The Los Angeles Dodgers spun their wheels Tuesday night in the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. Multiple opportunities to blow the game open were squandered, which played a role in the Dodgers suffering a loss.
They were slightly more efficient Wednesday, with Yasiel Puig following two first-inning base hits with a three-run home run. However, the Dodgers still left 12 runners on base in their win and also committed base running mistakes that prevented them from potentially putting more runs on the board.
While Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t want to be overly critical given his club won the game, he expressed frustration over the Dodgers’ mental errors, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
It’s something we’ve been harping on for three or four years now, honestly,” Mattingly said. “It doesn’t seem to get a whole lot better. It’s really game awareness that gets us caught. It’s not the fact that guys try to take extra bases. You don’t mind that. It’s just game awareness as much as anything.
Mattingly was particularly critical of Joc Pederson getting thrown out at third base by Jeff Francoeur, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
He should,” Mattingly said. “It’s back to your baserunning principles. You’re not going to make your first out at third base. If you’re going to go to third there, you’re going to be sure. It’s really just back to your principles that you learn coming through the minor leagues, that you’ve learned playing baseball your whole life.”
Pederson’s blunder came in the fourth inning after he drew his third walk of the game. Alberto Callaspo singled to right and the rookie center field attempted to go first to third. Instead, the first out was recorded at third — something that’s generally viewed as a mistake not to be made.
Then with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Puig got a bad read on a ball in the dirt and broke for home plate despite Jimmy Rollins putting up a hold sign. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz quickly recovered the ball that skipped off home plate umpire Alan Porter’s shoulder and caught Puig in a rundown to end the inning without the Dodgers adding to their lead.