May 9, 2012, 9:13 AM EDT
Look, I’m not saying I would be a better manager than Don Mattingly. I know I wouldn’t be. I’d screw up every single double switch, I’d forget to warm up guys in the bullpen, I’d drop F-bombs on my local radio show and the first time my clubhouse got a little out of control I’d handle it poorly and have a revolt on my hands that even A.J. Hinch would mock.
But I do think that, if I managed the Los Angeles Dodgers, I’d do everything in my power to make sure the bat was never taken out of Matt Kemp‘s hands if it could be helped. This is something Donnie Baseball did not do last night.
The scene: eighth inning of last night’s Dodgers-Giants game. Bobby Abreu on second base, Dee Gordon on first, Mark Ellis at the plate. No one out. Mattingly has Ellis bunt and he’s “successful.” That success, however, ensures that Kemp — who was on deck — would be walked because it put runners on second and third with one out and first base open.
So Kemp was walked, Bruce Bochy brought in lefty Javier Lopez to face lefty Andre Ethier (and behind him were two more lefties, so it was certain that Bochy would bring in Lopez). Eithier hits into a double play, ending the last best chance the Dodgers had to win the game.
Mattingly defended the move after the game, saying that Ethier led the league in RBI and he had confidence in him and all of that. But really: wouldn’t you rather have Matt Kemp in a position to where he could do some damage rather than have him given the inevitable free pass? And that’s before you figure in what Ellis giving away an out does for your scoring chances.
I don’t usually second-guess like this, but man, there is no one hitting like Matt Kemp right now. I think I’d let the man hit.
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 0
- Tigers acquire closer Joakim Soria from the Rangers 41
- Phillies officials “have contemplated the possibility of paying off” and releasing Ryan Howard 37
- The dizzying intellect of Tom Glavine 20
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts 158
- Chase Headley plays the hero in his first game in pinstripes 33
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 29
- Rockies place Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list 18
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (158)
- Luke Scott released from Korean team after calling coach a “liar” and a “coward” (108)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (97)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)