Touché Don Mattingly, touché. I have been pretty critical of manager Don Mattingly of late. It’s not that I don’t like him, he is doing a great job. After all the Dodgers are in first place with the best record in MLB. But my hatred of bunting, the annoyances of his bases loaded pitching changes, and his bizarre lineup choices he uses, at times can drive me to fits. After last night though, I am ready to admit Don Mattingly must really know what he is doing. Or he has ice in his veins. Either way last night the Dodger Stadium magic continued, as the worst hitter on the team Adam Kennedy, had his first four hit game since 2010, which helped lead the Dodgers to a one run victory, as this magical 2012 season goes on.
That is one of the many aspects of Baseball that I love. On any given day, anyone can be a hero, even the worst hitter on the team. Even an Adam Kennedy can be a hero just for one day, and last night Kennedy was the hero. He went 4 for 4 reaching base five times. He had an RBI double, two singles, and a walk. He scored a run, and drove in one. It was his base hit in the ninth inning, a single into right field that sent Elian Herrera to third base, which set up the intentional walk to James Loney, which then led to the walk-off walk from A.J. Ellis, which forced in the winning run lifting the Dodgers to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hats off, because I would have never had the balls to bat Adam Kennedy fifth, then sit there stone faced, get kicked out of the game for arguing with the umpire from the dugout. You know, Adam Kennedy, the worst hitter on the team. The same man who only had eight hits all season, and came into last night’s game with a blistering .190 batting average. He was a goat. You know a 36 year old veteran infielder, who seemed so far into decline that he harkins back memories of other useless bench veterans such as Mark Sweeny, F.P. Santangelo, and Garret Anderson. The 14 year major league veteran who is a .272 career hitter nearly equaled his hit total for the entire season, just in this one game. Only two days after the internet went into a feeding frenzy over Mattingly batting Kennedy fifth behind Andre Ethier, he goes 4 for 4.
Now Kennedy’s batting average is up to .255, his OBP has skyrocketed to .362. No longer is he the worst hitter on the team now, that dubious award falls to Dee Gordon. After the game during the postgame interview, Kennedy said he had been working with Mattingly, and Hitting coach Dave Hansen in the batting cages. Maybe that is true, and maybe that helped him have the best game of his Dodger Career. Was it an aberration? Probably. You never know though. Normally his swing is very flat, and he uppercuts the ball a lot, resulting in a lot of weak pops ups, and warning track power.
Last night, it looked like he had a little bit of spring in his step, his swing looked quicker, he was making some good contact on those swings. I have already apologized to Jamey Wright, but do I now need to apologize to Adam Kennedy as well? AK gone craaaaazay! Maybe now, AK is ready to step up and contribute. With Matt Kemp out until the end of the month, we are going to need everyone to contribute, and thus far everyone is. Before the bottom of the ninth last night while the game was still tied at 5-5, there was a scoreboard malfunction. the Scoreboard had read that the Dodgers were winning 6-5, which ended up being the final score. Vin Scully, pointed it out during the inning. As it turned out, the scoreboard was right. That’s the kind of season the Dodgers are having. I wonder if the scoreboard had been able to predict Adam Kennedy’s four hits?
Will Adam Kennedy have another four hit game again? Ha! Good lord no. However hopefully this game ball last night can give him a little spark, perhaps spur on a hot streak. Maybe it won’t be long before I am proclaiming that it’s Kennedymania on twitter. I guess what we can take out of this is that over the course of the long 162 game season, every dog has his day.