Los Angeles Dodgers: Stop blaming Don Mattingly

By Matthew Muench
Benny Sieu–USA Today Sports

The underachieving Los Angeles Dodgers lost again on Tuesday thanks to an off-night by pitcher Zack Greinke and a slumping offense that seems to get worse by the day. The 5-2 defeat against the Milwaukee Brewers gives L.A. a 4-13 record in May, and because of their lack of win production, the Dodgers will probably fire manager Don Mattingly on Thursday.

That’s just a guess and I don’t like it. It would be a terrible idea to fire Mattingly this early in the season. Yes, the Dodgers have lost 13 of 17 games, and yes, the Dodgers are in last place. But let’s remember, have you seen Mattingly swing a bat or pitch a baseball this season?

The blame for the horrid start has to fall on the players. Firing Mattingly won’t make Matt Kemp hit more home runs. Firing Mattingly isn’t going to make Dee Gordon field better or Brandon League pitch better. It’s only May for crying out loud. Let the dugout and front office matters be handled after the season. For now, the Dodgers need to fix their issues on the field.

Take a look at Tuesday’s loss. Once again, the Dodgers were able to reach base with 10 singles and five walks, but once again they buckled under pressure. They were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 runners all night. They had five at-bats with the bases loaded and produced just one run.

The biggest finger to point at goes to Kemp, who twice ended rallies with the bases loaded. He struck out three times and stranded seven runners all night.

Or, you know, let’s just blame Mattingly.

Not only do the Dodgers lack clutch, they lack life. They are the only team in baseball who has not come from behind to win a game after trailing in the sixth inning. On Tuesday, they had just two hits once they trailed the game after the fifth inning. Once the tough gets going, the tough stays for the Blue Crew.

Opposing bullpens must love facing the Dodgers. On the current road trip, they have only scored three runs later than the fourth. You know what clutch looks like? Atlanta Braves rookie Evan Gattis has four-game tying or go-ahead home runs in the eighth inning or later this season.

That’s clutch and will. Dodgers’ hitters have none. But let’s just blame Mattingly.

I’m seeing a lot of national writers say, “Someone has to be the fall guy for the Dodgers’ failures and it might as well be the manager.” I say why? Why does it have to be one guy? It’s the players. It’s the millionaires on the field. But no, let’s just blame Mattingly.

Matthew Muench writes about the Los Angeles Dodgers for Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @MatthewMuench

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