Dave Roberts refused to pitch to Manny Machado, and for good reason

Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres

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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 Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres renewed their I-5 rivalry on Friday night in rainy (yes, rainy) San Diego.

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.

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.

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