This was significant, considering how the Dodgers have played defense in the first three-plus weeks of the regular season. They have been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball.
They entered the day with 22 errors, the second-most among the 30 teams in the majors. Their fielding percentage of .974 was third-worst. “We have to get better,”
The lapses of concentration were enough of a concern for Manager
"If we're to get to where we want to go, the games we're going to play are not 10-8 games and 7-6 games," he said. "They're going to be 4-2s and 3-1s, those types of games where mistakes cost you runs and runs don't come easy."
In other words, he expects them to be involved in games like their victory Wednesday.
The Dodgers extended their lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning, when
For Ramirez, his play at shortstop might have been as important as his home run. He has five errors, which ties him for second-most in the majors among players at his position.
Ramirez is 31 and clearly doesn't have the range he once had. Mattingly accepts that.
Others on the team have also looked unsteady on defense.
"There's going to be certain physical limitations with guys," Mattingly said. "What they can and can't do, it is what that is. We just can't afford the mental mistakes. We should all be in the right position, use charts and pay attention to them, make sure we're communicating — all the little stuff."
That type of error cost the Dodgers the game Tuesday. With the score tied in the 10th inning, the Phillies'
"That's just a ball we've got to catch," Mattingly said. "It doesn't matter what happened at this point, it's a ball we've got to catch. It's as simple as that."
Mattingly doesn't think the Dodgers can count on their offense to bail them out if they make the playoffs. "We've got an offense capable of scoring, but when you get good pitching, it stops it," Mattingly said. "All good pitching seems to continually stop offense."
As it is, the Dodgers' offense has slowed down. In six of the last eight games leading up to Wednesday, the Dodgers scored two or fewer runs. "It's tough because we're not hitting the way we want to," Crawford said. "Defense is one of the things you have to do every day to help the pitchers out. We're not doing it. It's something we have to adjust."
Mattingly warned that errors could contribute to another of the Dodgers' concerns: overworking the bullpen. "If it's costing you more pitches, it's costing you extra guys out of the bullpen," he said. "It's always costing you something."