Sometimes life gets in the way of Dodger baseball. This is exactly what happened to me on Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers lost a wild game 10-9 in 12 innings to the Dbacks. I apologize for the lack of recap, rest assured that will be the only time you will see that happen over here at LADR.
The loss ultimately stung but felt less frustrating after knowing that the Giants lost their game to the Cardinals as well. The Dodger’s magic number is now 9 and they are still 5 games ahead with 13 to play as they head home for the final home stand and big showdown series with the Giants. The loss not only split the series with Arizona but also split a tiring road trip for the Dodgers at 5-5.
The Sunday afternoon extra inning loss featured a crazy 6-run sixth inning rally for the Dodgers as they came back from a 7-1 deficit. Starter Jose De Leon allowed 6 runs (4 earned) and was unable to get out of the fourth inning. A throwing error from Charlie Culberson sure didn’t help.
The Dodger’s 6-run rally was highlighted by a 3-run double from Adrian Gonzalez, and a 2-run double from Howie Kendrick. Ultimately Ross Stripling gave up the game-winning run on a single to Brandon Drury in the bottom of the twelfth. The Dodgers had used up their entire position player roster by then and Joc Pederson was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants
Tonight’s Dodger lineup:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 19, 2016
Game Time – 7:10 PM – TV-SNLA-MLB.tv
So the Dodgers put that irritating loss behind them and head home to face the Giants as Vin Scully will call his final games of hs illustrious carer. Speaking of Scully, my mom ran into him on Saturday afternoon while having lunch. Imagine her luck. I am totally jealous.
My mom just met Vin Scully at a restaurant. I'm so happy for her. pic.twitter.com/waFLehHxMu
— Stacie Wheeler (@StacieMWheeler) September 18, 2016
While my Mom is still enjoying her post Vin Scully glow, the Dodgers head home for a showdown with the Giants. Left handed annoyance Madison Bumgarner will square off with Clayton Kershaw tonight in the opening game.
Kershaw pitched well in his second game back from the disabled list. He tossed six shutout frames against the Yankees and looked to be in vintage Kershaw form. He is 11-3 on the season with a 1.81 ERA over 18 starts. Most amazing of course is his strikeout to walk numbers which are otherworldly. Kershaw has 155 whiffs and only 9 walks in 129.1 innings pitched. That gives him a strikeout to walk ratio of 17-1.
Kershaw has been hall of fame worthy against the Giants. In 33 career starts against San Francisco he is 18-7 with a 1.62 ERA and 267 strikeouts against 40 walks. This includes 5 complete game shutouts. The Giants are hitting just .161 against Kershaw with an OPS of .413. Kershaw has struck out the current Giants 135 times and issued just 14 walks. This year Kershaw has faced the Giants 3 times and won two decisions against a no-decision. The last time he faced the Giants back on June 10 he struck out 13 and allowed two earned runs on five hits over eight innings in a 3-2 Dodger win.
Kershaw vs. Giants
As for Madison Bumgarner, he has been just as equally tough on the Dodgers. This year Bumgarner is 14-9 with a 2.66 ERA in 31 starts. Bumgarner has struck out 231 and walked 52 over 206.1 innings pitched. He’s given up 23 home runs though, and that is tied for the most home runs he has allowed in a season. Bumgarner has faced the Dodgers three times this year as well and is 0-2 with a no-decision.
The last time he faced the Dodgers was back on August 23 when he gave up five earned runs on nine hits across five frames in a 9-5 Dodger win. He has won just once since September 3. In 24 career starts against the Dodgers he is 13-9 with a 2.78 ERA. The current Dodgers are hitting just .243 against him with a .690 OPS against. Kike Hernandez seems to have his number as he is hitting .579 (11 for 19) with 4 doubles and 3 home runs.
Bumgarner vs. Dodgers
Since Carlos Ruiz is also hitting well against Bumgarner ( 7 for 19) I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in there, especially with Yasmani Grandal still battling that sore wrist. Another thing to watch for is Madison Bumgarner the hitter. This year he has hit three home runs and is batting .156 with 6 extra-base hits. He has 14 career home runs as a major league hitter.
The Giants have been playing bad baseball. They have the worst record in the majors since the all-star break and are floundering to stay alive in the NL wild card race. A huge problem for them this year has been their inability to hold late leads and come back from behind in games.
Just thinking of the Giants at home playing golf in October is delicious. The Giants have a one game lead over the Cardinals for the second wild card. The Mets are a game ahead of them in the standings. The Dodgers are 47-27 at home this season while the Giants are 39-35 on the road.
You can also catch tonight’s action on MLB.tv. If you have an account you can stream the game on your laptop computer or tablet device.