The Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West title this season for a 10th time in the past 11 years, and manager Dave Roberts arguably had his finest showing since being hired.
Roberts helped navigate the Dodgers through a rash of injuries that decimated not only their starting rotation but depth behind it as well, along with multiple distractions off the field. The Dodgers won 100 games for the third consecutive year and fourth full season in a row, which made MLB history.
Their streak began with a then-franchise-record 106 wins in 2019 and was repeated in 2021 before they broke that record with 111 wins in 2022. The only season during that stretch where the Dodgers did not reach 100 wins was in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic limited the season to 60 games.
That year the Dodgers went 43-17, good for a .716 winning percentage that amounts to a 116-win pace over 162 games.
“I think our expectation was to win the division, but given the division and the talent, the parity as far as the balanced schedule, it was hard to foresee this,” Roberts recently said of potentially reaching 100 wins in 2023.
“Especially given all the stuff we had to go through. Proud of our guys. They never wavered and right now I think we’re playing some of our best baseball, so I’m really excited by that.”
Unfortunately for Roberts and the Dodgers, regular season dominance again did not carry over into the playoffs. The Dodgers were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series, scoring just six runs during the three games.
It marked a second consecutive postseason in which the Dodgers were eliminated in the Division Series round by an NL West opponent.
“There’s some things with the format that people can dissect or whatever, but the bottom line is that the last two years we’ve got outplayed in the postseason,” Roberts said from Chase Field.
“It doesn’t matter if it was a seven-game series, we lost the first three games. For me, I’ve got to do a better job of figuring out a way to get our guys prepared for the postseason. I’ll own that. I think we’ve got great players.
“I’ve got to figure out a way to get these guys prepared for whatever format, whatever series. Yeah, the regular season, I think we do a great job. But the last couple of postseasons it just hasn’t gone well for us and so I’ve got to figure it out.”
Will Dodgers fire Dave Roberts?
The Dodgers’ disappointing showing in October has again brought about discussions over whether Roberts will be replaced with a new manager.
That wouldn’t appear to be a likely scenario given the array of challenges this season, but the Dodgers theoretically could decide a new voice in the clubhouse is best.
But on top of the Dodgers front office regularly lending their support to Roberts, there is also the fact that in March 2022 he was signed to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2025 season.
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