Mattingly warns Dodgers against wasting pitching edge

Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:33am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly should have left Australia delighted on Sunday after opening the season with two wins over a National League West rival on the back of two solid performances from his starting pitchers.

Instead, the man who has been handed a big-budget roster to get the Dodgers to the World Series for the first time since 1988 was seething with frustration that his bullpen had almost let the Arizona Diamondbacks back into the game.

It all looked good after Clayton Kershaw, who signed the richest ever contract for a pitcher in January, had spearheaded Saturday's 3-1 victory and South Korean ace Ryu Hyun-jin came out of Sunday's game with the Dodgers 5-0 ahead.

But the Diamondbacks rallied with five runs in the last two innings and the Dodgers were left clinging on in a marathon ninth before taking the 7-5 win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"Clayton was really good, Hyun-jun was really good, I think that's where we're built," Mattingly said.

"That's where we don't want to make mistakes and not take advantage of anything you could take advantage of when you're starting pitching's this good.

"You really don't want to let teams back into games."

Ryu, in his second year in the major leagues, took Sunday's win after giving up two hits and striking out five in his five innings.   Continued...

October 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford (25) celebrates with manager Don Mattingly (8) the 3-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals following game three of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports