Okay, I know this goes all the way back to Wednesday July 2's game, in which the Dodgers lost 5-4 to the Indians and lost their first series in almost a month. But even with last night's win, it sticks in my craw because of coach Don Mattingly's bizarre coaching decisions (or lack of decisions), that possibly cost us the game.
The eighth inning saw the Dodgers cough up a 3-2 lead and turn it into a 5-3 deficit thanks to Brian Wilson's +5 ERA. Wilson has looked better of late, but he has been extremely unreliable all year and this was just another example of his volatility. Scott Van Slyke had a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-4, and then Chris Perez had an unremarkable top of the ninth.
Bottom of the ninth, two outs, and Hanley Ramirez PH for A.J. Ellis and works a walk. Fine, take your base, HanRam. But for some reason, even with Drew Butera available to pinch-run (Butera would have to sub for Ellis anyway on defense, should the game continue), Mattingly inexplicably left Ramirez out there on first to run for himself. If not Butera, what about any of the other pitchers? Or how about Manny Mota, for pete's sake? Ramirez, battling a tight calf muscle, has been discussed as fit for a DL stint. Why are we expecting him to run the bases when rallying and down by a single run?
On the radio show, even Rick Monday and Charley Steiner couldn't understand this move. And sure enough, Andre Ethier blooped a double into shallow left, but instead of a healthy and fit runner on first pressing to score from home, we had HanRam limping around the bases, barely making it to third. Blink of an eye later, and Matt Kemp had flied out to end the game, with 2 RISP.
The Dodgers haven't won a game this year when trailing after eight innings. This is the kind of managerial incompetence that is going to keep us from winning games late. Come on, Donnie. Put us in positions to win!