Series Preview: Giants Hosting NL West Champion Dodgers
September 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielderHunter Pence
(8) celebrates the 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
That headline makes you cringe. Trust me, it makes me cringe writing it and looking at it.
The fact of the matter is that the Los Angeles Dodgers “Own the West” as their NL West Champion t-shirt and hoodies would suggest, with “We Own the West” in blue script emblazened across the chest and torso, topped off with the L.A. logo. It’s disgusting to look at, like any Giants fan would say, but it’s the cold hard reality.
The good news is, we didn’t have to see that gear come out on our watch, when the Giants were in L.A. for four games. It was a celebration deferred, thanks to our guys crushing the boys in blue, taking three out of four games on SoCal turf. (Sorry about your pool, D-Backs).
The crown jewel of that series was the resounding defeat the Giants bestowed upon the Dodgers in the 19-3 rout, aka The “Hunter Pence Show”. Pence went 3-5, including a grand slam that helped him log 7 RBI in that single game. Oh and by the way, the Giants recorded the highest score ever in the history of Dodger Stadium.
Shifting to post-NL West celebration, the Dodgers come into AT&T Park for the final week of regular season baseball. Our World Series champion torch will be passed on to a new team this year, but we still take every chance to beat our hated rivals.
Here are the matchups game-by-game:
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-7, 3.03 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (8-9, 4.06 ERA)
Ryu has been awful, losing four out of his last five starts. He’ll look to have a comeback performance to reflect his overall pitching line a bit more accurately. He is 1-1 with a 4.62 ERA in San Francisco, and overall 1-2, 2.81 ERA against the Giants in his four starts against them this year.
Cain’s last start against the Dodgers was upset by a no decision. He threw a solid one run game though his 7 innings, logging 5 strikeouts. His pitching line against the Dodgers this year is 1-1 with 3.97 ERA. Cain has had some bad luck of late, having three out of his last four starts be no-decisions and one being a loss, despite his solid performances. This will be his last start of the year, and will aim to end on a high note.
Ricky Nolasco (8-2, 3.14 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (4-11, 5.91 ERA)
Nolasco would most certainly like to forget his last start against the Giants. He started the game that would become the eventual 19-3 historical score and Giant win in L.A. In that start, he gave up 5 earned runs on 7 hits in a very short outing, 1.1 innings pitched.
In what was supposed to be a start for Madison Bumgarner, it looks like Bruce Bochy will be giving a final nod to Zito. This will be the farewell start, and it is well deserved for his performance that led to the 2012 World Series title. This has not been a highlight year for him by any means, but for his gutsy performance in postseason, some say his up and down career for the Giants was all worth it for the trophy. I will not post any more stats for Zito, but rather reflect and thank him for his service to San Francisco, on and off the field, but especially for his magical 2012 postseason. Farewell Barry, and happy trails. You will forever be a Giants legend.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Edinson Volquez (0-2, 4.30 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (10-14, 4.44 ERA)
Volquez saw the Giants when he started in their series in L.A. He had a very nice 7 strikeouts, but those would prove not to be the difference maker, as he still gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 5.2 innings, with a no-decision.
Jul 13, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherTim Lincecum
(55) reacts after a diving catch by right fielder Hunter Pence (not pictured) during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Lincecum takes the hill in his final start of the year, and what some think may be his last as a Giant. I’m not in that group. I believe the Giants will re-sign him and I would love for them to re-sign him. Time will tell over this offseason. In case this is his last, I too will give him the honor like Zito. Thank you Timmy for everything in San Francisco. You’ve been an amazing player, and my favorite one at that. I hope to see you right here next season with that #55 on your back, buddy. You’ll always be Big Time Timmy Jim and The Freak to me.
The Beard is back:
Brian Wilson makes his first return to San Francisco after signing with the rivals down south. It will be interesting to see his reception from the orange and black faithful at AT&T Park when he heats up and takes the field from the visiting bullpen.