That was a tough loss to digest. It was so close, and victory was seemingly within our grasp. Unfortunately, Baseball has a way of punching you in the gut in the most unexpected ways. For this game it was a innocent looking defensive shift that caught the Dodger infielders napping. Per Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times:
Naturally I’m talking about the infamous fourth inning. They were leading the Mets 2-1 in the decisive Game 5 of their National League Division Series when Dodger-killer Daniel Murphy led off with a single. One out later, with the Dodgers in a major defensive shift on the right side for left-handed hitter Lucas Duda, Zack Grienke walked him.He would eventually score the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
Murphy started trotting to second, only as he arrived, he took a peek at third and noticed no one was there. So he broke into a sprint and ended up at third, with one odd stolen base, and one group of red-faced Dodgers.
I'm sure I could go all day long about who should have covered that base, but what would be the point of that? The game was lost due to multiple factors; including an offense unable to drive in runs when they had a chance. Suffice to say, this was a team effort that lead to a team loss.
On a side note, Justin Turner really turned some heads this season and during the playoffs. Overall, he slashed .294/.370/.491/.861 for the season and 526/.550/.842/1.392 for the playoffs - going 10 for 19 against the Mets. Hopefully this puts to bed the idea that last year was a fluke.
The photo above of Turner via Jon SooHoo on the Dodgers twitter. Below are more links to check out:
- There was one moment during the game where Andre Ethier was seen screaming at Mattingly in the dugout. Now we know why. Via AJ Cassavell at MLB.com, "Mattingly says Ethier's ire at umps, not him."
- Yasmani Grandal was obviously hurt. Via a tweet from Pedro Moura:
Yasmani Grandal expects to have arthroscopic shoulder surgery Wednesday.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) October 16, 2015
- Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Don Mattingly on disappointing end to Dodgers season."
"It's disappointing. I don't think it matters what it is. It's just disappointing. That's what I told the guys in there. There are really no words to describe how you feel right now," Mattingly said. "You come to spring training, you work all winter, you scratch, you fight, all year long to get into this situation and you have a chance. It comes to a crash."
- Via Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, "Inside Baseball: Mattingly deserves to stay in LA, but will he? Plus notes." He also mentions that the Dodger plan on extending qualifying offers to both Howie Kendrick and Brett Anderson.
Mattingly, it is said, has been quite cooperative on the lineup input he receives from above, and word is, it's substantial. The club is blessed with terrific positional depth at full strength, giving them options galore, though Mattingly doesn't always make the ball. (That might explain why he answers questions about lineup decisions with "We thought it gave us the best chance to win."
Under normal circumstances, Mattingly should easily be safe. But he also knows his job comes with no guarantees, and the one year to go on his three-year contract brings no certainties, either (if anyone's shown they're wiling to eat money, it's the Dodgers).
- Via Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports, "Mattingly has his flaws, but LA's front office bears responsibility, too."
That it failed to happen this season is not Mattingly's fault. It is not entirely the front office's fault, given that it could accomplish only so much in its first year. But let's not overlook Mattingly's strengths -- his even personality, his ability to manage egos and hold together a diverse group of players. And let's not pretend that he was the problem, not after he led the Dodgers to three straight postseason appearances for the first time in club history.
- Via Scott Miller at Bleacher Report, "Kirk Gibson on His Parkinson's Disease Fight: 'It's Not a Death Sentence'"
"I just took it with great vigor, I guess you could say. I wanted to do it, I wanted to do it right, I wanted to do it well, and I wanted to attack what I was up against."
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