The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a tough time beating good teams this season, specifically the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, their two biggest rivals as of late.
The Dodgers have lost their last three games against the Giants, and narrowly avoided a four-game sweep by the Cardinals. It seems as if they just cannot score against these two teams, going 4-12 against them this season.
Manager Don Mattingly does not believe these series will make or break the Dodgers. His main goal is to, “win every day. We’re in a battle to win our division. Each game is important. Nothing has happened in this series that has changed my mind. If we can get ourselves in and play the Cardinals, we’ll be confident. They’re a good club and we respect them, but I don’t think we fear them.”
Lack of offense seems to be the recurring theme in losses to the Cardinals and Giants as the Dodgers have scored two runs or less in every game they have lost to them. By comparison, the Dodgers have scored five or more in three of their four wins.
Matitngly also mentioned that the Dodgers, “want to beat everyone. And we’re going to have to win enough games to get in. If we want to win it all we have to beat good teams. I’m not really going to start myself on what’s happened in the past as far as what’s gone on with the Giants.”
It seems as if the problem arises from the later innings. Between the seventh and ninth innings, the team’s ERA is 3.92, higher than it is from the first through sixth innings. Although there have been fewer hits in the later innings by opponents, the Dodgers pitching staff has issued a combined 54 walks in the final three frames.
Sunday was the final regular-season meeting from the Cardinals and Dodgers. Los Angeles now welcomes the Arizona Diamondbacks to town Monday to start a three-game series before going on a five-game road trip.