Tuesday night's postgame reaction after the Dodgers' 4-1 loss to the Giants were focused on three players: Joe Blanton, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier.
Despite allowing 10 hits and four runs in his 5 2/3 innings, Blanton said he threw the ball well.
"That was the best I've thrown since I've been here. Those were all singles (note: one was a double), ground balls through the hole," said Blanton. "All you can do is make your pitch and if balls fall in there's nothing you can do about that."
After Blanton and the Dodgers fell into a 4-0 hole, Matt Kemp's would-be game-tying grand slam fell a few feet short, and the Dodgers settled for a sacrifice fly and their one run of the night.
"There are a ton of stadiums around the league where that ball is way back," said manager Don Mattingly. "This is not one of them."
Mattingly liked what he saw from Kemp, who snapped an 0-for-21 skid in the ninth.
"Matt was better tonight. He hits that ball good to right field (in the sixth inning)," Mattingly said. "He just looked more settled tonight, to me. He looked like he let the ball come to him a little more, he wasn't as anxious."
As for Ethier, he continued his troubles against southpaws, a trend that Mattingly acknowledged.
"I've been a guy that really believes that Andre hits everybody, that he can hit everybody," Mattingly said. "We keep looking at the numbers and different stuff. I'm a little bit (concerned)."
During spring training Mattingly constantly praised Ethier's swing and the results showed, even continuing into the season. Through the end of May Ethier was hitting .324/.381/.569 overall, and .319/.383/.486 against southpaws.
Since then Ethier is hitting .235/.316/.327 with three home runs in 62 games, including .306/.396/.433 against right-handed pitchers and .130/.192/.174 against lefties.
Mattingly saw one difference between Ethier now and earlier in the season.
"I don't see near as many balls going to left field against lefties," Mattingly said. "Sometimes you have to pull lefties, those guys that leave the ball on the inner half. Other guys, you've got to use the middle of the field and stay on them a little better."
The Dodgers try to stave off a San Francisco sweep on Wednesday night, with Chris Capuano on the mound. Matt Cain pitches for the Giants.