Don Mattingly trusts his players, particularly his pitchers. And he's going to let them ride, even when the heart and mind both say otherwise--sitting on his hands until it's too late.
In a situation eerily similar to Clayton Kershaw's last start (where we almost lost the game with two out in the ninth, Kershaw giving up a two-run single to change a lead to a deficit), Mattingly leaves Matt Guerrier in for a second inning of relief in the eighth inning, the Dodgers holding a 8-5 lead. The sucky Alfonso Soriano leads off with a single. Concerned? Not Mattingly. Reed Johnson follows with a single. Concerned? Not Mattingly. PH Kosuke Fukudome coaxes a walk. Concerned? Not Mattingly.
Starlin Castro singles in two runs. Concerned? Not Mattingly. Darwin Barney gets on for a run-scoring FC. Concerned? Not Mattingly. Marlon Byrd strikes out on a 2-2 count. Aramis Ramirez singles, Barney advancing to third. FINALLY, Mattingly hooks Guerrier. But then Blake Hawksworth comes in and serves up a first-pitch double to Jeff Baker, and we're down 10-8 and as good as dead in the water.
This pathetic management in the eighth spoils a furious comeback from a 5-1 deficit to an 8-5 lead, thanks in part to HR from Casey Blake, Matt Kemp, and Rod Barajas. Back to .500 we fall. Up to .500 the Cubs ascend. And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap and dream about our father getting back in the Dodgers' mix.