From Ken Gurnick at MLB.com last night.
Mattingly wavered on whether League (who saved his three previous chances but has blown four overall this year) would remain the closer.
“Tonight the numbers said to go with Brandon,” he said. “Does that mean keep the guy? I don’t know. It’s hard to make that decision 12 minutes after the game.”
But he defended his decision to use Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning against Bloomquist, Goldschmidt and Cody Ross (Jansen retired all three) and use League for the bottom of the order. He pointed to the statistical matchups and said if the batting orders had come up the other way, he would have used League in the eighth and Jansen in the ninth.
“If you want to play sabermetrics, those were the best matchups,” he said. “The guys Kenley got are the guys he gets out better than Brandon. The matchups should have been exactly the way it was. But if it doesn’t work, it’s a bad decision. We talked before the game, the eighth and ninth [innings] were up in the air depending who comes up.
“I understand people boo when it doesn’t work out. It doesn’t make the game any less painful. Look up the numbers. I know it was a solid decision. The fact a solid decision doesn’t work, it’s a bad decision. Brandon has done the job in the past. If he gets them out, nobody says anything. As soon as he doesn’t get outs, it’s my fault he doesn’t.”
No. 3 hitter Goldschmidt is 3-for-3 with a homer against League and 2-for-7 with a homer against Jansen. No. 6 hitter Martin Prado, who had the first hit in the ninth off League, is now 1-for-2 against him, but was 3-for-3 with two homers against Jansen.
A debate who should pitch the ninth inning for a team that’s in last place is somewhat ridiculous when you think about it. The Dodgers are 27-36 with 99 games to play. They’ve got a lot of issues. Their issues have issues.
One of them may be teaching Don Mattingly (who, in his defense is like just about every other manager) about relevant sample sizes. I miss Jim Tracy talking about arm angles.