After experiencing his first taste of managing, Martin Prado isn’t sure he wants to go for a second helping.
Prado got to be manager-for-a-day on Sunday when Don Mattingly gave up his seat in the dugout to the third baseman.
“Sometimes you question managerial guys making decisions,” Prado said following the Marlins’ 10-7 loss to the Nationals. “Now that I was in that spot, only for one game, I don’t know if I can do it. The game speeds up and there’s so many things you have to be aware of. I won’t ever say anything bad about any manager.”
With nothing at stake in Sunday’s season finale, Mattingly allowed a few players to handle the coaching chores. Backup catcher Jeff Mathis was Prado’s bench coach, and backup infielders Chris Johnson and Miguel Rojas helped with hitters.
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Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney took out the lineup card.
For the Marlins, it was a first. But Mattingly said he’s been with other teams that make it an annual, closing-day tradition.
“We do it every year,” Mattingly said. “We did in in L.A. [with the Dodgers], watched Joe [Torre] do it in New York. It’s a nice little tradition. Obviously, if the game [mattered], you wouldn’t do it.”
Mattingly informed the umpiring crew and Nationals manager Dusty Baker about the plan.
“The biggest thing we do is make sure we don’t make any farce out of it,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly and his coaching staff remained in the dugout, just in case.
“We’re all going to be here,” Mattingly said. “It’s not like we’re all going to go in and watch football.”
A PAIR OF FIRSTS
Destin Hood and Tomas Telis each hit their first major-league home runs in Sunday’s finale.
And they homered off a 20-game winner and Cy Young Award candidate in Max Scherzer.
“My first homer, the last game of the season, wow,” Telis said.
Hood homered off Scherzer in the fourth while Telis took him deep one inning later. Alas, Scherzer earned the win to improve to 20-7, becoming the first right-hander in Nationals history to record 20 wins.
Scherzer also drove in four runs with a pair of singles.
That set a Nationals record for most RBI in a single game by a pitcher.
▪ Ichiro Suzuki, who reached the 3,000-hit plateau this season, added another hit to his career total with a pinch-hit single in the fifth.
That raised his career total to 3,030, which ranks 25th on the all-time list.
The Marlins are all but certain to exercise a team option to bring him back next season.
“Ichiro was just tremendous,” Mattingly said.
“We didn’t know quite what we were going to get after last season. But he really is a guy who proved that he deserves to be here, from the standpoint of he hits coming off the bench, he played all three outfield spots for us, he’s still running good, he’s a good defender.
“So what we asked him to do, I think it would be hard to find someone who could do that role better.”
▪ Christian Yelich fell just short in his bid for 100 RBI, driving in one run on Sunday to finish with 98.
Yelich went 3 for 5 on Sunday to finish with a .298 average.