Dodgers to play most regulars rest of season
Gonzalez, Kendrick, Turner will get time off for injuries
SAN FRANCISCO -- With a postseason berth in hand, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly finally talked about winning home-field advantage for the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers entered play Wednesday night trailing the first-round opponent Mets by one game, but in effect it is two games because the Mets hold the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage. The Mets won two of three games at Dodger Stadium this year while the clubs split a four-game series at Citi Field.
"I think you've got to be able to win everywhere," said Mattingly, whose club is 52-26 at home this year but 36-43 on the road.
"If you get to a final game, you'd rather play at home than on the road somewhere. It doesn't mean you can't win anywhere else. It's just if you have a preference. That year-to-year thing is silly for me. Last year we were bad at home and a good road team."
He said he will play the remaining regular-season games with what he considers a regular lineup, except he will give some extra rest to those players nursing minor injuries -- Adrian Gonzalez (back), Justin Turner (knee) and Howie Kendrick (hamstring).
"We're going to play; I don't really plan on backing off as far as throwing any old lineup out there," Mattingly said. "We're going to play our guys, outside of people needing rest. We'll take care of Adrian. Howie is getting better but we have to watch him. J.T. needed some days. We're going to do what's right for those guys."
Mattingly said losing eight of 10 going into Tuesday night's clincher didn't surprise him.
"It's human nature of what happens down the stretch," he said. "You have a lead, you're playing teams you're supposed to beat. It's the way it is, you see it all the time, every year. We were playing lineups trying to win. If we had injuries, obviously having a cushion allowed us to say, 'We're to give J.T. some days or lose him for the long haul.' Same with Adrian. There were times guys got a day; if we didn't have a cushion we would have forced it, they would have forced it. That wasn't the case, but we put lineups out there we expected to win."
Mattingly said if home-field advantage is in the balance, he probably wouldn't turn over managerial reins for the final regular-season game to a player, a Joe Torre tradition Mattingly continued when he replaced his mentor.