Dodgers Lineup vs. GiantsM.Ellis 4 Ethier 9 Kemp 8 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Victorino 7 Cruz 5 Ellis 2 Harang 1
Well here we are guys. We’ve reached the final series of the season. The Dodgers (84-75) are two games back of the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card with three left to play. That’s where we stand right now. Last night the Brewers were eliminated, so just the Cardinals and the Dodgers remain to fight for the last NL playoff spot. The Dodgers elimination number is two. Two Cardinal wins, or two Dodger losses and it’s goodnight Irene.
It’s been a wild and crazy season, and we’ll have plenty of time to look back and reflect, but for now, the last three games still await us. The Dodgers will be battling with their arch rival San Francisco Giants for the final time in 2012.
The Dodgers have won five straight games after sweeping Colorado, and have won seven of their last ten. The Dodgers are 6-9 versus the Giants this season. The last time the two teams faced off was in San Francisco earlier this month. The Dodgers lost two of three games, but the one game they won was the game Matt Cain started. The Dodgers eventually did get to him, but he was his usual stingy self. That’s who the Dodgers have to beat tonight, while the Cardinals are at home facing the Reds.
The Giants are the 2012 division champs, and are just gearing up for the playoffs. They painfully ran away with the division after the Melky Cabrera suspension brought the team closer together instead of ripping them apart like we all thought would happen. These games are essentially meaningless to the Giants, except for the fact they are going to want to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs. I’m sure endless comparisons will be made to past years such as 1951, 1962, 1982. But don’t forget the Dodgers knocked the Giants out in 1993, and 2004 as well.
The Giants (93-66) will be giving the ball to Matt Cain. This will be his final start until the playoffs when he should be pitching game 1 of the division series on Friday night. Cain pitched a perfect game this season against Houston, and is having another great year. He is 16-5 with a 2.77 ERA. The Dodgers have always found ways to beat him throughout the years. Although it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been very tough. Cain is 4-8 with a 3.40 ERA, and 102 whiffs versus the Dodgers. Cain has faced the Dodgers three times this season and is 1-0 with a 2.54 ERA, in 21.1 innings pitched. The Dodgers are hitting .273 (83 for 304) collectively with six home runs, 26 RBI, and an OPS of .746. Many of the Dodgers have hit Cain quite well. Mark Ellis is hitting .316 (6 for 19). Hanley Ramirez is .265 (9 for 34) with a home run. Matt Kemp has struggled, hitting .227 (10 for 44) although he does have three doubles, a triple, and a home run. Andre Ethier, and Adrian Gonzalez have hit him very well. Ethier is hitting .455 (25 for55) with three doubles and a triple off of Cain. Gonzalez is hitting .305 (18 for 59) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, and 13 RBI. Cain has 190 whiffs on the season and has only walked 50.
The Dodgers will counter with right hander Aaron Harang. The Big Show won his last start to even his books at 10-10. Harang was very effective in his last start against San Diego, where he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and pitched six shutout frames. Harang is 7-7 with a 3.22 ERA, and 88 whiffs in his career against the Giants. San Francisco is hitting .278 (60 for 216) with three home runs, and an OPS of .682 off of Harang. The Dodgers will have to watch out for the usual suspects. Buster Posey is 3 for 6 with a home run off of Harang. Pablo Sandoval is hitting just .200 (4 for 20) against Harang. Hunter Pence is .323 (10 for 31). Ryan “Tootblan” Theriot is hitting .283 (13 for 46). The annoying Angel Pagan is 3 for 8. Finally the newly acquired Xavier Nady is hitting .333 (10 for 30) off of Harang, with three doubles, and a home run. Buster Posey, and Brett Pill have also taken Harang deep in the past. Harang is 10-10 with a 3.68 ERA, and 128 whiffs against the league.
It seems fitting that the Dodgers end the season with the final series against the hated Giants. The Dodgers and Giants will write the final chapter of their historic rivalry with three more games to end this year.
All the talk around Dodger land lately is the Dodger’s recent hot streak. Can this final surge lead to the playoffs? Adrian Gonzalez has a 12 game hitting streak, and Matt Kemp is back. The Bison has hit three home runs in the last two games, and is swinging a hot bat. Remember if the Dodgers and Cardinals finish the season tied, the tiebreaker game will be at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. The Cardinals will be at home to begin their final series of the 2012 season against the Reds. In that game Bronson Arroyo will be countering Jaime Garcia. We’ll be keeping you updated on what’s going on in the Cardinals/Reds game via our twitter account @LasordasLair. That game starts at 5:15PM. The Dodgers/Giants game starts at 7:10PM, televised on Prime Ticket. Don’t forget that the Cardinals and the Reds have a lot of bad blood , despite being division rivals. If you remember they had that huge brawl last season where Johnny Cueto was kicking guys, and a couple of players got kicked in the face or something like that. Remember that? So can you help us out please Cincy?
We’ll keep bringing you continuous Dodger game coverage until the season is over, no matter how the year ends. It’s always nice to go out on a winning note, and end the season on a hot streak. Even if we don’t get to the playoffs this year, I can’t think of a better way to end the year than beating the Giants. Make it happen Boys in Blue. Once again, join us after the game for our nightly Dodger game recap. Defeat SF! Go Blue.