Dodgers tie, un-tie, tie and win game, 2-1

In their now-familiar manner of exploiting the fallibility of others in the cosmos, the Dodgers came back from down 1-0 with two out in the ninth inning to defeat the White Sox in 10 innings, 2-1.

Dee Gordon, who entered the game with a .226 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching, singled Tony Gwynn Jr. in from third base with two out in in the 10th off lefty Chicago reliever Matt Thornton to complete the Dodgers’ latest snicker at the galaxy of naysayers. Gwynn himself only had a .298 OBP and .264 slugging against lefties, but tripled with one out in the 10th when Jordan Danks failed at a diving catch of his sinking drive.

The game was a tossup all day long – and in the case of Dodger manager Don Mattingly, a tossout.

Mattingly was not only ejected for the fourth time this season, but he had perhaps his most prolonged arugment as Dodger manager, after catcher Matt Treanor was ruled to have leave third base early on what would have been a game-tying sacrifice fly by Elian Herrera in the sixth inning. The only replay made it seem a borderline call at best – and Mattingly’s delayed emergence from the dugout led me to believe he waited until he either saw or heard about that replay to argue. In any case, that took the only run that White Sox starter Jose Quintana allowed off the scoreboard.

Quintana, who gave up five hits, walked none and struck out six in eight innings, and Dodgers starter Chris Capuano each pitched brilliantly. Capuano struck out 12 in eight innings, and the run he allowed was, in my book if not the official scorekeeper’s, unearned. Leading off the top of the sixth, Brent Lillibridge singled and went to second base when Herrera misplayed the ball in left field. He advanced to third on a groundout, then after Adam Dunn struck out for the third time against Capuano, Lillibridge scored on Dayan Viciedo’s RBI singles.  Without the error, I’m not sure Lillibridge scores from second on the play.

The score remained 1-0 until the ninth inning, thanks in no small part to perhaps the best defensive day of Andre Ethier’s career, mitigating a three-strikeout day of his own. After making two sliding catches earlier in the game (each of which Danks later would beg to have), Ethier slammed into the right-field wall to rob Lillibridge of an extra-base hit.

Arguably, a decision made by White Sox rookie skipper Robin Ventura lost the game for Chicago. Quintana, a 23-year-old lefty who entered the game with a 1.98 ERA, had sailed through his eight innings on only 77 pitches. Nevertheless, Ventura replaced him to start the ninth with righthander Addison Reed, whose ERA was 4.15 with 27 baserunners allowed in 21 2/3 innings.

So instead of the bottom of the ninth beginning with Quintana vs. Ivan De Jesus Jr., it was Reed vs. pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu, who promptly singled.  After Gordon (2 for 5) struck out, Herrera, doing his best to atone for his error, delivered a hit-and-run single for his third hit of the game. Abreu then tagged up and scored on Juan Rivera’s fly ball – no appeal.

In his second inning of work, Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 10th, lowering his ERA for the year to 1.25. Belisario has allowed 21 baserunners in 21 2/3 innings. Capuano, meanwhile, reasserted his case for the All-Star game by lowering his ERA to 2.71 and raising his K/9 to 8.3.

The Dodgers improved to 5-4 in interleague play, increased their National League West lead over San Francisco to five games and maintained a one-game edge over the surging New York Yankees for the best record in baseball.

  • Anonymous

    In the postgame interview, Mattingly said he hadn’t seen a replay.  But he sounded like he didn’t want to talk about it. 

    Managing by the book is how Ventura pulled his starter to bring in Reed, who was the victim of some bad luck.  The hit-and-run single that set up the tying run was so close to being a double-play.

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes, managing “by the book” doesn’t make sense.  “The book” assumes that a pitcher has a pitch count up around 100-120 or more after eight innings, because he usually does, rather than 77.

      • Anonymous

        Your comments seem reasonable; but, we are discussing taking out a 23yo rookie pitcher up from AA (his highest level) in his 5th ML start who is with his 3rd organization having been cut by the first 2.

        • Anonymous

          And he was pitching GREAT for the previous eight innings, with no sign of slowing down. And only had thrown 77 pitches. I’d leave him in. If he allows a baserunner in the ninth, THEN consider bringing in the closer.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not saying your position is ridiculous i’m saying that given the history of this pitcher the cautious thing to do is to thank fate that he got this far and bring in the team’s closer. Ventura’s more important mistake than taking out his starting pitcher was not telling his LFer to play cautiously. If he had then the Gordon walk-off would have produced first and second with 2 out with Herrera coming up.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think you can tell that to the outfielder on the spot. It’s something he should have learned over the years and, even then, sometimes your instincts take over. It was bad judgement on Banks’s part.

            I was hoping Gwynn would get an inside-the-parker on that one. Dee might have done so.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point on the CWS run. I believe that official scorer ruling would be reversed if the Dodgers appealed it.
    I think you are a bit hard on Ventura for bringing in his closer. It was Reed’s first blown save, he has given up runs in only 4 of his 26 appearances, has 4 holds and 8 saves. His WHIP was 1.200 before today (sounds much better than 27 baserunners in 21 2/3 innings), Quintana’s was 1.134 in only (before today, again) 27 1/3 ML innings in 2012. Reed was K’ing 10/9 innings, Quintana 4.6/9. This is all with 9-1-2 coming up.  

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      It’s not the worst decision ever, but to me you’re a) taking out a pitcher who, if it were the eighth inning but the stats and batters were exactly the same, you’d leave in because he was pitching so well, and b) asking to face Abreu instead of De Jesus.  That doesn’t make sense to me. In any case, however defensible it was, the decision was a huge factor in the outcome of the ninth inning.

      • Anonymous

        You are criticizing the way closers are used in MLB; in that we are in agreement. I am suggesting what Ventura was thinking in this particular situation esp. in light of Quintana’s youth and inexperience (see below)

        • Anonymous

          You go with the hot hand.  And when a pitcher has totally stopped the other team for eight innings, and only has 77 pitches thrown, well, I would absolutely leave him in the game without thinking twice.

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      For what it’s worth — I just finished watching the archived game to try and understand what went down in the sixth — Vin rather tactfully questioned removing Quintana as well. And he was questioning that decision before the save was blown.

  • Anonymous

    In Early June, it was reported, by a source that I cannot remember, my best guess is Dylan Hernandez but just a guess, that Hairston had informed Mattingly that he was not comfortable playing third. Hairston has not played third since May 30, a game in which he came in in the 9th; he last started at third on May 29. 
    How many times do I have to post this to stop regulars here from suggesting Hairston play third? I apologize that I cannot prove my claim as I assumed if I read it then many other would have read it even before I did.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      I certainly remember the story. However, that doesn’t mean that Hairston playing third is a bad idea. There are several things the Dodgers won’t do that are good ideas. 

      • Anonymous

        You are right. I should have phrased my comment differently. But, if Hairston is uncomfortable do you think he should be argued with?

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

          If he’s the best option there on a given day, yes.  If I told you I was totally comfortable playing third base, would you play me there over Hairston?

          • Anonymous

            don’t be ridiculous 

          • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

            The point is that the manager has to choose who is the best for the job on a given day, and that might include using a player who claims not to be comfortable – especially if the only alternatives that day are, say, Adam Kennedy. 

            You can take the claim as seriously as you want, but you don’t consider it in a vaccum.  

            Beyond that, how uncomfortable do you think Hairston is? You saw those plays he made in April. If that’s uncomfortable, I’ll take it. 

      • Anonymous

        Jerry Hairston has played third base in 130 games in his big-league career (fielding percentage .940), and 635 games at second (.981). Juan Uribe has played 238 at third (.964) and 220 at second (.991).

        When Hairston and Herrera are in the infield, I would have preferred Hairston at third and Herrera at second (although it’s not that big a deal either way). When Hairston and Uribe are in the infield, I’m fine with Uribe at third and Hairston at second.

        • Anonymous

          I didn’t realize that Uribe was a shortstop for so long (916 games overall, and 103 with the Giants as recently as 2010).  He certainly hits like a shortstop.

          His defense is actually quite good.  Why is it that he isn’t considered the emergency shortstop?  He’s younger than Hairston, and not all that much older than Herrera.  We think of Uribe as this over the hill guy, but he’s really only 32.

  • Anonymous

    Mattingly was similarly guilty of managing by the book on Wednesday against the Angels.  Lindblom had just shut down the Angels on 8 pitches to get out of the 8th still tied 1-1.  But he brought in Jansen to pitch the 9th because the book says you use your closer at home in a tie game starting in the 9th inning.

    If it had been me, I would have left Lindblom in to pitch the 9th.  I was at the game that night and said as much to my companions, so I swear it’s not a second-guess.  You still have to tip your hat to Aybar for hitting that homer, and blame the Dodger hitters who couldn’t get a run home from third with nobody out.  But managing by the book probably cost the team that night as much as it did  Ventura today.

    • Anonymous

       De acuerdo.

    • Anonymous

      My book says only use your closer in that spot if he needs work to stay rust free. I seriously dislike the other book.

      • Anonymous

        I prefer your book as well.

    • Anonymous

      +3.

  • foul tip

    Had to miss the game today.  Hmmm…maybe I should miss more of them?

    In catching up, saw mention last thread of the good job Steve Stone does in the booth.  I always thought he had a deft way of making the decline of Harry Caray a bit less obvious and easier to accept, tho I usually only saw WGN broadcasts when the Cubs played the Dodgers.

    But I never hear Stone’s name without thinking of the time when Caray said something about a player making a play with effortless grace.  Stone came right back…”effortless Grace. I remember her.”

    Cary spluttered and slobbered a bit more than usual while chuckling and said, “this is a family show, you….”

     

    • Anonymous

      >> Had to miss the game today.  Hmmm…maybe I should miss more of them?

      Honestly, I think I’m the worst bad luck charm for the Dodgers.  Every time I watch, they lose; when I turn the TV off, they come back and win.  But I watched all of today’s game, so maybe it’s not always true.  Still, they’re 42-25 this year, including 0-2 when I’m at the game.

      • Anonymous

        I’m 0-2 as well when attending, but that was all back in 1991 ;)

        • Anonymous

          Was that during the Craig Shipley era?

          • Anonymous

            not sure, I vaguely remember him

      • Blue-eyed Gal

        In all my previous years I was a curse to the Dodgers, but this year I have yet to see a loss when I make the pilgrimage up from OC.
        That’s partly because I keep catching Treanor and Capuano on Sunday.

        Whatever the reason, it makes a lovely change!

  • Anonymous

    ed

  • Anonymous

    After seeing the replay of the blown call on the appeal-play, and then seeing the Dodgers tie it up (which would have won the game) in the 9th, I figured the Dodgers were destined to win in extras. The baseball Gods did not allow the ump to take a win from the Dodgers today. This game was another perfect example of the Dodgers refusing to give in and shaking off bad breaks, plugging away until the end. They won’t win ‘em all, but it sure is good to see all these late-inning victories – confidence builders. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casey-Barker/100003908968118 Casey Barker

    Dee Gordon has two walk-off hits this year, correct?   I really like him.

    • Anonymous

      BR says 5 go-aheads.  I sem to recal at least one other walk-off before Sunday, if not two.

      • Anonymous

        The SD triple play game?

  • Anonymous

    Did Treanor easily beat the throw home?
    Did Wallach also argue the call?

    • Anonymous

      The ball was bobbled at the plate; if Flowers had caught it cleanly, it would have been close, but Treanor did make a nice slide. I don’t recall seeing Wallach do anything.

    • KT

      If caught correctly Treanor would have been out by a couple of feet

  • Anonymous

    What a pair of lefties in Quintana and Sale. Quite a rosy picture for the pale hoes.

  • Anonymous

    A Gnatfan friend of mine is also our carpenter and is doing some work on
    our bathroom. Last week I asked him whether, if it came down to the last
    game of the season with playoffs on the line, he would prefer to see Lincecum
    or Zito on the mound. He answered Lincecum. I intend to ask him again
    today.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      I’m sure if they had their choice it would be Cain.

      • Anonymous

         The question presumes that their other three starters had been used the previous days, and that Lincecum and Zito would be the only options.

  • foul tip

    AJ is not on this list.  Not anywhere.  Maybe he should file a grievance…

    Nos. 7 and 13 will be of interest.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1206/mlb.poll.best.catcher/content.1.html?sct=mlb_bf4_a3

    Apparently it takes at least a season for much of the baseball establishment to wake up to performances of players they previously had written off, or something….

    • Anonymous

       Buster Posey?  Pretty sure that on those days he is starting at 3B, that Jon could steal on Posey.

    • Anonymous

      NL caught stealing % leaders. 

      1.Montero (ARI) 50.0
      2.Hanigan (CIN) 42.3
      3.Sanchez (SFG) 41.2
      4.Ruiz (PHI) 39.6
      5.Ellis (LAD) 39.2

      Miguel Montero is pretty impressive. That’s no small sample size either. He’s 19-19, and led the league last year, nailing 40% of would-be base stealers.

      Is this one of those stats that has more to do with pitchers than catchers? We know from repeated watching that Ellis has the disadvantage of catching Ted Lilly and Kenley Jansen. I have no idea how good Arizona pitchers are at holding on runners.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman
  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • foul tip

    This gives park factors a whole new meaning.  Couple snippets “snipped”:

    “In the National League, no park is tougher to score in than San Diego,
    with San Francisco even slightly harder on home-run hitters than Petco
    Park. Bodies of water are found near each park.”
    ———————–

    “You know you’re going to be playing a lot of low-scoring, close games,” 
    (the Padres’) Headley said. “You’ve got to out-execute the other team, with little
    margin for error. I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.
    They’re not going to lure big-time free-agent hitters here.”

    Pitchers, conversely, should come running to San Diego — and the five other West Coast yards.

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120617&content_id=33487892&vkey=news_la&c_id=la
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OXOTSV4THXH47RJQKEVYT2PUQA Brian

     That is a GREAT first sentence!!!