The Los Angeles Dodgers this season began two separate three-game series against the San Francisco Giants only six days apart. On Thursday, the Dodgers faced the St. Louis Cardinals a fourth time in the last four days, and their next three games are against their postseason nemesis.
On top of the quick turnaround between series, Thursday’s game was a rematch between Carlos Frias and Michael Wacha. For some, playing the same opponent in such a short span may not be desirable or preferred. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is not included in that group. “I don’t mind them, actually. They’re not bad,” he said.
“I don’t mind the little series like this. By the time you’re done playing them, you’ll be tired of seeing them for a while but preparation-wise, it makes it easier. And you get to see guys make adjustments.”
Whereas the Dodgers managed to chase Wacha in the sixth inning May 30, they had no such luck a second time around and lost to the Cardinals, 7-1. They threatened in the fifth by getting two on with one out and loaded the bases in the sixth with one out, but the Cardinals’ right-hander escaped trouble each time.
Wacha finished with seven innings pitched, one run allowed and five strikeouts to no walks. The loss was the Dodgers’ fourth in five games against the Cardinals this season, and seventh in the last nine meetings if you include the 2014 National League Division Series — though the Dodgers were a much different team then.
Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in that order, will take the hill over the next three days. They’ll face Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn, respectively. After concluding the four-game series Monday, the teams won’t meet again in the regular season.
In 2014 the Dodgers took the season series from the Cardinals, winning four of the seven games. Of course they couldn’t duplicate that success in the NLDS and surely would sacrifice holding the upper hand in the regular season for October wins.
2015 Sports Spectacular — Chester Pitts