The Los Angeles Dodgers were back on the field Friday for the first time since manager Don Mattingly used an expletive to describe the team’s level of play.
Mattingly’s comment came after the Dodgers wrapped up a 4-6 record on their 10-game homestand and they were hours after he expressed frustration over too much focus being placed on individuals and not the team.
Whether a direct result of Mattingly’s critical remark or not, the Dodgers were noticeably different in Friday’s 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. For starter’s, Hanley Ramirez bat second in the lineup; something he’d previously done just once in his career with the Dodgers.
Following the win, Ramirez joined Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp in believing Mattingly’s assessment of the team’s poor play was warranted. However, as for where the focus may lie, the trio of Dodgers differed in opinion.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez is fully in-tune with his manager’s sentiments:
Everything he said, I saw it too,” Ramirez said. “We have to get it together. We have to ride the same boat.”
Gonzalez joined Ramirez in questioning whether the Dodgers as a whole are on the same page:
Last year, when we took off, it’s when Puig and Hanley settled in and we were able to have a consistent lineup,” Gonzalez said. “Everybody knew what their role was. I think, right now, everybody is still trying to figure out what their role is.”
However Kemp, who out of the three players has by far dealt with the most turmoil this season, believes the Dodgers are on the same page:
There’s nothing wrong with our chemistry,” he said. “We all get along. We’re all on the same page. We’re just not executing when we need to execute. I don’t really know where that came from.”
While the Dodgers are struggling to find the same unity that propelled them to their 42-8 run last season, the remaining six games on the road figure to provide an opportunity to come together.
The Dodgers have a better road record than their home one and could use the next two games against the scuttling Rockies to generate some momentum going into a four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, who they took two of three games just under two weeks ago.
Dodgers Update: Mattingly Uses Expletive To Describe Team’s Play