It will be interesting to see where Don Mattingly goes from here.
When last the Los Angeles Dodgers manager spoke publicly, he was about as disgusted as a manager can get, telling reporters he was tired of answering questions about his team and using a profanity before saying, “We’re just not that good.”
Imagine how disgusted Mattingly would be if his team weren’t just a half-game out of a wild card spot, weren’t headed out on the road, where it has played far better than at home, and weren’t going into a series against a team, the Colorado Rockies, that has lost seven games in a row. In other words, the Dodgers are in pretty good position to make Mattingly’s tirade look like a turning point.
Then again, they have to play with a lot more energy than they have over the past eight games, in which they have gone 2-6.
Colorado was one of the darlings of the National League until things started to fall apart. Now, it’s in third place, two games behind the Dodgers, and Rockies players held a team meeting Thursday.
The Rockies placed superstar outfielder Carlos Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with an injured left index finger Wednesday. Gonzalez, who was batting just .255, isn’t the only Rockies player on the DL with a hand injury. Talented young third baseman Nolan Arenado has a broken left middle finger. Jordan Lyles, the team’s second-best pitcher so far, broke his hand while applying a tag at home plate Wednesday.
The Dodgers are 18-11 on the road and 13-18 at Dodger Stadium. Nobody likes to pitch at Coors Field, but Hyun-Jin Ryu -- for some strange reason -- has pitched better away from home. He’s 4-0 with a major league-best 0.56 ERA on the road.
The Dodgers have to contend with one of the Rockies' best prospects, right-hander Eddie Butler, 23, who will be making his major league debut Friday after being called up from Double-A Tulsa, where he was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA. He led the Rockies organization with a 1.80 ERA in 28 starts last season.
The Dodgers and Rockies have only played one series thus far, with Colorado taking two of three games at Dodger Stadium in late April, but they’ll see each other a lot over the next month, with 10 games between now and July 6.