Ted Lilly was actually pretty good tonight, allowing only two hits and an earned run (two total) in 5.1 innings — and I cannot believe that I actually saw people complaining that Don Mattingly was too quick with the hook there — but the story of the night was of course Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodger first baseman got on base five times, coming up only a triple short of the cycle while walking twice, driving in three, and making the fantastic defensive play you see above. Nick Punto got on base four times while making a wonderful diving play of his own, while Juan Uribe drove in a run with a pinch-hit double, even Brandon League managed a relatively straight-forward save and…
…ah, who the hell am I kidding. I’m publishing this about 30 seconds after the final pitch, so I haven’t seen any other stories yet, but we all know what we’re going to be reading about. We’re not going to be reading about a much-needed win or any of the contributions that went into it, we’re going to be reading about how Mattingly double-switched Matt Kemp out of the game when Kenley Jansen entered in the seventh.
Kemp was seen clearly unhappy in the dugout — which, good, because why would we want him to be happy about that? — and I’m anticipating a ton of game stories about whether Mattingly is starting a whole situation here.
To be honest, I don’t care. While I believe that Kemp has very valid reasons for not producing, this team is in last place. If Mattingly has to make some moves that may not be seen as popular, well, get over it. I imagine this is going to be nothing, because again Kemp is a competitor and never should want to come out of the game. But I’m really not looking forward to endless rounds of hand-wringing over what’s probably a non-story entirely, especially when there really was a lot of good that happened tonight.