I had an emotionally-laden post queued for today about how it’s time to panic. But after listening to some Dodgers talk-radio today, it’s still not time to panic. There are still 12 games left in the series, and the Dodgers would have to win less than 4 of those games andthe Diamondbacks would have to lose less than 4 of those games. Two scenarios that are unlikely to happen. Rest assured people, it will take a weird week and a half of baseball for the Dodgers to not make the playoffs, and if by some twist of fate they don’t, then I’ll chalk that up to statistics being a royal cunt. But before we discuss the Dodgers clinching the NL West, I want to talk about what main cause of last night’s loss: Buntfucking.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: Last night’s game was lost due to poor managing by Mattingly but poor decisions are made more often than people realize in a 162-game season, and often times they are inconsequential. But last night’s loss wasn’t the result of injuries, it was the result of Mattingly bunt-fucking the shit out of this limping offense.
At the start of the 9th inning, the D’backs win expectancy (WE) was 83%. After Michael Young’s single, the D’backs WE dropped to 71.5%. Young’s single was followed by a base hit by Skip Schumaker, dropping the Arizona’s WE to 55.3%. At this point, the Dodgers had a man on first and second with no outs. A base hit would have tied the game. But good ol’ Donnie Baseball had something else in mind. The King, Juan Uribe, who has had the fourth hottest bat in the last two weeks, was told to bunt. And if you look at the WE graph, you can see that it was unsuccessful and the win expectancy for the D’Backs went back up to 71.3%. Nick Buss would ground out. And with two out and a man on second and third, there wasn’t much the Dodgers could to do to win, except throw Matt Kemp into such a high leverage situation after being out for two months. Let’s be clear, Ryu pitched an amazing freaking game. He pitched 8 innings and gave up only two hits and two runs. Considering how concerning his last outings have been, last night was great. Let’s be even clearer, last night’s loss wasn’t because of Kemp. This loss rests solely on Don “Buntfuck” Mattingly’s shoulders.
An argument can be made that the recent skid is the result of the Dodgers playing with a less than stellar line because the universe threw the fucking plague at the Dodgers. If the decision has been made to take a few losses to get the big bats healthy, then okay, I can be confident with the Dodgers clinching the division as a result of Arizona being bad. When the Dodgers make it to the playoffs healthy, then the only thing left to worry about will be Mattingly’s tendency to make bad calls in games with higher stakes.