After losing a third consecutive game to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly alluded to there being frustration in the clubhouse. He thought Clayton Kershaw embodied that frustration on an up-and-down evening, and the Dodgers’ ace later called the outing arguably one of the more frustrating games he’s thrown.
When asked postgame Wednesday if he had held a team meeting, Mattingly said he hadn’t. That changed prior to Thursday’s game when the fifth-year manager revealed he met with his club earlier in the day. Mattingly didn’t divulge any particulars from the meeting, other than to say, “it was about baseball. Simple stuff.”
Mattingly wasn’t aware of the Pablo Sandoval incident that led to the Boston Red Sox third baseman getting benched Thursday for admitting to ‘liking’ a photo on Instagram from his cell phone during Wednesday’s game. The Dodgers skipper said he wasn’t surprised by it and said his team adheres to Major League Baseball’s policies.
It can be presumed the Dodgers’ hitting woes was at the center of the meeting given Mattingly’s repeated calls for the need to have quality at-bats. The Dodgers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have scored more than three runs in only four games over that span and have regularly stranded runners in scoring position.
The meeting didn’t pay immediate dividends as the Dodgers were 0-for-7 with RISP on Thursday night and left seven men on base. They squandered a Yasiel Puig one-out triple in the first inning one night after failing to cash in on a leadoff double in different innings.
With the game scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers had they first two runners reach on walks. However, the promising situation led to Kiké Hernandez standing on third base with two outs only one batter later. Hernandez drew a balk leading to a walk-off 1-0 win.
Next up for the Dodgers are the rival San Francisco Giants, struggling in their own right at 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Giants enter the series knowing they’re 7-2 against Los Angeles this season.
After concluding the three-game set with San Francisco, the Dodgers will hit the road for a 10-game trip. They’re just 12-18 away from Dodger Stadium this season and are averaging 3.9 runs scored per game.