Considering the season is only a little more than a month old, the
A day that ended with the Giants scoring twice in the 10th inning to beat the Dodgers, 3-1, started with a closed-door meeting called by Manager
In seasons past, Mattingly generally downplayed the significance of early-season games, no matter the opponent.
That wasn't the case here.
"We have to establish that we can play with them," Mattingly said of the Giants, who came into the series in a virtual tie for first place in the
When the Dodgers returned from a nine-game trip Wednesday night, they trailed the Giants by 2 1/2 games.
Mattingly pointed to how the Dodgers dropped two of three games in each of their two previous series against the Giants. Of the three-game series at
This wasn't entirely unexpected.
Even with the Dodgers fielding a team that will earn a combined $240 million, closer
"We all know that it's going to be a dogfight between us and them," Jansen said.
What's surprising is how the Giants are winning.
However, their bullpen has been extremely reliable.
Their relievers entered Thursday with a combined earned-run average of 1.81, the best in the major leagues. The team is 16-3 when scoring first.
The offense has contributed some unexpected power. The Giants entered Thursday with 42 home runs, second-most in the NL.
Before coming to Los Angeles, the Giants swept the
Nine were by first baseman
Hicks hit another in the seventh inning Thursday, to tie the score, 1-1.
"They're patient," Jansen said. "They're waiting for that mistake. They are good hitters, man."
The Dodgers, meanwhile, appear to be moving closer to finding their own identity.
Mattingly said he has more or less settled on
As for the four-man outfield, it's also taking a more definitive shape, with Mattingly saying Puig and
"I think Yasiel's established himself in right field, pretty much, as the guy," Mattingly said. "Matt's been playing, I think, well. He's been swinging the bat better."
Mattingly said that when he doesn't have Kemp in the lineup, it's because he wants to rest him and not because he prefers