Javy Guerra – Giving Up Is Not An Option
For almost the last two weeks Javy Guerra has had a different role coming out of the Dodgers bullpen. On May 7 Manager Don Mattingly removed Guerra from the closer role after his previous last five outings had resulted in two blown saves. He suffered a loss in a non-save situation, and allowed two runs in the ninth inning in another outing, a game he entered with a tie score. Mattingly then decided he had to make a move he didn’t really want to make and replace him with Kenley Jansen.
“What we’re trying to do is get his confidence built back up,” said manager Don Mattingly. “When we first started this process, we tried to get him in a game where the game wasn’t totally on the line every time he had his hands on the ball.”
Guerra has been used in increasingly challenging situations — including with the bases loaded in two straight games, on Tuesday against Arizona and Wednesday against San Diego. In each game, Guerra allowed just one of three inherited runners to score.
“In his last two outings, I’ve put him in bad spots. I’ve put him in bases-loaded jams,” Mattingly said. “If you can get out of that with one (run scoring) twice, that’s pretty good.”
Guerra has handled his demotion well and embraced his new role. – L.A. Times
I had a chance to speak to Guerra right after his demotion and he was very positive about his role and eagerness to get back on top.
How is he motivated to come back after losing the closer role?
I think more than anything I need to look in the mirror and answer to myself before I answer to anyone else. Everything that I have done this far has been pretty positive for the most part all the way through. I hit a little bump in the road and now I just have to be able to go out there and prove that I belong. I think more than anything I need to take it day by day, instead of worrying about everything else and letting everything kind of blow up like I had been. I just need to come out here everyday and get better. I’m looking forward to the next time I get out there; I want to get out there as soon as I can. If I could start I’d go out there and start, more than anything you want to prove that you can do it, you know. A lot of times you amp up the situation more than it should of been amped up, its human nature. There is nothing like going out there and have the fans yelling, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
How does 9th inning compare to the rest of the game?
The game gets played completely different; there are guys that specifically sit on the bench till the 9th inning for that reason. You walk a guy, they pinch run for a guy, bunt him over, now he is trying to steal third, and now a little blooper scores him. Its’ a fun inning don’t get me wrong, I enjoy every bit about it and I plan on working hard to get back there as soon as possible. No disrespect to anyone else that’s just a personal goal that I have always had. Anytime they take that role from me, I just want to get it back. You just want to go out there and do it again. I’m telling you its a fun inning but there is so much more in it than people really think about it. Your all in, the guy wants to get a hit off you and you want to strike him out, that inning in general everyone is going 100%, your best against there best.
His thoughts on closing again
I’m very confident I can do it; very confident I can pitch in the back end. It’s a long season, that’s kind of where you need to be, you have to earn it back. Its like anything else, we all have accountabilities here; we are all going to be accountable for our actions, that’s just the way it works. I’m healthy; I’m ready to roll. That’s all that matters to me at the end of the day. Health is number one, need to get back out there and get rolling good and that’s just the way things happen. Sometimes you give up broken bat base hits and sometimes it just doesn’t matter what you throw there gonna hit it, its a part of the game that’s humbling.
I’ll never be that guy to root bad for anyone, if I can help anyone or if I can help Kenley in any situation I will try and teach him as much as I can. More than anything I think that’s what this team sets anyone apart with. We all just want to get better completely together and there’s no hatred and that’s something I’ve never really had on a team before where guys just care, that’s awesome! It’s a great clubhouse to be a part of.