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With the game on the line in the 10th inning, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to let someone on the San Diego Padres beat his team other than hot-hitting Manny Machado.
The wet weather delayed the start of the game, then going to extra innings made it a late night at Petco Park. However, the wait was well worth it for the Padres fans in attendance as Jake Cronenworth plated Juan Soto with one out in the 10th to give San Diego a 5-4 win.
Manny Machado challenged Dodgers, Dave Roberts to pitch to him
With Soto starting the 10th inning at second base, Roberts chose to intentionally walk Machado to try to set up the double play. The choice was strategic, but also based on how Machado had already torched the Dodgers during the game, going 3-for-3 and drawing a walk in his first four plate appearances.
After getting the walk, Machado had one request for the L.A. dugout, which was met with a not-so-surprising answer.
SportsNet LA broadcast showed Manny Machado looking back to the Dodgers dugout saying “pitch to me” while Dave Roberts just shook his head no
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) September 10, 2022
The strategy worked momentarily for Los Angeles as Heath Hembree struck out Josh Bell for the first out of the inning before Cronenworth connected on an 0-1 pitch to score Soto and give San Diego its MLB-leading 11th victory in extra innings and its second walk-off win in its last three contests.
Dave Roberts won’t be able to avoid Manny Machado in every at-bat, but with the NL MVP candidate slashing .302/.370/.532 heading into that pivotal 10th-inning at-bat, it’s no surprise that Roberts issued him an intentional pass.