The Dodgers finally awoke from their post clinch malaise to beat the Padres 9-4 in the series finale on Thursday evening to avoid what would have been an embarrassing sweep. Julio Urias was hooked after just 3 innings but the offense came through with nine runs battering opposing starter Christian Friedrich. The bullpen took things the rest of the way as has been the customary script this season.
Now the Dodgers will play their final three games of the season against the Giants in San Francisco. For the Dodgers these games are pretty meaningless as they continue to trail Washington for the second seed in the NL playoff standings. These games for the Giants are an entirely different story. The Giants are fighting for their lives and they are just a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot. The Cardinals will be at home against the Pirates tonight.
Dodgers Lineup @ San Francisco
Tonight's Dodger lineup:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 30, 2016
Game Time – 7:15 PM – TV- SNLA (Games are simulcast)
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 24, 2016
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine all of the times the Giants have knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason race. There was of course the 1951 NL playoff series that featured the infamous shot heard round the world from Bobby Thompson. You can also remember the 1982 regular season finale that featured Joe Morgan’s awful home run (for those that are old enough to remember it) that eliminated the Dodgers on the last day. There was that irritating 2012 race that saw the Giants knock the Dodgers out of the race on the second to last day of the season. I can still remember Angel Pagan making a throat cutting motion towards the Dodger dugout after the final out.
Now it’s the Dodger’s chance to enact some revenge. The Dodgers can officially kill the Giants and send them home without supper. All they have to do is win and get a little help from the Cardinals. Wouldn’t it be sweet to see the Dodgers eliminate the Giants in Vin Scully’s final game?
The pitching match-up will see Rich Hill battling left hander Madison Bumgarner. Hill is making his sixth start as a Dodger and is 3-2 with a 1.53 ERA. Over 29.1 innings pitched as a Dodger he’s allowed just five earned runs and struck out35 against 4 walks. Hill has been nearly flawless as a Dodger. Hill has faced the Giants twice this season. In his Dodger debut back on August 24 he tossed six shutout innings to pick up the win. On September 20 he pitched five innings allowing just one earned run on 6 hits and striking out 7. Unfortunately he took a tough loss in a tight 2-0 game. Hill is 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 7 career starts against the Giants.
Hill vs. Giants
Bumgarner Comes into tonight’s series opener with a 14-9 record and a 2.71 ERA in 33 starts. He’s struck out 246 and walked 53 over 219.1 innings pitched. He’s allowed just 7.0 hits per nine and struck out over 10.0 per nine. Bumgarner has faced the Dodgers four times this year suffering two losses and earning two no-decisions. Bumgarner has won just one decision since August 28th which coincides with the Giant’s epic collapse in the second half of the season.
The tall left hander has a 3.98 ERA in the month of September. Bumgarner is 13-9 with a 2.66 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. Season long bust Kike Hernandez has hit Bumgarner well in the past. He’s batting .500 (11 for 22) with 3 home runs against the lefty. Naturally he is in the starting lineup tonight.
Bumgarner vs. Dodgers
Of course with a left hander on the mound the Dodgers will not be starting their best players. The all-righty lineup returns as Rob Segedin will play first base. Kike is in center field and Charlie Culberson will bat eighth and play second base. Carlos Ruiz is behind the plate as Howie Kendrick slots into left field.
The great payback starts tonight my friends. The Giants have had this coming for a long time now. It’s time to bury them and leave them for dead in their own ball park. Revenge is a dish best served cold.