The Dodgers won two of three from the Miami Marlins and are now an amazing 15-3 at home this season. Their best-ever home record was when they went 55-27 in 1980. Counting the end of last season, they have won 10 consecutive home series, the first time they have done that in Los Angeles. The 1985 Dodgers won nine consecutive home series.
Time to go
So, apparently deciding the team had won too many games, the Dodgers on Wednesday brought in Chris Hatcher with the bases loaded and the Dodgers leading, 4-2. Two singles and a walk later, the Dodgers were trailing, 5-4. Thanks, Chris! For those not keeping track, Hatcher is 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA. In 11 innings, he has given up 10 runs, 13 hits, has hit two batters and has thrown two wild pitches. Other than that, though, he’s great.
Here’s a great time to get rid of Hatcher: Kenley Jansen is done with his rehab assignment. Jansen will probably be activated on Friday, meaning the Dodgers will need to make a roster move to make room for him. There’s a chance Pedro Baez will have to go on the DL. He left Wednesday’s game because of a sore chest muscle and will have an MRI today. If it is serious, he will be sidelined for a while. However, if he is OK, someone else will have to go. Hopefully, it will be Hatcher.
If you haven’t been following along at home, you have been missing our countdown of the greatest Dodgers of all time, as chosen by you, the fans. We received more than 14,000 ballots and are counting down the 20 Dodgers to get the most votes. All of the players appear on this blog post. So far:
No. 20: Kirk Gibson
No. 19: Don Sutton
No. 18: Gil Hodges
No. 17: Don Newcombe
Spoiler alert: Chris Hatcher does not make the top 20.
In all my constant badgering of Hatcher, I’m not mentioning the most important thing: The Dodgers are 22-11 and in first place by five games! And starting tonight, they have four games at home against the Colorado Rockies, who are in last place with an 11-19 record. The Dodgers are playing about as well as I have ever seen them play in the last few years, including that amazing 42-8 streak they went on in 2013. Four guys in the starting lineup are hitting over .300, and five guys have an on-base percentage over .400. And they have Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford waiting in the wings. Plus, Clayton Kershaw hasn’t yet pitched the way he is capable of pitching. Things are really good if you are a Dodgers fan right now, which is why a guy like Hatcher sticks out so much.
Manager Don Mattingly is growing increasingly frustrated with MLB’s instant replay system. It happened again during the fourth inning Wednesday night. Mattingly went out and asked for a review of the umpire’s call that Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton had caught Howie Kendrick’s sinking liner. Mattingly was positive it would be reversed.
“They showed it on the big screen and you see it bounce, and you just know it’s going to get overturned,” Mattingly said after the game. “And then it doesn’t. It’s frustrating.” According to our Dodgers blogger, Steve Dilbeck, Mattingly thinks there is a basic flaw with the replay system, now in just its second year. Mattingly believes that when a manager challenges a call and the play is reviewed back in New York, officials should not be informed of the call on the field. “I think they have to take the human element out of it and make a blind call, yes or no, safe or out,” Mattingly said. “They don’t know what the call is. They don’t know if it’s overturned.”
If Kendrick had been given a hit, he would have been on base when Alex Guerrero tripled later in the inning. The Dodgers lost the game by one run.
I’m not sure if Mattingly has hit on a great solution, but what do you think? Do you think replay reviews need fixing? Email me your thoughts and your ideas for a solution and I will list the best responses in a future newsletter.
Times columnist Chris Erskine has a great look at Scott Van Slyke here. Remember Jack Clark’s home run off Tom Niedenfuer in the 1985 NL Championship Series that basically eliminated the Dodgers? Van Slyke’s dad, Andy, played a tangential role in that.