Puig Hitting .750 as Cleanup Hitter, Dodgers Still Know How to Lose

A while back I wrote about how the Dodgers win most games that Clayton Kershaw starts, but not many that he doesn’t. Combine Clayton Kershaw starting with Yasiel Puig hitting cleanup and going three-for-four (raising his batting average to a nice, even .500), and that should add up to a victory. However, add in a third factor, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly, and the outcome is obvious – another Dodgers’ loss

No game is a sure win, no lead is safe, with the empty uniform calling the shots. Leading 3-1 after seven innings last night against the mighty D’Backs, mr. empty removed Kershaw, despite his having thrown only 99 pitches. In a move that has defied logic all season, he then used his most, and maybe only, dependable reliever, Kenley Jansen, in a set up role, and he pitched a scoreless,



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dominant eighth inning. For the season, coming off heart surgery, Jansen is in great form, now possessing a 2.53 ERA, 44 strikeouts in 32 IPs, and a seven-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. Jansen was dominant as a closer last season until his year was cut short by his health problems.

Mr. empty, though, chooses to have Jansen in a set-up role, relying on one Brandon League to be his closer. A year ago, League, in a season split between Seattle and the Dodgers, blew six of 15 save

opportunities. This season, after last night, League, in 24 appearances, has blown four of 17 save opportunities, and he has been charged with three losses. He has managed to strike out all of 13 batters in 23-2/3 innings. Protecting Kershaw’s two-run lead in the ninth, he did record two outs, but gave up four hits, left the game with the Dodgers’ down 4-3, and was charged with four runs after his replacement, Peter Moylan, was greeted with a run-scoring hit that made the score 5-3. Juan Uribe hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 final score. For the record, last night was Moylan’s 302nd major league appearance and he has saved the grand total of four games, while blowing 10.

The Dodgers’ may have had a slew of injuries this season, and a disabled list chock full of major league stars, but none of those guys are major league relief pitchers whose absence has disrupted the bullpen rotation. No, mr. empty has the bullpen he wanted coming out of spring training, and his mismanagement and misuse of personnel has been, and continues to be, a major reason why the team is, this morning, on a three game losing streak, nine games under .500, and in last place in the National League’s West Division.

Thanks, mr. empty!

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