If not for the double plays that his team grounded into during the seventh, eighth and ninth innings Saturday, Dodger pitcher Kenta Maeda would have been batting in the ninth inning of an absolute nailbiter in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
If not for the 4-3 lead the Dodgers had taken despite those double plays, Maeda — or a pinch-hitting Clayton Kershaw — might have been batting to keep the Dodgers alive.
If not for the Dodger bullpen’s work in holding that 4-3 lead, scheduled Game 4 starter Rich Hill would have taken the mound for Los Angeles to start the bottom of the 10th inning.
If not for Austin Barnes avoiding any injury that could have come in the final hour of the game, Max Muncy, who has never played catcher professionally, would have had to go behind the plate.
Any of these scenarios would have exposed Dodger manager Dave Roberts to toxic criticism. Instead, Roberts sashayed home to Los Angeles with a well-earned split of the first two NLCS games.
I’m here to tell you that even if the Dodgers had lost the game, Roberts made the right moves.