Despite picking up a fourth straight win with a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers nearly wasted another good outing from their ace Clayton Kershaw. Manager Don Mattingly took Kershaw out with two outs in the seventh inning and the Dodgers leading, 2-1.
Yimi Garcia came into the game and faced Wil Myers, who popped up the first pitch he saw. What should’ve been an easy out and the end of the inning instead turned into a two-base error. Alberto Callaspo came in from third and Justin Turner from first, while Garcia walked in front of the mound, tracking the pop fly.
Turner collided with Garcia, which allowed the ball to drop and it led to a Derek Norris two-run go-ahead home run. When asked about the play postgame, Mattingly put the blame on his reliever mentioning Garcia needed to take control of the situation. “Yimi’s gotta get out of the way,” Mattingly said. “He’s got to grab somebody. I don’t know who’s calling for it.”
“Obviously, I can’t hear that out there,” Mattingly continued. “But that’s a play where Yimi definitely can’t be standing in the middle of the field. He’s either gotta grab the third baseman or somebody or direct traffic but definitely can’t be in the way.”
That wasn’t the only blunder the Dodgers committed as the next inning A.J. Ellis was thrown out on his attempt to go first to third on Alex Guerrero’s pinch-hit flare single to center. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Andre Ethier scored the decided run from second base before the final out was recorded at third.
Overall, Mattingly was happy to get the win but the mental mistakes were certainly on his mind. “Frustrated with a little bit of our baseball tonight,” he said.
“Fundamentally, just too many mistakes. But at the end of the day, it’s a lot easier to talk about those mistakes and hopefully make corrections with guys and they learn a lesson when you win.” With the win Mattingly improved to 26-15 at Petco Park since becoming manager of the Dodgers in 2011.