Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Agrees With Umpire On Costly Call Against Joe Kelly

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Saturday saw plenty of shared history at Dodger Stadium, as Lance Lynn, Jason Heyward and Joe Kelly faced their former team in the third game of a series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lynn worked a high-wire act to get through four scoreless innings, aided by striking out the side after the Dodgers loaded the bases in the opening frame.

Heyward went 1-for-5 with a couple of deep fly balls and one walk in the Dodgers’ 6-5 loss in extra innings.

Meanwhile, Kelly was at the center of the Dodgers seeing their 2-0 lead evaporate in the seventh inning.

He immediately ran into trouble as a leadoff walk was followed by a hit batter. Catcher’s interference on Will Smith then loaded the bases with nobody out.

A sacrifice fly and RBI base hit then pulled the Cardinals even. After another single loaded the bases, Kelly appeared to retire Victor Scott II on a fly out to left field. But Kelly was instead called for a balk by third-base umpire Ryan Blakney, bringing in the go-ahead run.

The initial ruling announced to the press box was obstruction by Max Muncy at third base. Several minutes passed before the correct call was relayed, although there wasn’t confusion on the field in real time.

“It was a balk,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He didn’t stop, and Ryan Blakney got it right.”

Why did Dave Roberts keep Joe Kelly in?

Brendan Donovan later added a two-run double to cap off the Cardinals’ five-run inning and chase Kelly from the game.

Kelly’s bumpy appearance further highlighted the Dodgers only having one true left-hander in their bullpen in the form of Alex Vesia, because the team prefers to utilize Ryan Yarbrough as a swingman.

“I think it was the lefty, then Arenado and the other lefty, I just felt Joe hadn’t pitched and he’s a neutral guy, a high-leverage guy for us and I wanted to get him in the game,” Roberts explained.

“A guy like Joe Kelly, it really doesn’t matter when he pitches. Obviously, we had Alex looming, but I felt very comfortable with Joe. He just didn’t have a good night.”

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