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Dodgers Win Despite Another Donnie Bullpen Goof
Despite another bullpen miscue by manager Don Mattingly, the Dodgers beat the Giants 3-2 on an Adrian Gonzalez single in the 10th inning. Mattingly heaped praise on Gonzalez for his steadiness despite the rollercoaster ride that has been this season.
"From the beginning Adrian has been the guy that's been steady," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's been the guy hitting. He's been the guy driving in runs."
I won't bore anyone with the details of the game, because the game really was a bore coming in at three hours, 53 minutes. But the most fascinating part of the game came in the seventh inning.
With Zack Greinke at 107 pitches, Mattingly made a pitching change. Into the game came Paco Rodriguez. Everything seemed to be fine until home plate umpire Gerry Davis went back to talk to Mattingly. After the talk was over, Davis motioned for Rodriguez to leave the game which confused everyone. Was Rodriguez hurt? Did he do something illegal?
"It's a Freudian slip by me," Mattingly said.
J.P. Howell had been warming up in th sixth inning had Greinke got into trouble. However Greinke retired the side in order. "We flipped to Paco in the seventh," Mattingly said.
Because Hanley Ramirez was coming out of the game at the same time, Mattingly decided to talk to Davis to let him know of the change and that it wasn't going to be a double switch. "I should have stayed in the dugout, I guess," Mattingly continued.
And here was the slip. Instead of saying Rodriguez's name, Mattingly uttered Howell's name. Davis motioned for Rodriguez to leave the game. "I had no idea what was going on," Rodriguez said.
With Rodriguez back in the bullpen, Howell had to get ready quickly since he wasn't replacing an injured pitcher. "[Davis] was going to let me have a couple of extra pitches to warm up, but he wasn't going to give me 30," Howell said.
In fact Howell was completely clueless about how everything transpired. "I have no clue what happened out there," he said as I approached.
Nonetheless everything worked out. Howell gave up a one-out single to Gregor Blanco but got out of the inning with a strike-him-out, throw-him out double play. Rodriguez came into the game in the eighth inning with runners on first and second with no outs. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk to load the bases, Ronald Belisario came in to get the 5-3 double play on one pitch.
"When I got back to the bullpen I was joking about it," Rodriguez said. Being the gamer he is, he said he was ready to pitch if asked to go to the mound for a third time. "No problem."
It bring back this lovely memory from Mattingly's past:
At least the Dodgers won this game.
Now to scare the shit out of Dodger fans. While all of this was going on, Nick Punto replaced Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. According to the team it was a precautionary move from a mild tightness in his left hamstring. You know. The same hamstring that caused Ramirez to miss most of May.
"I felt like we couldn't take that risk right there with him," Mattingly said. "He wanted to stay in the game. He was telling me that he was fine. It seems like the last couple of days he was saying the same thing."
The team will evaluate Ramirez tomorrow and take it from there.
The Dodgers magic number is now five ahead of the idle Arizona Diamondbacks. The crowd of 53,393 to mooch the Magic Johnson bobblehead was the largest crowd in the Majors this season and the Dodgers 24th sellout of the season.
Giants Scorecard: (click to embiggen)
Dodgers Scorecard: (click to embiggen)