Carrying a two-run lead into the ninth inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to Yimi Garcia to earn his second career save and surely figured he’d turn in a scoreless inning as he’s done so often throughout the season to this point.
However, Garcia, coming off a blown save Monday, allowed two singles and a three-run home run that sunk the Dodgers and resulted in a comeback win for the Colorado Rockies, ending their 11-game winning streak. Garcia appeared in eight games last season as a September call-up, which makes the action in 2015 his first significant experience and true opportunity to contribute.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly chalked up Garcia’s blown save Monday to simply being due for a game of that nature given the success he’s had this season. His comments Thursday appeared to suggest the same.
“I thought his stuff was good again,” Mattingly said. “That pitch Cargo [Carlos Gonzalez] hit was just a matter of wrong spot for us. I don’t think we’re trying to go there. If we throw the ball where we want, we feel like we get him there.”
When asked if he was concerned with the psyche of his 24-year-old reliever, Mattingly acknowledged there was some. “A little bit,” he said. “He’s a young guy and had a lot of success, and now two times out he’s gotten hit.”
While Kenley Jansen is expected to return Friday or Saturday, the Dodgers lost Pedro Baez to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right pectoral muscle. Aside from Jansen, Baez joins Brandon League and Joel Peralta on the DL, which makes Garcia all the more valuable for late-game situations and ensuring he remains in the the right frame of mind.
“We’ll make sure we talk with Yimi, trust in his ability, and make sure he understands how good he is and look at it realistically,” Mattingly said.
“He’s in the big leagues and he’s throwing the ball really well. He’s had two outings that didn’t go his way. But let’s be realistic on why and make sure we know exactly why — did we get the ball in the right spots, did we miss our locations, whatever it is.”
Prior to his two most recent outings, Garcia had allowed just one run in 14 appearances (14.1 innings) and collected 23 strikeouts. He’s now blown three saves in four chances this season; the Dodgers managed to pull out a win Monday behind Scott Van Slyke’s walk-off home run after Garcia stumbled.
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