Don Mattingly is hopeful the Dodgers will respond to Clayton Kershaw

Don Mattingly is hopeful the Dodgers will respond to Clayton Kershaw
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly walks back to the dugout after a pitching change in the sixth inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 19. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Two days after Clayton Kershaw said he wanted the Dodgers to play with a greater sense of urgency, Manager Don Mattingly sounded hopeful that the team would respond to the words of the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

"I think Kersh is one of our leaders," Mattingly said. "I think when he speaks, guys tend to listen to him because of the respect they have for the way he goes about his business. It's not like he's not backing it up with words or results or anything else.

"Obviously, Kersh is a huge voice."

The Dodgers, who have dropped their last five games, are at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati for a three-game series that starts Tuesday.

"When you have some games or situations that don't go well, it really will speak to the character of your club, how you respond to that," Mattingly said. "You want your team fighting out of that, not just take it and, 'We'll be OK.' Take it as something that they're embarrassed by.

"If you can't play with a sense of urgency now, you're in real trouble."

In the wake of a 3-2, 10-inning defeat to the Houston Astros, Kershaw said Sunday, "I hope we're panicking a little bit. I think panic's a good thing, to a certain extent. ... There needs to be a sense of urgency, maybe that's better to say than panic. I feel like we have to start playing like that. Not to say we haven't, but it's definitely time to start thinking that way."

Mattingly said of Kershaw's comments: "It tells you that he's not real happy with the way, the urgency that we're playing with, or the lack of urgency."

Mattingly said he hoped other players shared Kershaw's feelings.

The manager was almost certain the other players are aware of what Kershaw said.

"I'm not sure, but guys don't seem to miss anything, right?" Mattingly said. "I think they would know if Kershaw says we need to play with a sense of urgency."

Mattingly cautioned that the inability to win isn't necessarily a reflection of effort and was reluctant to say his team was playing with a lack of urgency.

"You're always riding that fence a little bit, to not be too quick to judge one way or the other," Mattingly said.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez