The 2017 National League Champions, Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a scoring drought against the Giants. In their first two games, the Dodgers were shutout and combined for a bleak seven hits. This occurred despite strong pitching performances from both Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. Combined, they allowed two runs and struck out 12, keeping their respective games in striking range.
Finally, last night, the bats woke up from their coma and paved the way for the team’s first win. Their 5-0 win over the Giants snapped their 18-inning scoreless streak, the second longest in franchise history.
Their win was led by the top half of their lineup, who combined for three RBI’s, while the other two were off defensive errors. Outfielder Yasiel Puig immediately got the crowd cheering with his first-inning sacrifice fly. In the third inning, outfielder Enrique Hernandez hit another sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers are now looking to even up the series tonight and are sending left-hander pitcher Rich Hill to the bump.
Preview and Prediction: San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers know that it’s imperative to get baserunners on to have any chance of evening up this series. Especially when your playing NL West teams, every run matters. It all starts with practice and repetition alongside Dodger’s hitting coach Turner Ward, who will be fine-tuning the team’s hitting fundamentals. For the Dodger’s to have any shot at making it back to the postseason, the offense has to step up, as it has been a vital part of the franchise’s success.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will employ the same lineup as he did Saturday and send out pitcher Rich Hill for game four.
Hill had a solid 2017 campaign for the Dodgers, going 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts. He’s had incredible success throughout his career against the Giants as he looks to further polish up his 2.43 ERA in 11 career starts. In his three outings against the Giants last year, Hill went 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA, allowing a dreary .224 batting average.
To counter Hill, the Giants are sending out right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton, who has struggled mightily against the Dodgers. He is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three career games against the Dodgers. He’s struggled finding command of his pitches, which has made himself predictable against opposing batters. This will mean the Giants will need to look towards providing run support, in case the outing heads south.
The Giants badly need production out of their two large offseason acquisitions in third-baseman Evan Longoria and center-fielder Andrew McCutchen. They have seen diminutive results in three days, as they have combined for 1-for-23. They are both due to get out of this slump and I expect a combined two to three hits out of them tonight. The Giants know the importance of winning series and how much momentum that carries into another series.
The Dodgers are going to be aggressive at the plate and feed off last night’s momentum. They know they have the pitching matchup they want, and want to take full advantage of it. The Dodgers will prevail.