Mattingly frustrated by mistakes in ugly win
Error, blown lead, baserunning blunders cloud comeback
SAN DIEGO -- Many times they play well enough to win, but lose. On Friday night, the Dodgers played poorly enough to lose and won, 4-3, over the Padres.
The win streak reached four despite enough fundamental mishaps that manager Don Mattingly said he was frustrated with "too many mistakes."
Most of them came in the late innings. Reliever Yimi Garcia didn't get out of the way of a seventh-inning popup that fell for a two-base error when Justin Turner collided with the pitcher. Turner had just moved from third base to first after Adrian Gonzalez was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Doug Eddings over ball-and-strike calls.
"Yimi's got to get out of the way. He can't be standing in the middle of the field," Mattingly said of the Wil Myers' popup, which could have been caught easily by Turner if his pitcher had been directing traffic, not creating it.
The decisive run was driven in by pinch-hitter Alex Guerrero, adding to his clutch resume with a two-out tiebreaking bloop single after Turner's second hit of the night drove in Howie Kendrick, who had doubled.
"Pinch-hitting is a perfect role for him," Mattingly said of Guerrero, who is 6-for-17 (.353) with three homers and eight RBIs pinch-hitting and 27-for-99 (.271) with seven homers and 20 RBIs in all other situations.
Turner also would have scored on Guerrero's single if he hadn't drifted too far off second base with a secondary lead when Jimmy Rollins, squaring to bunt, pulled the bat back and took a pitch. Still gimpy from fouling a pitch off his left knee Monday, Turner was easily picked off second by catcher Derek Norris.
And on Guerrero's single, A.J. Ellis (who had two hits and a walk) was thrown out at third, committing one sin by ending the inning there, and barely avoiding a catastrophe as Andre Ethier scored the go-ahead run a fraction of a second before Ellis was tagged out.
"Another frustration," said Mattingly. "It's one of those where you can't get thrown out at third."
A fitting touch to the ugly win was the winning pitcher -- Garcia -- even though he followed messing up the popup by allowing a two-run homer to Norris on the next pitch, earning a blown save as well.
"Obviously, the home runs bother you a little bit," Mattingly said. "Look at his numbers, everything but (homers allowed) is really good. I worry about his mentality, not his stuff."
While Chris Hatcher came on to get two big outs in the eighth inning and Kenley Jansen was overpowering by striking out the side for his eighth save, Garcia has become the real concern in the bullpen. He didn't allow a home run in his first 10 games, but has served up five in the last 15 appearances.
Clayton Kershaw drew a tough-luck no-decision. He took a shutout into the seventh inning, but allowed a solo homer to Clint Barmes with one out in the seventh and was replaced by Garcia after making 117 pitches.