The game that puts Carlos Beltran in the HOF…and Don Mattingly out.
Nearly half-past midnight here, the fireworks blazed, the rock music blared, and the red-clad crowd roared.
All of which was surely nothing compared to the noises rattling around inside the Dodgers’ psyche — and surely inside their embattled manager’s head — after they watched a precious postseason win slip into a loss.
...More than anything, though, it was the defeat of a team whose managerial decisions led it there.
Don Mattingly, whose curious moves led to the Dodgers’ only loss in the division series against the Atlanta Braves, pulled another ugly rabbit out of his cap to become the main player in their second postseason loss. Mattingly made questionable late-inning moves during the regular season, but under the postseason spotlight, his moves have been magnified and the heat has been turned up considerably.
Friday night, the spotlight initially focused on the eighth inning, when Mattingly pulled Adrian Gonzalez, his most consistent postseason hitter, for Dee Gordon, a pinch-runner who was quickly wasted. It was a decision that came back to haunt the Dodgers again and again during a game in which Gonzalez’s bat was sorely missed in several extra-inning situations.
Then, in the 13th inning, Mattingly let his best reliever, Kenley Jansen, sit in the bullpen while Chris Withrow, pitching his second inning, allowed a one-out single and walk. Jansen finally came into the game and promptly allowed a game-winning single to Carlos Beltran, whose line drive to right field rocked the house.
Even as the Cardinals were celebrating on the field, though, once again the focus was on the Dodgers dugout.
“If the rest of the series is like this game, it should be a pretty good one,” Mattingly said.
Good for who?
Posted: October 12, 2013 at 06:09 AM | 35 comment(s)
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