The Dodgers and Giants will meet again starting Tuesday night beginning a three game series at At&T Park. The Dodgers are fresh off of their easy yet enjoyable sweep of the downtrodden Arizona Dbacks, and are looking for revenge after the hated Giants stole their show by beating the Dodgers on opening day at Dodger Stadium, and winning two out of three last week.
The Dodgers had some problems with the Giants during their opening series at home last week. The club lost 8-4 in the first game, 7-2 in the second game, but were able to beat them 6-2 in the third game to avoid being swept.
The Dodger’s pitching staff had issues with the Giant’s super aggressive style on offense, and were unable to keep them off the bases. This is a deeper San Francisco lineup then what we’re used to dealing with, and the hated Giants scored 17 runs against the Dodgers during the series.
I discussed earlier how the Dodgers needed to beat the Giants at their own aggressive game in order to compete with them, and I still stand by that assessment. If the Dodgers can match the Giant’s aggressiveness then they stand a good chance at getting some revenge this week.
Here’s how the pitching match-ups look for the series, which begins on Jackie Robinson day, where all players wear number 42 to honor and remember the late great hall of famer.
Game 1-Tuesday- 7:15 PM
In the first game veteran Josh Beckett will take on dorkface Tim Lincecum. Beckett is returning from various injuries, including thoracic outlet syndrome, which forced him into surgery last winter, and a strained thumb, in which he injured after slamming it into a clubhouse door.
Beckett’s debut came last week at Dodger Stadium against the Detroit Tigers. He was predictably terrible in that game. He lasted just four frames, and allowed five earned runs, as the Dodgers would eventually lose that game, with Beckett getting a no-decision.
It’s hard to see the Dodgers getting much out of Beckett, despite the veteran telling the club that his arm felt great during spring training. It’s good to see Beckett feeling better, but how much juice is left in his arm? It seems to me that his arm is basically cooked. Although there is still a tiny bit left of juice in the tank. My guess is what we’ll see is sporadic inconsistent results. One game he won’t make it out of the four inning, and then the next game, he’ll turn in a quality start.
Although Beckett still has occasional strikeout stuff, as he whiffed five in his last start. He can still get swings and misses sometimes, but it’s hit and miss, no pun intended.
He has pitched fairly well against the Giants in his career. He’s 4-5 with a 3.76 ERA in nine starts against San Francisco, and is 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four starts at At&T Park. Beckett has whiffed 21 Giants at Phony Book Park, while walking just five. The veteran has a 0.9 WHIP pitching in San Francisco.
Dorkface Tim Lincecum will make his first start against the Dodgers in 2014. Last season he had another down year, as the former Cy Young winner continues to decline. Although he wasn’t that bad, posting a 10-14 record and a 4.37 ERA. His walk rate lowered from 4.4 in 2012, to 3.5 in 2013, but so did his whiff rate, (9.2 to 8.8). He did pitch much better in the second half than he did in the first half.
This year he has gotten off to another bad start. So far he is 0-1 and has a 9.90 ERA. He’s given up 11 earned runs on 15 hits in 11 frames. Although, he’s walked just one and whiffed 12.
Despite his steady decline, Lincecum has always pitched well against the Dodgers. In his career he is 9-6 with a 2.92 ERA in 23 games. Last year he had trouble in the first innings, with a 4.78 ERA in the first inning, and a 6.19 ERA in the second frame. So in the first three innings last year, his ERA was over four and a half runs allowed. This year is no different, as he’s given up seven earned runs and has a 10.50 ERA in the first three frames. So if you’re going to get to Lincecum, you have to hit him early. One more thing to add is to make sure you check out Lincecum’s very dorky looking mustache. he grew for some reason. Check it out for yourself, and make fun of him on Tuesday night.
Game 2- Wednesday- 7:15 PM
On Wednesday night, Paul Maholm will take the bump for the Dodgers. The newly signed free agent was utterly atrocious in his first start against for the Dodgers, which was against the Giants. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings against the Giants during the opening series at Dodger Stadium. He was pretty bad, and only whiffed one. To be fair, he was doing ok, until Pablo Sandoval’s soul-crushing three-run home run did him and the Dodgers in.
Still, Maholm is a soft tossing left hander, who doesn’t strike anyone out, and rarely instills fear into anyone.He’s made three other appearances in relief this season, and has not performed well. He hasn’t pitched much, but he’s only whiffed two batters in over six frames this season.
So he doesn’t get any swings and misses, but supposedly is a ground ball type of pitcher. I just haven’t seen it yet with him. Maholm is 2-4 with a 4.48 ERA versus the Giants in 11 starts. He’s been terrible at At&t Park, going 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in six starts.
The Giants will counter with Ryan Vogelsong. The Dodgers roughed him up during his start against the Dodgers. Even though the Giants won that game 8-4, Vogelsong didn’t go the required five innings to qualify for a win. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits to the Dodgers, including two home runs. He was roughed up again on April 10, this time against Arizona. In that start he went five innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits as well. You know you’re not going well when you give up four earned runs to Arizona and lose. Vogelsong is 4-3 against the Dodgers with a 4.15 ERA.
Game 3-Thursday-12:15 PM
In the third game, Hyun-jin Ryu will go head to head with Madison Bumgarner in a duel of ace lefties. Ryu has been very good this year for the Dodgers. He’s had one bad start, (the opening day debacle against the Giants), but otherwise has pitched superbly. His last start on Friday against the Dbacks was similar to his first start against San Diego. On Friday Ryu threw seven shutout innings, and picked up the win. He is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA, with eight walks and 22 whiffs.
If you remember Ryu’s first start in the majors was against the Giants in 2013 and he lost, but he has beaten them in the past. Ryu is 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA against the Giants in six starts. Ryu has started three games at San Francisco, and is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA.
The Giants will counter with their defacto ace, which is Madison Bumgarner. The left hander allowed two earned runs on eight hits, and whiffed ten in six frames, against the Dodgers last week. Bumgarner has gotten off to another great start. Bumgarner is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three starts. His last start against Colorado, didn’t go as well, with him giving up four earned runs on nine hits through six innings. But that’s about all he’ll give up. So far he has whiffed 20 and walked just five. He’s allowed just one home run this year, but 23 hits in his 16.1 innings pitched.
He is 9-3 with a 2.60 career ERA against the Dodgers in nearly 80 innings pitched. He’s allowed just six home runs to the Dodgers in 13 career starts. Oh and did I forget to mention that he hit a grand slam home run against Colorado the other day?
The Dodgers lead the majors with 18 stolen bases, while the Giants have just four on the season thus far. The Dodgers rank tenth in hitting, while the Giants rank 15. The Dodgers rank eighth in MLB in pitching with a 3.28 ERA, and the Giants are 14 with a 3.68 ERA. Although the Giants have one of the best bullpens in Baseball. Their relievers have a 1.99 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. The Dodger’s relief corps ranks tenth, with a 3.38 ERA.
Currently the Dodgers are in first place in the NL West with a 9-4 record, one game ahead of the Giants, who are 8-5.
All three games will be televised on SportsnetLA, and broadcast on the Dodger’s radio network. We’ll have complete coverage of the entire series over here at Lasorda’s Lair.