As has been the case for the entire season, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to rely on strong starting pitching. However, the team’s dependence on pitching has increased as of late given their inability to consistently score.

Adrian Gonzalez gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead Saturday with a two-run home run, then the Dodgers were blanked for the next five innings. Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched well enough to keep them ahead — until the seventh inning when the Arizona Diamondbacks tied the game.

The Dodgers responded with three runs in the eighth inning and won the game to put them in position to sweep the three-game series. Although it wasn’t easy, Gonzalez believes the Dodgers playing contested games is beneficial, via an AP report on ESPN:

You want to play these kind of games. You don’t want to have blowouts, because you’re going to play tight games in the playoffs. Tight games, no matter who they’re against, are always good leading into October.”

Not only have the Dodgers been locked in tight games recently, their lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings is down to just two games. With six games remaining against the Giants this season, the Dodgers figure to be locked in a battle for the division title, unlike last season when they ran away with it.

After concluding their series with the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers will host the San Diego Padres for a three-game set. The two teams met last weekend in San Diego with two of the three games going to extra innings.

While the Dodgers hung tough at Petco Park, they dropped both games that went into extras, but avoided being swept with an easy win in the series finale. Their only games against non-NL West competition is a four-game road series against the Chicago Cubs.

Heading into play Sunday, the Dodgers are 39-21 against division opponents.
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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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