Finally, the Giants have come back down to earth – at least a little. Although San Francisco posted an excellent 19-9 record in August, it was their blistering end to the month that allowed the rival Dodgers to do something they haven’t done since April: overtake their rivals for the head of the division.
As the Giants lost the first three games of their series with the Milwaukee Brewers in first place, the Dodgers seemed to be finding their late-game mojo against a previously scorching Braves side. This was not only a turning point in the Dodgers standings, but apparently also a turning point in close game performance – lagging behind late in the game on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dodgers would rally to unlikely wins despite facing the Brave. bullpen which had pitched well.
As the Dodgers head to the Bay Area this weekend, they do so tied in the standings following San Francisco’s victory on Thursday while the Dodgers were inactive. Despite their tie in the standings, each clubhouse’s tenor couldn’t be more different. In San Francisco, the constant din of the Dodgers footsteps behind them has become deafening – while Oracle Park will try to muffle the noise with “Beat LA” chants all weekend, the feeling of doom among the Giants loyalists. is stronger than it has ever been. season.
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After all, San Francisco wasn’t meant to be here. With BetMGM punters setting their season winning tally at 75.5, expectations were a modest step forward that would still leave the Giants well below 0.500. The Giants instead worked their way to the top of the standings, hitting the most homers in the league (201) despite playing in a stadium notoriously favorable to pitchers. They have revitalized the careers of veterans and made the most of young players. They’ve seen starting pitchers with one-year contracts produce career seasons the team could never have seen coming.
The issue of regression has been cropping over their heads all season – they have to come back to earth at some point, don’t they? Law?!
While I don’t think it’s safe to say that losing 3 of 4 to a good Milwaukee team is considered an expected regression, panic begins to set in in San Francisco as the Dodgers arrive in town. The Dodgers are as healthy as they’ve been all season and enter the series in San Francisco after going 22-6 since Aug. 1. If the Giants are leaking gasoline, the Dodgers fly north with games – and if the trends continue, they’re ‘I’ll leave town with flames in their wake.
Friday, September 3
6:45 p.m. PT
David Price (4-2, 3.88 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (11-6, 3.38 ERA)
Oracle Park’s Friday series opener will mark the 6th time the Dodgers have faced DeSclafani – the most times they have faced a starting pitcher this season. It was a very solid season for the right-hander and the first double-digit winning campaign of his 7-year career. Having posted some excellent numbers early in the season, DeSclafani has struggled lately – in August, his 5.93 ERA was his worst of any month this season. He has failed to pitch beyond 5 innings once in his previous 5 starts, a cold streak that began with a horrific 2.2 innings outing against the Dodgers on July 28.
DeSclafani has struggled with the Dodgers all season. His 5 starts against Los Angeles are the most he has made against any opponent since joining the Giants, and his 9.43 ERA in 21 working innings is his worst against one. of the 14 teams he’s pitched against this season. He was even worse when he faced the Dodgers at Oracle Park – in two starts by the Bay, he only managed to complete 5.1 innings of work while allowing the Dodgers offensive 14 earned runs.
David Price, who recently struggled to give the Dodgers much length as a starting pitcher, is hoping to gain a lot of support for Los Angeles. Despite making 6 starts in August, David Price was only involved in one decision (a loss on August 22) and only participated once in the 6th inning. His last start in San Francisco was a particularly frustrating outing – the 4 runs he allowed in 4.1 innings of work was the most he gave up in an outing this season. Prior to that start, Price had pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief against the Giants.
The Dodgers bring a rested reliever pen to the road after a day off Thursday, so they’ll have plenty in the tank to support Price if he struggles early.
saturday 4 september
6:05 p.m. PST
Julio Urias (15-3, 3.17 ERA) v TBD (Bullpen?)
One of the recent issues plaguing the Giants has been a sudden decline in the health of their pitching staff. After remaining relatively unscathed at the start of this season, San Francisco are now without Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto for the most important month of their 2021. As such, it seems likely the Giants will look to pitchers. as Sammy Long and Jose Quintana could potentially come out of the bullpen on Saturday and Sunday – it’s not exactly an ideal scenario for a team trying to put out the flames rising around them.
The Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the pitch on Saturday, leading the league with his 15 wins coming in this weekend. Urias has just had the best month of his career, an August which saw him go 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA despite strong formations from the Angels, Mets, Padres and Braves. He has faced San Francisco 4 times this season, 3 of which have been very good starts. At the end of July, his back-to-back starts against ‘Frisco saw him pitch 12.2 combined innings while allowing just 2 runs.
Taking on a battered pitching staff, the Dodgers should seize the opportunity to back their southpaw early – ideally, that would allow Urias to sink into a game again.
sunday 5 september
4:08 p.m. PST
Walker Buehler (13-2, 2.05 ERA) v TBD (Bullpen?)
The story of Sunday is the same as that of Saturday for San Francisco, from now on. We’ll have to wait and see what line-up moves are made, but both games are expected to see the Giants look to Johnny Wholestaff in search of victories.
Good luck against Walker F. Buehler. At this point, the National League Cy Young is hers to lose – and given the weight of this weekend’s series in the Bay, you’d be hard pressed to find a pitcher on land that I’d rather have on the bump on Sunday. evening than Buehler. Remarkably, August was the third straight month the right-hander finished with a lower 2.00 ERA, and he’s probably 1-2 starts more on his current pace away from his season ERA also eclipsing that number.
Buehler has really matured as a Major League starter in his fifth season of action at this level. Talent was never in question, but the young right-hander who at one point tried to blast fastballs through every hitter he faced has transformed into a fully trained and multi-faceted pitcher capable of get the same results on regular season outings as him. has in the past playoffs. If Buehler gives the Dodgers what he’s been giving them all season, they’ll have a great opportunity to end a critical streak on a high note on Sunday Night Baseball.
With a full month to go, this series in San Francisco is just one of many crucial series remaining on the Dodgers’ schedule. It’s the only series left that allows Los Angeles to control both sides of the divisional narrative, however – and given the trend we’ve seen on either side this week, I like the Dodgers’ chances of giving a punch to the hated giants this weekend.
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