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.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.