Heading into Friday night’s game with the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers were one day removed from a nine-game road trip where they went 5-4 to bring their overall record to 19-16. On the trip, they endured a doubleheader, a 6 a.m. arrival to their hotel in Miami, Fla., and two rain delays.
Mattingly didn’t hold back when addressing not making excuses for the circumstances surrounding the trip. Following the game with the Washington Nationals, which included over a three-hour rain delay, Mattingly stated the Dodgers couldn’t use the delay or extensive travel as a crutch. The manager again addressed the issue after the Dodgers lost the series finale to the Nationals, pointing to the fact that baseball as a whole requires plenty of travel.
According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, Mattingly held a team meeting prior to playing the first of a four-game series with the Giants and was critical of an unnamed player:
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly held a lengthy team meeting before Thursday night’s homestand opener. One player came out of the meeting grumbling after being called out for not being ready to play.
Mattingly didn’t reveal the specifics of the meeting other than to say it was focused on the future and indicated playing the Giants was a good test:
It’s a series for us to establish ourselves. They’ve won two of three [games] both series we’ve played. They beat us up here. The series in San Francisco could have gone either way. But we need to establish that we can play with them. It’s a little bit of a measurement.”
The Dodgers lost Thursday night in extra innings, marking the third time in as many series the Giants have won the first game. The loss dropped them to 3.5 games back of the NL West leading Giants, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games compared, whereas the Dodgers are 5-5.
Paul Maholm, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw will take the ball in the next three games as the Dodgers look to win their first series against the Giants this season.
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