Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Don Mattingly on what NLDS decision he would change

NLDS-Game Four-Los Angeles Dodgers against the St.Louis Cardinals

Don Mattingly addresses the Dodgers after the final game of the NLDS. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Immediately after an end-of-season meeting with his coaches, Don Mattingly sat down with Dodger beat writers this afternoon for a final, cover-the-bases interview before heading off to the offseason — and impending fatherhood. Mattingly’s fourth son (in addition to two stepsons) has a due date in early December.

Ken Gurnick of will have a recap of the 40-minute session (update: here it is), so I’ll just focus on a few of the many topics that came up, including one of the questions I asked: What was the most difficult decision he had to make during the National League Division Series?

Mattingly replied that the only decision he would have changed would have been to use a right-handed pitcher, most likely Brian Wilson, to face Yadier Molina with the score tied in the seventh inning of Game 3, before bringing Scott Elbert in.

In his career, Molina has an OPS that’s .045 higher against lefty pitching, a difference that’s been even more pronounced in 2014.

“That’s the thing: You always want to get that first hitter,” Mattingly said. “And even though you’ve seen the lefty-righty stuff, you still feel more comfortable if you’ve got a righty.”

Molina doubled on Elbert’s first pitch, then scored one out later on left-handed hitting Kolten Wong’s two-run home run.

Mattingly deferred most talk about the composition of the 2014 and 2015 Dodgers to Ned Colletti, who is expected to meet with reporters early next week.  He did refute the notion that the Dodgers were undermined by poor chemistry.

“All year long, I think we’ve kind of battled that talk: ‘We need to get ready to play. We need to get ready to play,'” Mattingly said. “You were there when we got into September and how comfortable I was that this team was ready to play. You just felt it. So, I don’t worry about our chemistry. These guys, to me, stuck together all year long. I really went into that series thinking we were gonna win. I think we were prepared to win. I think these guys were all in. And we got beat.”

Fixated as I am on my own struggle juggling work and children, I asked Mattingly how he would manage managing while managing being a new dad again.

“Sleep-deprived. That’s what I’m thinking about,” Mattingly said.

“I’m excited. We’re excited, actually. I think as much as anything, I’m really looking forward to it myself. I like being a dad before, still like being a dad. It’s a different time in my life to have a kid, and I think it’s gonna be great. I had my best year when our first kid was born.”

For you matchmakers out there, the daughter of Clayton and Ellen Kershaw is expected to be born in January.


In case you missed it: Into the offseason


The blockheads


  1. oldbrooklynfan

    Funny, or not funny, how most of this series went wrong for us and so right for the Cards. I guess all we can say is that’s the way the cookie crumbled.

  2. …and, even then, wwe lost three games by a total of four runs.

  3. Donnie, don’t look past your own nose,
    Had you pulled Clayton..yes my boy in the 6 th.or after the sixth inning.or if A. J. could figure out a pitchers time is up and let our brainless manager know and bring in a fresh arm, we’d be playing in the NLCS..and only four runs was the difference in the four games?? that broke your hearts..1988 been a long long time..
    Two..pulling PUIG in game four wasn’t the answer and not playing Turner instead of Uribe would had help in a couple of games too..

    Puig..oh make fun of him, go ahead..with the right coach..he’ll be an MVP..and for years to come too. He’s the best I’ve seen in a long long time..reminds me of the great Roberto C..who’s life was cut short in 72..So a little help with his feet and the plate and he’ll rule the majors for years to come..and his arm?? the greatest since Willie Mays..and some say Puig had a bad year..batting .300..ya right, he should had batted .350 instead…rest to our team is solid..except the bull-pin.
    Out side of Kenley, the pin needs a 100% over haul..

    Biggest beef is Honeycutt..for NOT paying attention about Clayton in the crazy 7 th inning again..With three hits in a row, sorry , that is a RED flag to all other coaches and managers too.But not Donnie and Rick Honeycutt. they both crash our team and crush our dreams of what was a great season…

    IT’S hard but life goes on..and next season..or I should say this winter..dump a couple a coaches and get someone more in tune to our team..Donnie for starters..yet he has two years left…so buy him out..

    Sleeping at the wheel is fatal..and Donnie you did fall asleep .
    ps..Dodgers…sign Russel Martin or one very close to him..

    Sorry A J…a buck 80 won’t cut it..while Dee Gordon lead the league in stolen bases and Gonzo leading the Majors in RBI and our boy Clayton leading all in almost everything..and his 3 rd. Cy too..

    I will not ever blame Clayton..NEVER..Donnie knew better..this late in the season..
    look at the other managers in that spot , outside of The S F.pitcher r and Zimmerman..
    thought Williams did pull him one batter to early..all the other managers didn’t think about it for one second in pulling their starter and calling in the Bull-pin..and THEY are moving on in the play-offs and we , our Dodger will wait till next season.


    one sad millions of other fans too.but bleed it…DODGER BLUE
    and hold my head up with pride..does Donnie?? just one thing Donnie Boy
    and that is use your brain next season..and why the Cards ( almost the lowest scoring team in the NL this season…is still playing and we ? are home..and not at the ball park either..

    Clayton had a super great season and miss 5 or 6 start early on due to injury and still lead the league ..21 and 3 and a 1.79 ERA…wow !!! 99.9% of all pitchers will never do that..yet most will be in the World Series..and Clayton will be there with the rest of our boys of summer next season…RIGHT DONNIE??

    Bleed it forever


    • trublu4ever

      Finally…somebody agrees with me……Mattingly and Honeycutt both stink! If Colletti gets the boot….these two should also…..a fresh start, in true Dodger tradition is what we, the fans, need.

  4. After Game 1, it was a low-scoring series. And no Dodger pitcher should have to pitch a perfect game to be able to win. Those who say, Kershaw gave up three to the Cardinals in Game 4 (in which he pitched very well), should be asking, why did the vaunted offense score so little? Yes, the bullpen blew leads and games, and Colletti didn’t do a good job of putting together the bullpen–but the bullpen shouldn’t have had to do that.

    I’ll also return to a previous exchange with Jon, and we are in general agreement on this. Kenley Jansen should have pitched more in the series. Namely, he shouldn’t be held until the 9th. The closer should come in when the closer is needed, and if that’s the 7th or earlier, so be it.

  5. The Dodgers need a lefty reliever who can strike someone out: how much does Andrew Miller want? Give it to him. A .260 hitting catcher means 30+ more hits per season. A starter someone fears would make a nice number 4 or 5. Finally, an unselfish SS would make a solid infield: I like JJ Hardy (too late) and Chris Owings. What do you think?

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén