It was obviously very odd to see Chase Utley chuck two balls into the dugout in the first two games of the series. No one had an explanation.
Asked if he was in any way affected by the previous day’s error, Utley said: "Not whatsoever…Yesterday, I forced it. I didn’t really think we had a shot, but there was a runner on third, so I figured I’d give it a chance to try and turn it. Today was a different story. Today I had a good grip, I wasn’t able to make a good throw.”
Jimmy Rollins said he was surprised to see Utley falter twice in two days. “Very,” he said. “He’s done it before, but he usually makes a correction later on in the day when he gets the chance, and definitely by the next day.”
“Chase is better than that,” said Charlie Manuel. “Two days in a row he’s made one... I’ve got a lot of faith in him. He’s the one guy in the world that will work on it and correct it, it’s Chase Utley.”
It was also odd to see Pedro Feliz miss a grounder in the inning—though infield coach Sam Perlozzo said he has no problem with the play, because Feliz was told to guard the line and was in poor position to reach a ball closer to short—and J.A. Happ walk in the tying run.
But despite Pedro Martinez’s wasted classic, this was the Dodgers’ day. “This time of year, good teams don’t let you get away with mistakes,” said Rollins. “In the grand scheme of things, we accomplished what we needed to, made sure we got the split on the road. But being in that situation, to have it won and not be able to close it out, that’s disappointing.”
Manuel said he would speak with Cole Hamels about the pitcher’s body language, after Hamels reacted with obvious displeasure to two recent plays.
“I will talk to him about it, yes,” Manuel said.
In Game 2 of the division series, Hamels appeared to pick Carlos Gonzalez off first, but Ryan Howard committed a throwing error, and the runner was safe at second. When Hamels received the ball, he made his displeasure clear, snapping his glove.
In the fifth inning Thursday, when Utley threw a potential double play into the dugout, Hamels raised his hands in the air.
“I didn’t see that,” Manuel said. “I was watching the double play and what was going on the field, and I didn’t see him do that…first of all, I think Cole is more professional than that, and I think that right there is kind of being in control of yourself, and I know he is much better than that.”
Asked about Manuel’s comments, Hamels said: “He can say that all he wants, but I’m not going to change my emotions.”
Asked if he regretted his actions, Hamels said, “Yeah, I could have gone about it less obvious. If you could hang your head, no body would see that. But very honestly, I didn’t even realize I did it. I was wrapped up in the game, your emotions. It’s a weird thing…you’re so wrapped up in being perfect and you want things to go right so bad. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just kind of a learning process of cooling your emotions…it was just that one moment, and it’s over.”