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Report: Dave Roberts will manage Dodgers in 2020

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The Dodgers fell to the Nationals 7-3 in 10 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS Wednesday night, a bitter end to what was otherwise another terrific season in Los Angeles. The loss was, in part, due to yet more mismanagement of the bullpen by manager Dave Roberts. There was some consternation that, despite the Dodgers’ sustained success in recent years, Roberts could be on the hot seat.

Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dave Roberts will remain the Dodgers’ manager in 2020. The skipper signed a four-year contract extension with the Dodgers last December.

Under Roberts, the Dodgers have gone 393-256 during the regular season, winning the NL West all four years. They reached at least the NLCS from 2016-18, and lost in the World Series in ’17 and ’18 before Wednesday’s heartbreaking loss to knock them out of the Division Series.

The Dodgers figure to return in 2020 with a roster that’s largely similar to the one they put together this year. Despite some expensive players like Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen, a large percentage of the active roster is either pre-arbitration or going through the arbitration process. According to Cot’s Contracts, without accounting for those arbitration-eligible players’ salaries, the Dodgers have $112 million committed for the 2020 season. The Dodgers could make plays for some big name free agents if they wanted to, giving Roberts even more to work with.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.