The Buntsman

From True Blue LA:

Given the relative lack of offense directly after Ethier, I asked Mattingly why he chose, knowing what would happen with Kemp, one shot with the bases loaded for Ethier rather than two shots with two runners on for Kemp and Ethier.

"I'm still giving two guys a chance, but I don't even need a hit. I just need to get a ball in the air," Mattingly said. "I have two guys that are basically leading the league in RBI and they have to take their pick."

Bruce Bochy can drive me bonkers. He's been riding his rotation this year as if all he has in the bullpen is Al Levine, Wayne Franklin, and a hand puppet that looks like Jim Brower. There's the whole Belt/Huff drama. His platoon-split obsession will someday consume us all.

But Don Mattingly constantly amazes me. Every time I watch the Dodgers, I gloss over Bochy's flaws for a couple of weeks because, brother, he isn't Mattingly. Last night's two bunts were amazing -- Uribe has bunted once since 2009, and he's quite terrible at it. The second bunt took the bat out of Matt Kemp's hands. Ryan Vogelsong pitched a grittutty game, which is both gritty and gutty, but he was sure helped by ol' Donnie Baseball. Vogelsong against Kemp with two runners on (at least) and one out (or no outs!) will never be a better idea for the Giants than Javier Lopez against Andre Ethier with the bases loaded.

The Dodgers still have Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, and first place. This isn't a note to make you feel sorry for them, even if that were possible. But Don Mattingly is the most fascinating manager in the game right now. It'll be interesting to watch how he handles Kemp getting more of the Bonds treatment over the next couple years. Probably by bunting.

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