Ryne Sandberg collected his first MLB win as a head coach against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon.
The win was far from perfect as the Philadelphia Phillies were helped along by two ninth-inning errors made by Hanley Ramirez.
Sandberg’s first 3-2 win wasn’t pretty, but the interim manager who took over for Charlie Manuel on Friday is likely happy for every win he can rack up to prove his worth to the team.
After the game, Sandberg was all business as he told members of the press:
“We capitalized on a couple of miscues by the Dodgers. We’ll take it right now and hopefully build from that. Hopefully it will give us momentum for the rest of the homestand.”
Sandberg’s team was shut out during their first two Dodgers games, and the win snaps a four-game losing streak while providing the Phillies with just their fifth win in 26 games.
Philly was down by two when Dari Ruf hit a homerun to put the victory within reach. After the game, Ruf said:
“It’s nice to get a win, in general. Hopefully we can get rolling and get (Sandberg) a few more as well.”
Performing for the red hot Dodgers was Andre Ethier, who kept the game interesting when he went deep.
Relieving for Paco Rodriguez in the ninth with one out was Brandon League. Casper Wells reached on Ramirez’s throwing error, and then Ruiz singled to right to put runners on first and third.
League intentionally walked pinch-hitter Jimmy rollings to load the bases for pinch-hitter Micheel Young who grounded sharply to Ramirez. A quick double-play quickly turned into an error as Wells scored, and the Dodgers lost for the first in 12 straight victories in one-run games.
Ramirez after the game talked about his last minute fumbles:
“It’s tough to explain. We had Young running, we would’ve turned (a double play). We don’t think about negative stuff. We just move on. It’s definitely tough, but games like this will happen.”
The Dodgers have lost only 2 of their last 21 road games.
Even Dodgers manager Don Mattingly agreed that his team “didn’t do enough to win,” and, “We only scored two runs and we couldn’t add on. Obviously you don’t want to make errors. If we make plays in the ninth, the game is still going. But we had nine innings to get an extra run.”
The Philadelphia Phillies still have a lot to prove and that burden now continues to fall into the hands of Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg.