Just a few hours ago I fully expected Ricky Nolasco to pitch Game 4 tonight for the Los Angeles Dodgers. I even wrote an article about how a win tonight could quiet the critics about his end of the season struggles. Now while I’m watching other MLB playoff games, I see that Clayton Kershaw will instead pitch tonight on three days rest.
What exactly is Don Mattingly thinking?
The Dodgers are up 2-1 on the Atlanta Braves. If they win tonight, they’re into the NLCS, but if they lose tonight they go to a Game 5. If Nolasco isn’t good enough to pitch for you tonight, then when exactly does he pitch? If Kershaw loses tonight, Zack Greinke will most likely be used for Game 5. If Greinke wins Game 5, Nolasco will then pitch Game 1 of the NLCS, unless Mattingly does something else stupid. There are a lot of “ifs”, and it’s all because Mattingly isn’t managing the Dodgers to the best of his ability.
Don should’ve pitched Nolasco tonight. If Ricky gets the job done then Kershaw and Greinke will be ready to pitch Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS. If Nolasco loses then they still have Kershaw for Game 5 and Greinke for Game 1 of the NLCS if it went that way. This isn’t the first blunder I think Mattingly has made thus far in the NLDS. Kenley Jansen pitching in two games when he wasn’t needed is ridiculous. Using other relievers in Game 1 instead of Jansen may have helped Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario and J.P. Howell in Game 2 when it took all four of them to get three outs in the seventh inning.
If the Dodgers fail to win tonight with Kershaw on the mound, Mattingly will have to attempt to stumble over his words to try to explain why he made such a terrible decision while getting questioned by the media after the game. If the Braves win the next two games, Magic Johnson and company should look into finding a new manager because if Don continues managing like this, it’ll be his decisions that beat the Dodgers and eliminate them from the postseason.