"Umm," Mattingly said, then held a long pause, mulling his words. "Umm, I guess it depends … "
Mattingly was perched atop a bench in the home dugout before Sunday's game. It was Father's Day, which was convenient for the Dodgers — the
Before the game, Mattingly said he had blocked all that out, along with what he called "the rhetoric." He said he was keeping perspective. But then a rare thing happened: the Dodgers won, and with a 10-2 dismantling at that, and so Mattingly responded with an admission.
"That, obviously, feels good," he said.
Mattingly and the rest of the Dodgers tried to keep the win in context. It was one game. The Giants have still won nine of 12 this season against the Dodgers. The lineup is still sputtering, and the team has scored two runs or less in 19 of the last 35 games.
But, said Brett Anderson, who gave up one run over six innings, "As far back as I can remember, it's probably the best overall team win we've had in a while."
The last time the lineup had a bigger outburst was an 11-run game June 1 in Colorado. They haven't scored as many runs outside the thin air of Coors Field since May 12 against the Miami Marlins, when they scored 11.
"Hopefully, that's a sign that we're maybe coming out of this little swoon," Mattingly said.
Every position player who started collected a hit, except Alex Guerrero. Five had multiple hits: Yasiel Puig, Jimmy Rollins, Turner, Gonzalez and Grandal.
The previous day, Grandal insisted the Dodgers could go winless against the Giants, and he wouldn't care, so long as the Dodgers finished the season in first place. Again, he insisted the Dodgers were not affected psychologically by their inability to beat the Giants.
"Psychologically," Grandal said. "I think we might want to change that word. We weren't thinking about it. I keep saying that."
Before the game, when Mattingly found the right words to describe the Giants issue, he said it was dangerous to get too concerned with short-term results.
"I got to look at the whole season and where we're going," Mattingly said.
Yet, he had seen how much damage an inability to beat just one team could inflict.
The Giants were 9-13 in April but went on a tear in May. By Sunday, they were half a game back of the
The win meant the Dodgers got to hold onto first place. Mattingly provided perspective for that too.