The Dodgers look to keep their feet on the Giants throats in game two of the series.
How do you top last night’s game? Ignore the eight innings of awfulness by the Dodger offense. That last inning was arguably my favorite of the season. Add in the drama caused by Madison Bumgarner throwing a tantrum, and it really felt like a “nail if the coffin” type of game.
Of course, this isn’t the case. The Dodgers have a sizable lead, but it’s certainly not over yet, especially with five games remaining against the Giants. However, losing a dominant outing by Bumgarner in the way they did feels like multiple losses. It’s not over yet, but they’re circling the drain.
The Dodgers can further swirl them down the drain with a win today. The Dodgers won this matchup last time, so just do that again.
Rich Hill is coming off his worst start as a Dodger. He allowed four runs in 5.1 innings in Arizona, the first time he’s allowed more than three runs in 18 starts this season.
Hill has been great in his Dodger tenure. Those four runs were the first four he’s allowed as a Dodger, and it was his first time not finishing the sixth inning.
Hill’s first start as a Dodger came against these Giants, and he made a great first impression. He scattered five hits across six innings and didn’t allow a Giant to reach third. He only struck out three and got some help on deep fly balls dying at the track, but kept the Giants off the board.
Johnny Cueto took the loss against Hill a few weeks ago despite also dominating. He allowed only four hits in six innings, but one of those was a solo shot by Justin Turner that ended up being the only run of the game.
Cueto’s been fantastic for the Giants this season, but he’s been especially tough on the Dodgers. In his first start against LA, he allowed five runs in the first inning. He’s pitched 28.1 innings against the Dodgers since that first inning and has allowed five runs.
Cueto had a rough stretch of games, as his ERA jumped from 2.53 on July 23rd to 2.97 on August 14th. It’s back down in the mid-2.80’s, so the Dodgers road to scoring won’t be much easier today.
Their best course of action would probably be to keep the game close (read: Hill needs to be good) and get to the bullpen again. I should be manager.
Fairly normal lineup, with Andrew Toles drawing left field today. He sparked the Dodgers’ comeback in the ninth with a leadoff single, and at this point has to be a lock for the postseason roster.
I love this team so much.
In other news, Alex Wood was activated today. To make room, Bud Norris was designated for assignment. Norris generally did what he was brought in to do, and he kept the Dodgers rotation afloat and took a backseat without causing any problems.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on SNLA and ESPN 2 (no blackouts).