Has there ever been a worse bench than Dodgers' current group?
Worst. Bench. Ever.
Not just for the Dodgers, not even for baseball. In the entire history of mankind, has there ever been a more uninspiring bench in any sport than the current unit of the Dodgers?
Right now, any time Don Mattingly has to go to his bench, it’s time to cover the eyes. Bodies with numbers on the back.
His bench options Wednesday were Tony Gwynn Jr. (.224), Jerry Sands (.200), Dioner Navarro (.158), Russ Mitchell (.000) and Juan Castro (.000). Among them, they have one home run.
With four position players on the disabled list (Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, Marcus Thames and Hector Gimenez), what’s been left behind is almost unwatchable. These days, Mattingly best have a pretty good reason to even look to his bench.
He thought he had one in the fifth inning Wednesday, when, trailing 4-1, the Dodgers loaded the bases against ace Matt Cain on a pair of walks and a hit batter. With one out, due up was left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Mattingly called on Castro, a lifetime .228 hitter who is here for his glove, to pinch hit.
Imagine the dread that spread throughout the Giants dugout.
"We have to take a shot to get back in the game,’’ Mattingly said. "Castro was 2-for-3 against [Cain]. At that point, he was our best option.’’
Juan Castro, best option. Did I mention worst bench ever?
Castro flied out harmlessly to center.
Of course, this also took Kershaw out of the game. Kershaw was not his normal dominating self, but with the bullpen thinned by use and injury, taking him out ultimately proved costly in the 8-5 defeat.
And then there was the seventh, now down 4-2 with Rod Barajas at second with two outs, and Mattingly needed a pinch hitter. Let’s see, hey, Navarro, go give it a shot. Another routine fly to center.
These are the players Mattingly has to work with. As a unit, historically bad.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw wipes his head after walking in a run during the fourth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP