When men were men, and other items overlooked in Dodgers' latest fiasco
So much went on in the Dodgers’ 7-5 loss to the Giants on Tuesday, plenty tended to be overlooked.
Here are a few things to take note of:
-- Chad Billingsley was infamously hammered for not retaliating against the inside pitching of the Phillies’ Brett Myers in the 2008 National League Championship Series.
But after Matt Kemp had been hit by a pitch in the fifth and Russell Martin saw two inside throws in the seventh, Clayton Kershaw hit the Giants’ next batter, Aaron Rowand, in the bottom of the seventh.
Not that it was planned or anything, but Hong-Chih Kuo was already warming up.
Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said he was not unhappy with Kershaw.
"I think he was just overthrowing the ball," Torre said. "In the old days, this would have been sort of like protecting your own. I don’t know what you call it nowadays.
"I have no problem with Clayton Kershaw. He’s a good teammate for all these guys."
-- Hitting coach Don Mattingly is Torre’s self-appointed successor, but he has never managed at any level and the cry he’s unprepared to take over a major league club will only intensify after his miscue in the ninth inning.
Not his best move, returning to the mound like that. In fairness, however, it should be pointed out the exact same thing happened to Dodgers Manager Grady Little in 2006 when he turned back to say something else to Brad Penny against the Padres.
The manager who brought it to the umpires’ attention? The same Bruce Bochy who did for the Giants Tuesday.
-- Jonathan Broxton is out of whack.
Did that All-Star save take something out of him? Unlikely. Certainly not as much as that five-out save attempt in the heat of St. Louis on Sunday.
Still, he appeared less than a confident, comfortable closer again Tuesday.
"I think it’s more just he’s out of sync right now, more so than anything that’s physical to worry about," Torre said. ``He’s pretty honest with (pitching coach Rick) Honeycutt as far as when he feels good.
"We certainly had intended to give him two days off and certainly would have if he didn’t run into that buzz saw when Kersh got thrown out."
Meaning, if the Dodgers hadn’t retaliated, Kershaw would have kept going, Kuo would have closed and Broxton could have taken the second day of rest as originally scheduled?
-- The Dodgers have lost six consecutive games and are in danger of slipping out of the NL West race.
And they’re not just losing, but suffering brutal defeats, the kind that sap a team’s confidence.
"We’ve had some strange things happen to us," Torre said. "This is a test. We’re certainly going to have to bounce back and reestablish what kind of club you are. This is how you basically find out."
The Dodgers are in fourth place, six games back of the Padres and trailing the Rockies and surging Giants.
"It’s frustrating," Kershaw said. "I know we all feel it. We have to just keep digging ourselves out of it and come back tomorrow.
"Tonight we played pretty good baseball, but when you’re in a slide like this, it just kind of happens where you find ways to lose. It’s tough. We know we’re down, but we know we’re not out. We have a lot of games left."
Six less than they had before the second half started.
-- Steve Dilbeck