Los Angeles Dodgers manger Don Mattingly had experience with the crossroad he found himself at in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

With the Dodgers leading the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0, and Zack Greinke rolling, there was a decision to be made. Greinke had only allowed two hits through seven innings, but he had already thrown 103 pitches.

Greinke warmed up as though he was set to pitch another inning when Mattingly emerged from the dugout with the hook. According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, Greinke said he and Mattingly discussed the decision prior to the pitcher’s removal:

Greinke also added the decision wasn’t exactly set in stone:

Through five innings, Greinke had only allowed three runners to reach base (hit by pitch, walk, and double). His no-hitter was broken up with one out in the fifth and while he retired the side in order on 15 pitches in the seventh, the sixth wasn’t a walk in the park for him.

Matt Carpenter hit a leadoff double and Greinke then walked Matt Adams with two outs. However, he managed to keep the Dodgers’ two-run lead intact by striking out Jhonny Peralta, though he needed 20 pitches to get through the inning.

As for Mattingly’s decision to remove Greinke from the game, it didn’t turn out well. J.P. Howell gave up a leadoff single and it was followed by Carpenter’s game-tying, two-run home run. Brandon League replaced Howell and kept the game tied.

Mattingly has now made the decision to stick with an ace in one instance and take him out of the game in another, and it didn’t pan out either time. While the Dodgers managed to win Saturday’s game, bullpen questions remain as the series now shifts to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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