Dodgers engage in powerful show at Petco
SAN DIEGO -- On back-to-back nights, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly kept the media waiting as he huddled with his boss to deal with the latest crisis.
And these were after wins.
Yasiel Puig one night, Brandon McCarthy the next. The Dodgers are still in first place in the National League West after outlasting the Padres in Saturday night's home-run derby, 11-8, turning Petco Park into a bandbox even on a cold and drizzly night.
But Mattingly wasn't sure how to react after winning a game and possibly losing a starting pitcher, as McCarthy walked off the mound with right elbow tightness.
"Not a great feeling," Mattingly said.
It was a roller-coaster ride for Mattingly. A three-run lead in the first inning after a two-run homer from Andre Ethier, who also doubled, singled and walked, looking very comfortable (and healthy) back in right field while Puig nurses his left hamstring. Ethier has 22 homers against San Diego, most among active players.
But McCarthy gave the lead right back in the bottom of the inning, allowing two of the three homers that told the tale of his injury.
The Dodgers erupted again in the second inning on Adrian Gonzalez's three-run homer and four more in the fifth on two-run homers from Howie Kendrick (his third) and Juan Uribe (his first). The homers by Gonzalez and Uribe found the right-field nook and cranny, 338 and 324 feet, respectively. Gonzalez has seven homers this season, six against his former team. The Dodgers have 25 in 17 games.
"One of those games where the universe was a little off track the first inning and a half," Mattingly said. "Then it got whacked out again."
Although the Dodgers led by seven runs at one point, Mattingly got two huge scoreless innings out of long reliever Juan Nicasio. He was able to give closer du jour Yimi Garcia the night off, while managing short-handed because Joel Peralta has a dead arm and might go on the disabled list.
After the game, Mattingly spoke more to the issue of pitching depth than the offensive outburst that saw four hitters with multiple RBIs -- Ethier and Gonzalez three each, Kendrick and Uribe two each.
"We've seen a lot of guys come up and everybody's pitched well," Mattingly said. "I don't think anybody feels they have adequate depth. You're always nervous. You hope it's nothing serious and you don't need to test that. But if it is, then we test it."