Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, and coach Dave Duncan were on the same team for the All-Star Game. Photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

DodgeRONI The San Francisco Sweep

Clayton Kershaw (7-6, 3.14) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (8-4, 2.26)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Giants

M.Ellis 4

Rivera 7

Kemp 8

Ethier 9

Ramirez 5

Loney 3

Cruz 6

Ellis 2

Kershaw 1

It’s been an amazingly fun couple of days, hasn’t it Dodger fans? The Dodgers came into this San Francisco series with heat exhaustion from St. Louis, and they’re homesick for Dodger Stadium after a long road trip. Last time up in The Bay, the orange and black swept the Dodgers with three consecutive shutouts. Yesterday, the Dodgers got a bit of revenge on their arch rivals with a 10-0 blowout. It’s been a glorious two games filled with Hanley homers, Bison four-hit games, A.J. blasts, and strong starts from fantastic Fife and red bearded Chad Billingsley. Today the Dodgers will go for the ultimate redemption. If they win they will share first place with the Giants.

 

The interesting part of this Dodgers/Giants rivalry is that the two teams are actually quite similar if you think about it. Both teams pride themselves on good pitching, and both teams have excellent rotations. Yet both bullpens can be shaky at times and have been known to blow leads and games. The Dodgers and the Giants have issues with defense in the infield. It is not uncommon to witness infield bumbles from both teams on any given night. Both San Francisco and Los Angeles have low run producing lineups, and ironically both teams have had one of their power hitters plagued with a hamstring strain (Kemp for the Dodgers, Sandoval for the Giants). I’m sure there are more corollaries, but one thing is for certain. There will only be one team who captures the NL West crown.

Last time out, Clayton Kershaw was a hot mess. St. Louis was his worst start of the year, and he only made it through 5 2/3 innings while allowing 8 runs. Hopefully Kershaw can bounce back after that disaster and help secure the series sweep. He’s always dominated the Giants in his career, and he has a 6-3 record with a 1.45 ERA to show for it. He’s whiffed 102 Giants in 93 innings pitched. Even though Kershaw has historically pitched very well against the Giants, he lost twice so far this year to them. He only allowed two runs in both of those starts, but the Dodgers didn’t give him enough run support.

The Giants will counter with Ryan Vogelsong who has a league leading 1.41 ERA at home at AT&T Park this

Uh oh, Ryan Vogelsong is kind of good at home. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

season. He hasn’t lost at home since May 3rd. Last time out against San Diego, he picked up a win after pitching 7 innings and only allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits. In his career against the Dodgers, he has a 4-2 record with a 3.65 ERA. Vogelsong admits pitching with a “chip on his shoulder,” especially against pitchers like Clayton Kershaw. He also has said that he doesn’t like the Dodgers after hearing the Giants fans chant the annoying “Beat L.A.” He says the dislike for the Dodgers “kind of rubs off on you.”

Ted Lilly and Rubby De La Rosa have both begun to play in rehab games. Today Lilly will pitch for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes for a couple of

We were all heartbroken when Rubby blew his arm out last year. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

innings. He’s still a few weeks away from rejoining the team. Rubby will also pitch today following Lilly. He could return in August as well after undergoing Tommy John surgery just about a year ago.

First pitch is at 1:05 pm on Prime Ticket. Join us after the game as we continue to document the 2012 season.

Tags: Clayton Kershaw Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers Rubby De La Rosa Ryan Vogelsong San Francisco Giants Ted Lilly

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