The Dodgers lost Game 1 of the 2013 NLCS to the Cardinals, 3-2, which we all know and probably don’t want to relive, but I have stuff to vent, so here we are.
Anyway, let’s skip all the crap and get to the point.
1) Zack Greinke can’t pitch on the road/his anxiety makes him a choker/he can’t be relied upon.
Take that eephus and shut up. Thanks.
2) Yasiel Puig still not making horrific mistakes that lose the game any more than any other member.
That’s like a half dozen heads-up/good defensive plays in the playoffs against one defensive misplay.
He hit like crap today but so did the team.
3) Carlos Beltran is not human and the Dodgers should protest the game because robots are not allowed.
I didn’t capture the game-winning hit because I was in a fit of rage at the moment, but whatever, this is a Dodger blog and I’m SURE YOU GET THE POINT.
Also, remember when Andre Ethier was being hailed as an above-average center fielder? That was fun.
4) Don Mattingly … why?
In the top of the eighth inning, Adrian Gonzalez walked and was pinch run for by Dee Gordon … why? It’s a tie game, the run is not even guaranteed to matter at that juncture, and A-Gon was likely to get another chance through the order at the rate the game was going. So, of course, Gordon didn’t even attempt to steal and Puig grounded out to short, a ground out that would have been an infield hit if Gordon went at any point in the at-bat. That’s bad enough, but the consequences really came seeking Mattingly in Game 1.
Naturally it was Michael Young at first, because Scott Van Slyke was in witness protection (his first action, of course, was in center field). Young managed to fly into a double play and ground into a double play, both at soul-crushing moments, somehow making him one of the worst hitters in postseason single-game history in one plate appearance.
Michael Young's -.527 WPA is the 6th lowest ever for a postseason game
— Paul Boyé (@Phrontiersman) October 12, 2013
In the situation in the 10th, Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to get to Young, taking the bat out of his hands. Mark Ellis then wheelchaired his way to home on a fly ball to shallow right while Beltran gunned him down.
In the 12th?
Bunt Ellis -> Walk Hanley -> GIDP Young
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) October 12, 2013
I said that before the sequence even began. It’s that predictable.
Carl Crawford walked, Mattingly bunted him over with Ellis and took the bat out of the hands of Hanley again, and Young did his gritty veteran thing … again.
Hanley didn’t get to bat, A-Gon didn’t get to bat, and Young made sure Puig didn’t get more chances with runners on. Arguably the three best hitters in the lineup were robbed of opportunities again and again because of that move, and people wonder why they didn’t score for the last ten innings? Makes total sense to me.
I usually defend Mattingly because the average manager does dumb things all the time as well. But these aren’t things he was doing during the regular season, he’s changing his game decision-making for the worse. Game 2 of the NLDS and Game 1 of the NLCS are prime examples of that, and there’s really no defense for how he’s handled the situations.
Worried about Puig and Greinke choking? It’s Mattingly who has completely changed his M.O. and has looked nervous during the postseason.