Don Mattingly Backs Javy Guerra

Don Mattingly is firmly behind Javy Guerra as closer.

The Dodgers go for a sweep of the Nationals on Sunday, and Chris Capuano, in search of his third win of the season, will be backed by a full bullpen, including long man Nathan Eovaldi and closer Javy Guerra.

Manager Don Mattingly met with Guerra Sunday morning to discuss his recent struggles, as Guerra has retired just six of 16 batters in his last three games. Mattingly reiterated this morning what he said last night, that Guerra didn't show his usual confidence on the mound Saturday.

"I just want to be a mirror for him, and let him know what I see. My job is to make sure we keep things are in perspective," said Mattingly, who noted Guerra was receptive during the exchange.

Mattingly has no plans to move Guerra from the closer role in favor of Kenley Jansen any time soon.

"I kind of look at it like, we're 21 games in, and what's the alternative, and what happens if you make a change and it
doesn't work out? Then where do I go?" Mattingly asked. "Do I drop it in Mac's [Mike MacDougal's] lap, or go to [Josh] Lindblom? Do we keep going down the list and make it a tryout camp at that point?

"I understand the clamoring and what people say I should do, but at this point I don't think it's the right thing."

Jansen told Mattingly he was available Saturday night, but Mattingly decided against using Jansen for what would have been the fourth time in five days.

"If he pitches last night, he's in eight out of 12 games," Mattingly said. "At some point, we can't throw those two out there every time. There's going to be a lot of people who are going to have to get big outs for us."

Notes

  • Dee Gordon (.210 average, .253 on-base percentage) sits against the lefty Gio Gonzalez, in what Mattingly said was a planned day off.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. said his left hand feels better today after getting hit by a Stephen Strasburg fastball last night. Mattingly said Hairston might be able to pinch hit today.
  • Juan Rivera, who made a pinch hit appearance Saturday night for his first game action in four days, is progressing in his recovery from a strained left hamstring and is available again today to hit. If needed Rivera could play first base today, though Mattingly sounded like he didn't want to rush Rivera back to the field.

    "We feel like we're over the hump, but now I don't want to panic and do it a day early, and end up with him going backwards," Mattingly said.
  • Todd Coffey will be activated from the disabled list on Monday, giving him an extra day off after pitching Friday in his second rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Coffey said the swelling has subsided in his knee. He was eligible to be activated today, but Mattingly wanted to keep Eovaldi for one more day in case he needed a long reliever.
  • The Nationals have placed Mark DeRosa on the disabled list, and have recalled first baseman / outfielder Tyler Moore from Syracuse.

Starting Lineups

Nationals Dodgers
SS Desmond LF Gwynn
3B Lombardozzi 2B Ellis
2 Espinosa CF Kemp
1B LaRoche RF Ethier
RF Nady 3B Uribe
LF Moore
1B Loney
CF Harper SS Sellers
C Flores C Treanor
P Gonzalez P Capuano

Game Time: 1:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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