Don Mattingly was here in Anaheim to provide some levity on Monday night.
Javy Guerra pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, but it officially never happened, as both teams agreed to play a full nine innings regardless of the score in all three series games. With the Angels up 12-3 in the bottom of the ninth, that half frame existed only to get work in.
But the events in Anaheim will be remembered for two things manager Don Mattingly said that provided bookends to the day.
"You know what was the best thing? Waking up today, and not having to go straight to the ballpark," Mattingly said before the game of being back in Southern California after six weeks in Arizona, in a sort of Jim Tracy-esque call and response. "My brain could work in a different direction for like a half an hour."
This was part of a conversation about returning home that included the fact that Don Mattingly didn't know what a sigalert was. But I suppose it's easy to avoid traffic when you get to the ballpark at 1:30 p.m. and leave at 11 p.m. or later.
Then, nearly six hours later, after his team lost 12-3, Mattingly provided more Q&A wisdom.
"I was talking with Trey [Hillman, bench coach] during the game toward the end there," Mattingly said with a wry smile. "You know what the biggest positive was about tonight? That it doesn't count."
The Dodgers are down to 36 remaining in major league camp, with three of those players either on the disabled list (Rubby De La Rosa, Blake Hawksworth) or about to go on the DL (Ted Lilly). In addition, Ivan DeJesus Jr. is still in Arizona in extended spring training and Ronald Belisario will open the season on the suspended list, so that effectively leaves 31 in camp.
That means six more cuts have to be made before Wednesday's 2 p.m. PDT deadline to set opening day rosters. Barring injury, it is clear that Matt Angle, Tim Federowicz, and Nathan Eovaldi will be optioned, leaving a pair of position battles:
- Final bench spot: between Justin Sellers and non-roster invitees Josh Fields and Luis Cruz.
- Final bullpen spot: between the right-handed Josh Lindblom and left-handed non-roster invitee Scott Rice.
The Dodgers and Angels hook up again on Tuesday night, this time at Dodger Stadium. Aaron Harang makes his final tuneup start for the Dodgers, facing Ervin Santana of the Angels. Vin Scully will call Tuesday night's game, his third game of the spring, on KCAL.
The Dodgers have lost five straight Freeway Series games to the Angels.
Home Runs: Mark Trumbo (5)
WP - Dan Haren (3-0): 5 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts
LP - Todd Coffey (0-2): 2/3 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts