Posted October. 10, 2014 15:03,
The Los Angeles Dodgers have ended its 2014 season with ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw`s seventh inning disaster, also closing Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin`s season.
The Dodgers put Kershaw on the mound on Wednesday (Korean time) just four days after he threw Game 1 of the National League Division Series but lost to the Cardinals 3-2 after the ace pitcher allowed a coming-from-behind three-run home run to Matt Adams with runners on the first and second bases in the seventh inning. The Dodgers failed to advance to the World Series last year after losing Game 6 in the National League Division championship and Kershaw was the starter at that time, too. Winning one game and losing five with a 5.12 post-season ERA, Kershaw is in a four-game losing streak against the Cardinals.
"They just beat me," Kershaw said after the game. "I don`t know. I don`t think it`s anything magic."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is under mounting criticism because he showed problems in his pitcher replacements even after taking the Dodgers` bullpen weakness into consideration. He said he did not replace Kershaw after the sixth inning because the pitcher said he was all right. The manager said he intended to let Kershaw to deal with three more hitters in the seventh. Mattingly was also criticized for using center fielder Yasiel Puig as a pinch runner. Puig was benched after striking out eight times in his last nine at-bats. Mattingly put him in the game only as a pinch runner in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers` front office is also under fire. The team ranks first in the Major League Baseball in terms of team salaries but failed to advance to the World Series for the second consecutive year. Its failure to strengthen the bull pen is decisive. The Dodgers` general manager Ned Colletti traded for starters Roberto Hernandez and swing man Kevin Correia this year. However, both of them failed to join the 25-member starting entry for the play-offs. While Mattingly is largely responsible, Colletti is also under criticism for his role in forming the team.
Ryu Hyun-jin solidified his position as the Dodgers` third starter this year, shaking off concerns over the sophomore jinx. However, he fell out of the team`s roster three times because of injuries. Although he met expectations by winning 14 games and losing seven with a 3.38 ERA, he failed to meet the minimum innings pitched requirement.
"I have suffered a lot of injuries this year," Ryu said. "I think that my top priority is on preparing for the new season. I want to have a shot at throwing 200 innings next year. One of the things in which I improved from last year that I threw more games without allowing runs."