Why Leave Javy Guerra In The Game? + Nate Eovaldi Is On His Way

With Javy Guerra getting smashed in the face, I have a question: why was he allowed to stay in the game?

I trust the trainers and coaches, and I’m sure Guerra felt he was fine, but I’m not so sure it was the correct move.

We can all put ourselves in Guerra’s shoes, as we’ve all been terrified at some point by sudden movements. So we know what happens when our adrenaline gets pumping and we start to feel like a completely different person. Well, now imagine that you’re in front of ~30,000 people, playing professional baseball, it’s the ninth inning, you just lost the game yesterday, you’re on the verge of losing the game today, and you just got hit flush in the jaw with a 100 mph liner.

I don’t care how “alright” he may have been, he would have to be superhuman to truly put all of that, along with the pain, out of his mind and pitch as he normally would, no? And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that Guerra had not been pitching exceptionally well of late to begin with, so why risk both the game and his health?

Either way, I know people are vilifying him for the loss, but it amazes me that he managed to pitch relatively normal following the blow.

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Don Mattingly, Greg Harrel, A.J. Ellis, and Guerra himself all say that he wasn’t affected by the line drive.

Manager Don Mattingly said he considered removing Guerra immediately after the line drive off his face, but decided to leave his closer in the game after Guerra was cleared by assistant trainer Greg Harrel. Mattingly, Guerra, and catcher A.J. Ellis all insisted that Guerra was not affected, physically, by the line drive.

Physically.

Mentally though? Has to be tough.

Guerra received concussion tests, which he passed, after the game. His jaw was visibly swollen as he spoke to reporters.

At least he’s okay, as he’s going to be a valuable part of the bullpen, regardless of what role he has.

Guerra has three losses, including two blown saves, in his last five outings over the last nine days, but Mattingly bristled at questions about the closer role. “Javy is throwing the ball good for us. Nothing really changes in my eyes,” Mattingly said.

“You can sit there and question all you want. Our ballclub has confidence in Javy. The game will tell us what to do with him. If he has trouble there, we’ll put him in a different spot,” Mattingly said. “Two days ago or three days ago it’s not even a question. After two outings do you think I’m going to flip-flop? I’m not.”

After thinking about it, I’m actually fine with the decision.

Kenley Jansen has always been the superior pitcher, but him and Josh Lindblom are best served putting out fires in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Granted, Guerra can’t keep blowing games like this, but I’m not so sure this string of appearances has to force a change either.

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Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports that Nate Eovaldi is coming to town.

Nathan Eovaldi was pulled after just one inning in his start Wednesday night for Double A Chattanooga, and speculation is that he is on his way to Los Angeles. We just don’t know which pitcher he will replace. Mattingly responded “Yes,” when asked if there were other injuries on his pitching staff, but declined further comment.

Let the speculation begin.

My money is on Mike MacDougal. You?

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Juan Rivera and Aaron Harang should be okay.

Rivera, who strained a left hamstring running out a sixth-inning infield single, was out of the lineup Wednesday night but took batting practice. Manager Don Mattingly said the outfielder won’t be placed on the disabled list if he is able to pinch-hit and run for himself by the weekend.

“He was getting tonight off anyway after playing five or six straight, and Sue [Falsone, trainer] said he was able to do more than she thought he would,” said Mattingly. “He’s day to day. If it lingers, we’ll think about doing something different.”

Harang said he did not expect to miss his scheduled bullpen session on Friday in preparation for his next start, Monday in Denver. He fouled a pitch off his foot in a third-inning at-bat, and it swelled as the game went on. He was removed after six innings.

You tell me whether that’s good or bad.

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