Riding some momentum after completing a three-game Freeway Series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Dodgers hit the road for a six-game trip to the state of Pennsylvania.
First up was a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team well below .500 but 12-3 since the All-Star break when the Dodgers arrived at Citizens Bank Park. Los Angeles dropped the series opener, then won the next two games, hanging on for a one-run win Wednesday and out-slugging the Phillies in a wild affair Thursday.
The Dodgers didn’t have any such luck against the Pirates however, as a myriad of issues reared their ugly heads over a three-game set that Pittsburgh swept. Despite his club’s struggles against a postseason-caliber opponent, manager Don Mattingly remains confident in the Dodgers, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Don Mattingly said. “Nothing happened here in Pittsburgh that changes our mind about our club. Basically, we had a chance to win every game in the series. We’re lucky, really, where we’re at. Nothing changes my mind that we can play with anybody.”
Jim Johnson, Mat Latos and Alex Wood all appeared over the three games, with each facing some bumps in the road. As he did when addressing the Dodgers and his belief in the team, Mattingly also backed the trio of pitchers:
We’re not going to take one weekend and change our mind about anything,” Mattingly said when asked about the pitching of newcomers Latos, Wood and Johnson.
Johnson had a particularly rough Sunday evening in front of a national audience as the game was part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast. He entered in the bottom of the seventh with the Dodgers holding a 5-3 lead, and exited after just two-thirds of an inning pitched and Los Angeles trailing 9-5.
The Dodgers now look to bounce back Monday with the Washington Nationals in town to begin a three-game series. The Dodgers took two of three from the Nationals out of the All-Star break, winning games started by Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.
Greinke and Kershaw are slated to start Tuesday and Wednesday, with Brett Anderson on the hill in the series opener.