"I'm sure they wanted to play it," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "You're going to try and play the games. I don't think they like not playing 162. Both of us, it doesn't look like we're going be making any noise in the playoffs."
Left-hander Dana Eveland was scheduled to start, but Mattingly was unsure how the rotation would unfold after Friday. That's when Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw takes to the mound, opening a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco.
"The one thing we won't do, we won't mess with Kersh," said Mattingly, adding that Kershaw flew ahead to the West Coast earlier on Thursday.
This was the final game scheduled against the Nationals, who stand 65-76 and have lost six of eight. The Dodgers now head to San Francisco to conclude what was to be an 11-game road trip. They will not travel further east than Arizona the remainder of the season.
"If it doesn't mean anything, I'm sure we won't be flying back in here," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers won two of three from the Nationals, and have eight of their last 10 games, and 13 of 16. Getting production from all corners of the roster has been a reason why the victories have mounted.
Subbing in for the injured Andre Ethier -- who Mattingly noted before the doubleheader began would be shut down for the season with a knee injury -- Juan Rivera delivered two doubles and four RBIs in the opener.
Tony Gwynn drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-out, two-run double, while six relievers held the Nationals hitless over the final 6 2/3 innings after starter Chad Billingsley allowed four runs in the third inning.
"It's been different guys contributing," said first baseman James Loney, who was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in the first game. That's what it takes."
Of course, were the Dodgers to continue on this winning pace, perhaps a trip back to Washington wouldn't be such a bad thing.
"I hope we have to. That would be great, actually," Mattingly mused.