What a horrendous series. The Dodgers come into San Diego after getting swept by the Giants. All their momentum from their seven game winning streak on the last home stand is gone. Remember when the club played so well on the road last year? That is no longer. Now they stink on the road. The club has lost five out of six games this year away from Dodger Stadium. The Boys in Blue are 8-1 at home. Baseball is a funny game, go figure.
The Dodgers only scored six runs the entire series, two per game. But the biggest problem was the typical over managing from Don Mattingly. Once again, his over management directly contributed to the losing. The bunting late in games with precious outs to give really hurt, and the overuse of the bullpen hurt the club as well.
Dodgers Lineup @ San Diego
Game Time – 7:10 PM
In the eighth inning on Thursday Mattingly wasted Joc Pederson’s at-bat by bunting Juan Uribe to second base. Even though Uribe is too slow and gimpy to score on a single anyways. He has the hamstring issue still bothering him, and he can’t run much. He could have pinch-ran for Uribe, but there was nobody left on the bench.
Which brings me to my next point, and that is not using up all of your players by the eighth inning. This is the thing that hurts the club a lot. Sometimes these games can go extra innings. If you burn all your players by the eighth inning, then you won’t have anybody left to use if the game goes into extra frames. Mattingly consistently does this. He burns through the entire bullpen, and bench and by the tenth inning, he has nobody left, and Juan Nicasio has to pitch.
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The double-switching every inning, and the bullpen is so overworked, they are going to be exhausted by June. He uses seven pitchers every game. I understand that a lot of managers do this nowadays, but just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean you have too. Think differently.
If everyone jumped off a bridge Donnie, would you do it too? He probably would, and then jump off seven different bridges in an hour. I’m not trying to pick on Mattingly here, just the moves are getting tiresome.
The positives to take away from the series are that rookie Mike Bolsinger looked terrific in Thursday’s 3-2 loss. He allowed just one run on five hits into the sixth inning, and made Buster Posey look foolish. I still don’t understand why Mattingly took him out so early. Pitch count? He had only made 82 pitches. Bolsinger definitely deserves another start after that solid performance.
It was probably just Mattingly’s annoying obsession with using up every pitcher in his bullpen. He just has to do it. Yuck. Newsflash Mattingly, please think differently, and I don’t know, maybe manage the club to a win?
Call to the Pen
Another positive is the incredible hitting of Alexander Guerrero. The Cuban kid continues to mash the ball. He hit another home run on Thursday, and has hit four on the young season now. Guerrero is now hitting .474 (9 for 19) with four home runs and 12 RBI.
The Dodgers will give the ball to Zack Greinke. The Greinkster has been his usual awesome self this year. Overall he is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in three starts. He’s struck out 14 and walked two.
At least Carlos Quentin is not a Padre anymore. So Greinke can take some comfort in that. Greinke has dominated San Diego in the past. He is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in eight starts against San Diego. At Petco Park he is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in five starts.
The Padres are hitting just .209 (24 for 115) with two home runs and a .608 OPS against Greinke. There are two guys to watch out for. Justin Upton is hitting .391 (9 for 23) with two home runs, four doubles, a triple, and four walks versus Greinke. Infielder Clint Barmes is batting .438 (7 for 16) with two doubles. In case you were wondering, Matt Kemp is just 2 for 7 with an RBI.
The Padres will counter with big right hander Andrew Cashner. The Dodgers roughed him up last time at Dodger Stadium in the opening series. However Cashner usually gives the Dodgers a bad time. Despite the Dodgers giving him trouble he has gotten off to a good start. He is 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He’s whiffed 20 and walked 6 in 17 innings pitched. Although Cashner has given up a lot of hits, 20 in those 17 frames.
Cashner is 1-3 versus the Dodgers, with a 2.17 ERA in 18 games. Seven of those have been starts. Cashner is 12-10 with a 2.01 ERA in 188.1 innings pitched.
The Dodgers are batting .313 (40 for 128) against Cashner with four home runs and an .836 OPS against. Juan Uribe is batting .412 (7 for 17). Carl Crawford is hitting .381 (8 for 21) with two doubles. Adrian Gonzalez is a stud versus Cashner. He’s hitting .360 (9 for 25) with four home runs.
Stat of the day- Zack Greinke has always been great in the first month of the season. Greinke is 20-7 with a 2.27 ERA, and .636 OPS against in April.
The Dodgers come into the series tied with San Diego for first place as both clubs fight for the division lead. The Dodgers are 9-6 while the Padres are 10-7. The last series left a bad taste in our mouth’s so we could really use a win tonight.
Check back in here for our nightly recap. Stacie will provide you with all the details of the game afterwards. No more losing, ok Dodgers?