LOS ANGELES -- After his team went 13-12 in the first 25 games after the All-Star break, manager Don Mattingly was concerned about the Dodgers' lack of consistency and all-or-nothing results. Four of eight series ended in a sweep -- albeit three in the Dodgers' favor -- while the other four ended with Los Angeles on the losing end of a series.
During that stretch, Mattingly constantly talked about his desire to get back to chipping away at opponents and winning series with the occasional sweep if the opportunity came up.
What he saw over the team's 7-3 road trip, which included three series wins, showed him promise that the Dodgers can get the job done down the stretch.
"The bottom line is we won three series," he said when asked what he took out of the trip. "That's really what we talked about. We were in that stretch where we were sweeping people, getting swept, sweeping people, getting swept."
Prior to this most recent road trip, the last Dodgers series win that wasn't a sweep came on July 4, when L.A. took two of three against the Reds. Dating to the beginning of June, the Dodgers had won seven of 19 series, four of which were sweeps.
Although he'll gladly take a sweep, Mattingly stressed the importance of winning series openers to get back to winning two of three and three of four games against opponents to avoid coming out on the losing end.
He'll get that opportunity against National League West rival San Francisco in a three-game set at Dodger Stadium. The teams met twice at AT&T Park over the past two months with each club sweeping the other. Knowing there is a lot of baseball to be played, Mattingly is still hopeful the team's success on its trip against Miami, Pittsburgh and Atlanta carries over.
"It was a good trip for us," Mattingly said. "You are glad you come off a trip like that and get San Francisco right in your face. We can get right down to business."