With Wednesday being a getaway day for the Los Angeles Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly used the opportunity to fill his lineup card with players who are not regular starters.
Some of the changes were out of necessity as Hanley Ramirez missed yet another game with his various ailments, though did pinch-hit and Adrian Gonzalez was dealing with a sore neck; however, he also pinch-hit and played one inning at first base.
For Yasiel Puig, who Mattingly described as “looking tired,” it began as a day to rest until he pinch-hit in the seventh inning and remained in the game. After catching the San Francisco Giants atop the National League West standings, the Dodgers have now lost two consecutive games.
Despite the losses, Mattingly isn’t concerned or frustrated, according to Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
We’re fine. I don’t feel any frustration,” Mattingly said. “We battled back today. We got the lead, we give it up, battled back again, have the winning run on second base. Obviously, you don’t want to not win, but I’m not frustrated with our effort at all.”
Andre Ethier, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Wednesday’s loss, shared a similar sentiment:
Three weeks ago you guys said we were out of it. We’re one game out right now,” he said. “Do you think we’re going to be down?”
While the Dodger lineup at the outset of the game may have cost Hyun-Jin Ryu a win, he didn’t fault his manager for opting to give players rest:
I absolutely agree with everything,” he said. “Yesterday was a late game. Today is an extra early game, and I understand position players have to get a break and rest and heal. It would’ve been wonderful to get a win today, obviously, but we didn’t.
Ryu struck out eight and allowed two runs, which came on a two-run homer, in seven innings. He left the game with a one-run lead and watched as the Cleveland Indians scored three off Brian Wilson in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers didn’t necessarily help Wilson’s cause, particularly Matt Kemp, whose throwing error on an RBI single allowed runners to take second and third base. Both would score two batters later on another RBI single. However, Wilson also began the inning by walking the first two hitters he faced.
As the Dodgers now travel to Colorado to begin a four-game set with the Rockies, the lineup may once again be in flux with a decision on whether or not to place Ramirez on the disabled list is expected.
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