The Dodgers will try and get back in the NLCS tomorrow night against the Cardinals, but the question on many people’s minds: Does Don Mattingly survive if the Dodgers lose to the Cardinals?
Prior to the NLDS, many believed Mattingly’s job was on the line and a big reason why he went with Clayton Kershaw instead of Ricky Nolasco was in hopes of saving the season and his job. However, management has been saying the right things through the end of the season and playoffs and according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Mattingly will receive an extension:
Mattingly might not get his four-year contract, but he will be retained and provided an extension, a high-ranking Dodgers executive told USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity. The executive was not authorized to speak publicly, saying the decision will be announced after the season.
Mattingly’s job was in serious jeopardy back in May as the Dodgers were floundering in last place and with a payroll well over $200 million, falling well below expectations.
This is the first postseason that Mattingly has been apart of as a manager and his late-game managing has come into question. First it was walking Reed Johnson to get to Jason Heyward in the NLDS and then it was pulling Adrian Gonzalez in Game 1 in favor of pinch-runner Dee Gordon.
In the same article, Nightengale mentions that it’s not only the media questioning Mattingly’s in-game strategy:
A small group of players actually made it the focal point of their conversation, just 45 minutes before the first pitch of Game 4 of the division series, one player told USA TODAY Sports. He requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.
It’s sounding like Mattingly’s fate has already been decided and with the available managers on the market, there is definitely worse. However, it’s troubling to hear that players are starting to question his managerial strategy as they’ll look to turn the tide tomorrow night at Dodger Stadium.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!