Mattingly says air is clear with Kemp, Ethier

May, 26, 2013
5/26/13
1:23
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Manager Don Mattingly met with Matt Kemp before Sunday's game to discuss why he double-switched him out of Saturday night's game and then rested him Sunday against hard-throwing St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller.

According to Mattingly, both decisions were based on baseball factors. Saturday, he needed to get more than one inning out of reliever Kenley Jansen and Kemp had made the final out of the previous inning. Mattingly saw Sunday as a good day to rest Kemp since right-handed hitters are batting .177 off Miller.

Cameras caught Kemp yelling in Mattingly's direction after he was removed Saturday. Mattingly said he saw the replay, but wasn't offended. It was more a matter of the buildup of frustration Kemp's action suggested.

"That’s fine. [Clayton] Kershaw has yelled at me before. [Nick] Punto yells at me," Mattingly said. "Matt’s bigger than all those guys, so I really don’t like him yelling at me, but that’s just part of the game. I’ve told guys before, I don’t mind guys getting mad at me."

Mattingly said he has not had a formal clear-the-air meeting with Andre Ethier, who was benched for the series finale in Milwaukee and became a symbol of what Mattingly described as an occasional lack of fight from his team. But Mattingly said he talks to Ethier frequently about his on-field demeanor.

"That's what we talk about all the time," Mattingly said. "It's been the same since 2008, mostly the same conversation. He knows how we want him to play."

Mattingly admitted he's not all that concerned with how popular he is among his players right now.

"I don't worry about that part of it," he said. "I'm trying to make baseball decisions that are the best. Today, for me, not playing Matt is the best thing for him and the best thing for us."

St. Louis
1. Matt Carpenter 1B
2. Jon Jay CF
3. Matt Holliday LF
4. Allen Craig RF
5. Yadier Molina C
6. David Freese 3B
7. Daniel Descalso 2B
8. Pete Kozma SS
9. Shelby Miller RHP

Dodgers
1. Carl Crawford LF
2. Mark Ellis 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Andre Ethier RF
5. A.J. Ellis C
6. Skip Schumaker CF
7. Juan Uribe 3B
8. Dee Gordon SS
9. Clayton Kershaw LHP

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239