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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly questions pitching move


Thirteen games into his first season as a manager, and Don Mattingly is already being second-guessed -- by Don Mattingly?

After Hiroki Kuroda was knocked around Thursday for six runs on 10 hits in just five innings, and threw a career-high three wild pitches, Mattingly was questioning his decision to allow him to try to throw a complete game in his previous start in San Diego.

In that game, Kuroda threw 8 2/3 innings and a career-high 117 pitches. And since Kuroda clearly wasn’t sharp Thursday, Mattingly was somewhat sorry he had allowed Kuroda to stretch himself so far in just his second start.

"A little bit," Mattingly said. "I questioned it at the time. He’d had the extra day's rest. Honey [pitching coach Rick Honeycutt] knows those guys a lot better than I do. He felt like he deserved the opportunity.

"You don’t know if that’s what happened last night. I could have taken him out and it still happened. You don’t really know.

"But I think with him, we always like to give him extra rest when we can. I did question myself on that a little bit."

It had been six days since Kuroda last pitched before facing the Padres. Mattingly said Kuroda historically pitches better with an extra day's rest.

Managers typically rely on their pitching coaches, but as a new manager whose background is as a first baseman and hitting coach, Mattingly’s honest admission was somewhat surprising.

No manager wants to be viewed as only in charge of the position players.

"Definitely I’m going to listen to his input," Mattingly said. "He’s been around these guys. It’s his third year. I’m paying attention to the hitters, and for the most part not really paying attention to the smaller details on what’s going on with pitchers.

"So I’m going to trust what he does and what he says about guys. Obviously I’m the one who’s going to make the final decision on those kind of calls, and I take responsibility for that. But I’m definitely going to weigh in with him on the decisions."

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and Manager Don Mattingly during the season opener against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Reuters

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Sleepy Joe Torre 2.0 - this organization has had a mind-numbing run of inept managers since Lasorda exited. We are witnessing a former flagship franchise in absolute disarray at every level.

with all this talent, what the Dodgers need is a NEW PITCHING COACH. Honeycutt is blowing another year. look at what Lopes is doing for base running. MAKE THE CHANGE NOW

"Definitely I’m going to listen to his (Honeycutt's) input," Mattingly said. "He’s been around these guys. It’s his third year."

- uh, psst - don... honeycutt is in his 6th season as the dudgers pitching coach; unless you meant kuroda, in which case he's in his 4th season with lost angeles.

Shades of two trips to the mound & errant lineup cards.

Sheesh - rookies.

I agree with Mattingley. Honeycutt is to blame. Honeycutt should know that pitching more than six innings after four days rest is asking too much of any Dodger pitcher.
It appears that the Dodger pitchers are mentally conditioned to strive for no more than six innings and the dreaded 100 pitch count. That is when they mentally hit the wall. Just ask Chad Billingsley. Micro managing also enters into the approach a Dodger pitcher might have as he starts a game.

I have yet to see anyone official note that Hiroki Kuroda was rubbing his elbow repeatedly from about pitch 80 to 117, from the bottom of the 7th inning onward, during that cold game against the Padres where *someone* decided to let him pitch a complete game.

Uribe came out to talk to him... did he notice? I find it hard to believe that no one on the Dodgers staff saw it, especially when Kuroda began to lose his accuracy in that game.

Does this surprise anyone?

If a guy gets knocked around because he got pitched a complete game his previous time on the mound, the guy shouldn't be in the majors. LOSING!!! I'm sorry, but why have pitchers all turned into trolls? Ohhhh I'm injured because I went the whole way! I can't locate because I was overused! I've lost my zing because my arm is tired! Get these goons and all those who support them out of here!

I agree with Mr. Rubeli, Rick Honeycutt has to go. Do we even have a hitting coach? Or is Donnie still handling that he did such a bang-up job last year,We are gonna have to depend on our pitching to have a chance, because our hitting is not gonna scare anyone,all they have to do is pitch around Kemp/Andre.

Xactly why "maa-teen-glee" is in WAY over his head!!!!.......

the #1, most important skill of major-league managing IS proper handling of pitching staff, & here the "rook" confesses to being quite CLUELESS!!!!

what a dooooooooooosh!!!!

Ned Colletti has left the building.

Honeycutt and Pentland. Hey, baseball's worst players need baseball's worst coaches, right?

Excuse me, but are we really going to blast this guy (Mattingly) for being honest? Plus, how about this: Donnie points out, quite correctly, that nobody is all that sure of the reasons behind Kuroda's recent poor outing. Was it really because he threw a lot of pitches in his last start? Maybe. Nobody knows. Donnie doesn't know. Honeycutt doesn't know. Kuroda doesn't know. Kuroda would know if anybody would, and he doesn't think so. Plus, how about this: our bullpen hasn't been all that, anyway, has it? If one of the starters could get all the way through 9 without having to go to the shaky 'pen, wouldn't we all feel a little better for one day? I think there was some of that going on that night in San Diego, whether Hiro was rubbing his elbow or not. It was a fine performance by a starter who wanted to finish what he started. Personally, I think it was great that they let him try to finish it. He's a veteran, not a rookie who needs to be coddled. Kuroda has a hand in managing his own season, too, I think. Let's wait and see how Kuroda responds in his next couple of starts before we rush to judgment here, folks.

Pitching doesn't look to good..I'd be questioning it as well. Great article!

Kuroda has starts like this. It happens. Move on. Another pitching coach would be a good move for so many more reasons than this one but i think for stability's sake in the first year of a new manager's tenure it will have to wait for the off season.


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