Don Mattingly’s decision to start Clayton Kershaw in game four of the National League Division Series against the Braves was a mistake, regardless of the outcome, an outcome that he can thank Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe for, for the rest of his Dodgers’ career. Had Crawford not continued his unexpected and unanticipated power surge with two solo home runs tonight, and had Uribe not become the hero with his eighth inning game winning come-from-behind two run shot, Kershaw, the Dodgers, and Mattingly would have gone home losers. with a single game in Atlanta left for redemption.
A lose in that game would have been the end of the line for the empty uniform non-manager as the Dodger’s leader.
|So, Mattingly will live for another series, and now for another season, win or lose the rest of the playoff year.
A couple of days ago I wrote about all the great rookie pitchers starting playoff games. Some did exceedingly well, others not so good. When I wrote that post, Sonny Gray had already earned an “A-”
for his great shutout stint against Detroit, and Gerrit Cole a “B+” for his great effort against St. Louis. In games since then, two of three failed, but the other came up best of all.
In Yesterday’s Dodgers-Braves game, won by LA 13-6, neither Hyun Jin-Ryu nor Julio Teheran faired well, with Ryu giving up four runs on six hits in only three innings worked,
striking out nine in 7-1/3 innings of work, and like with the Dodgers and Juan Uribe, he and the Cards were the beneficiaries of a game-winning two-run home run, this one from the underrated and unappreciated bat of Matt Holliday.