Over a 162-game season, there will be several decisions by a manager that will be criticized in hindsight and Don Mattingly is no exception.

In the 10th inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 14-inning loss to the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers had the winning run on second base in the form of slow-footed catcher A.J. Ellis with Yasiel Puig at the plate. Mattingly elected to leave Ellis to run for himself and he was eventually held at third when Puig singled to right. Mattingly then decided to run for Ellis once he was at third, but Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe both struck out to end the inning.

According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Mattingly had no intention of running for Ellis at second base and defended his decision despite many disagreeing with it:

I don’t think he (Arruebarrena) scores either (from second on Puig’s single to right),” Mattingly insisted. “We talked about it before the inning. That’s two more players there. It didn’t change anything. He’s not scoring there.”

The reference to two more players means that Arruebarrena would be burned as a runner and the Dodgers would be down to their final catcher in Drew Butera. The decision to burn two was different once Ellis reached third because of the chance of a sacrifice fly. Ultimately, Mattingly’s move was questioned even more once the Dodgers lost the game and that inning was highlighted even more so.

While some risk was involved going down to one catcher, that risk would be eliminated had Arruebarrena scored from second and ended the game on the single. In the end, it became one decision of many in a baseball game and was not the reason the Dodgers lost the game.

The Dodgers will try to shake off the loss with a day off on Thursday and a three-game set at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

12 Responses

  1. Keith Buohl

    This could have been the win that jump starts this team to finally finish the Giants off .. picking up the blown save,.Crawford delivering in the clutch…you do all you can do to win this game at that point and Mattingly did not do that. This was not a good loss as Mattingly said earlier…we have little room for error and we need to get it done now.

    Reply
  2. Nace Hicks Jr

    THAT A VERY POOR EXCUSE ABOUT DOWN TO ONE CATCHER.I JUST THINK MATTINGLY IS A VERY BAD DECISION MAKER AND MOST OF TIME HIS DECISIONS IS WRONG.i THINK HE IS THE SECOND BEST MANAGER IN WEST,WITH ALL THEM OTHER TIED FOR FIRST.I BEEN A DODGER FAN SINCE 1946 AND WITHOUT ONLY DOUBT MATHINGLY IS THE WORTH MANAGER SINCE THAT TIME

    Reply
  3. Beau Palica

    This just proves that Mattingly doesn’t have a clue. Anyone other than Ellis would have scored since the ball was bobbled in RF. He should never have been extended in the first place and this is only one of many errors of his that has cost the Dodgers games this year. Bud Black or Bruce Bochy would have the Dodgers close to 10 games in front this year. Please Stan, fire this moron and send him back to NY.

    Reply
  4. Pat L.

    Mattingly’s decisions just get worse and worse. Beside the running for Ellis thing, he said he didnt want to put Jansen up in the 8th. Then why did he? Seems to me he may have made a wrong decision and now trying to justify himself. You should score from 2nd on a double. Mattingly needs to go and they need to get a GREAT trade. It may already be too late for that. Seems to me L.A. need a new hitting coach, and GM and maybe a strategy coach, or is that supposed to by Mattingly’s job. A very disgusted long time Dodger fan here.

    Reply
  5. Fernando E

    Pinch running for Ellis on 2nd puts pressure on the defense. We have a better chance at scoring on the base hit. Innings not over if he’s thrown out at home. Still have runner in scoring position. Make them make a play. MANAGE TO WIN!

    Reply
  6. John A Molina

    Mattingly: as manager this year has made to many bad decision that has resulted in losses, that should of being wins, I hope win it all. But if we don’t, Its time to replace the Manager……….

    Reply
  7. LADODGERFAN

    I am so tired of Mattingly’s terrible decisions. He is a horrible strategist, and it seems like he’s always one step behind the other managers in the league. The Ellis thing is what really sticks out to me about the loss yesterday. You have to play to win, and not be concerned about “burning players.” He didn’t wanna burn up players when Ellis was on second, but suddenly when he reached third it was okay? By that time it was too late. It’s just frustrating to watch the Dodgers when they’re losing games they should win.

    Reply
  8. Bob Rohwer

    Guess we’ll never know if a pinch-runner would have scored (he would have, obviously, since the ball was bobbled by Mr. Werth, who did all he could to hand this game to the Dodgers), but we’ll never know because Donnie Baseball didn’t make the right call. He’s a piss-poor game manager. Another attempt at a four-out save by Jansen (after Jansen pitched a full inning the night before) backfired as well. Donnie was a great ballplayer but is greatly lacking as a manager. Tim Wallach should have been the first choice, and since he’s available, should be Donnie’s replacement if the Dodgers don’t win it all this season.

    Reply
  9. Chad

    He is a terrible manager!!! Bottom line he has no clue what he is doing. His bad decisions cost us the series against St. Louis last year and he just continues to make one bad decision after another. The Dodgers had a perfect opportunity to get rid of this joker when he called them out at the end of last season but instead they extended his contract. In my opinion Colletti needs to go too, he has had multiple chances to pull the trigger on a deal that would push us over the top and he fails to do it.

    Reply
  10. Ron Wittman

    Why worry about the runner when the manager left in a useless pitcher. Shoulda pulled him after the first baserunner..

    Reply
  11. Bobby Crosby

    “In the end, it became one decision of many in a baseball game and was not the reason the Dodgers lost the game.”

    This is laughably retarded.

    Reply

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