.

“Our hitting coaches believe in it here and throughout the system. When you’re talking about winning 11 games in the postseason, you see the best of the best. There are going to be strikeouts but you have to win 90 feet, you have to be able to take a walk, be able to move the ball forward.

“We’ve seen it in years past in the postseason where we haven’t made adjustments and been exploited. It was good to see us last year, from the outset, make the adjustment. I see that right now with our club.”

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