The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a second consecutive game to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, again unable to keep pace with the Giants’ offense. Trailing 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers began to mount a small rally.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Andre Ethier singled to right field, scoring Scott Van Slyke, but also resulting in A.J. Ellis being thrown out at the plate. Ellis nearly beat the throw from Pence and the play would be reviewed before ultimately being confirmed, but third base coach Lorenzo Bundy’s decision to send Ellis, a slower runner, home, with Hanley Ramirez set to bat was a curious one.
Following the game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly chose not to publicly address the play, instead saying it would be handled internally, according to co-host of Dodger Talk on 570AM David Vassegh:
Mattingly didn't want to discuss Lorenzo Bundy's decision to send AJ Ellis home in the 7th. "It will be discussed internally"
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) April 6, 2014
With Ellis getting thrown out to end the inning, it stripped the Dodgers of the small momentum they had began to garner and relegated Ramirez to leading off the bottom of the eighth in a non-RBI situation. Bundy’s decision certainly wasn’t due to a lack of experience. He’s managed the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate for the last three seasons, during which he also doubled as the third base coach for the Albuquerque Isotopes. When the Dodgers’ rosters expanded to 40 during the last two seasons, Bundy also joined the club, according to Cary Osborne of Dodgers.com.
2014 is Bundy’s first season as third base coach with the Dodgers at the Major League level. He’s replacing Tim Wallach, who was moved to bench coach after the Dodgers fired Trey Hillman. Bundy’s decision to wave Ellis home may not have directly led to the Dodgers losing, it certainly didn’t help their struggling offense.
Dodgers News: Clayton Kerhsaw placed on DL with back injury