The Dodgers open up their final series of the season with a chance to play spoiler.
The Dodgers avoided getting swept last night, so that was nice. Julio Urias turned in a nice audition for the fourth-starter role in the playoffs, and the offense wasn’t useless against a lefty. It was the Dodgers’ 91st win, and they now have a chance to keep the Giants out of the playoffs.
The Giants are currently a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. They also trail the Mets by a game for the first Wild Card spot, so that three team race very well could go down to the final game. The Giants host the Dodgers for three, the Mets travel to Philly and the Cardinals host the Pirates. Once of the best things baseball has done in recent history is make the final game for every team start at the same time.
Rich Hill gets his final tuneup for the postseason tonight. He was scratched from his last start to keep him fresh, but will definitely start the second game of the NLDS.
Hill will be making his first start in 10 days. His last one also came against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. He allowed a run and six hits in five innings, but was outdueled by Johnny Cueto. Cueto left that game with an injury, but the Giants bullpen decided to be good that night and kept the Dodgers off the board.
Hill has been overwhelmingly good in five starts as a Dodger. It would have been nice for him to recover faster and provide more value, but if he can come up big in the postseason, the trade will have definitely been worth it. Especially now that Josh Reddick is coming around.
Bumgarner was probably the favorite for the award for a while, as his ERA was as low as 1.94 on July 10th. Since then, he’s allowed four or more runs in six of 14 starts.
His last outing was rough, as he was spotted a six-run lead and could barely make it stand, as he allowed five runs through six innings in San Diego. He dominated his last outing against the Dodgers, but became unhinged when Yasiel Puig looked at him and was taken out after seven dominant innings (97 pitches). He’s thrown more pitches than that in 26 of his 33 starts, so I’d assume he would have had another inning in him if he didn’t have to be such a tough guy.
This will be Bumgarner’s fifth start against the Dodgers this year. The Giants are 19-14 when MadBum starts, but they have yet to beat the Dodgers in one of his starts.
Corey Seager and Hill are the only two lefties in the lineup. This weirdness is mostly normal against lefties, but it’s interesting that Carlos Ruiz is starting consecutive games. I guess Austin Barnes doesn’t really exist.
It’ll also be interesting to see what happens between Puig and Bumgarner today. Hopefully nothing, but MadBum doesn’t exactly have a track record of nothing. Maybe Puig will try to goat him and throw him off his game?
First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 PST and will be shown on SNLA and KCAL