You know who doesn’t have closed-door meetings? Teams on the right track:
Immediately after the game, Mattingly held a closed-door clubhouse meeting that lasted several minutes so that the players, he said, could discuss “where we’re at and where do we want to go?”
“We’ve got to do better,” Mattingly said. “I continue to believe in these guys,” he said, but Thursday’s game was “a loss that we really can’t afford, and that’s it.”
Attrition is a bitch. Matt Kemp is hurt. Kenley Jansen has heart trouble. Chad Billingsley is gone. The new additions have been welcome, but it hasn’t translated to wins. L.A. is 16-17 since acquiring Hanley Ramirez. They’re 2-4 since getting Beckett, Gonzalez, Punto and the promise of future Carl Crawford.
The saving grace: they have a lot of games left against San Francisco and only a small wild card deficit. But really, you can’t go and get swept by division rivals like the Dbacks when you’re short several hands on deck.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.