Photo credit: @NBCSGiants
By Jeremy Harness
We’ve seen this a few times before in the long history of these two teams.
There was 1982, when Joe Morgan’s homer knocked the Dodgers out of the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. However, the Giants also suffered heartbreak at the hands of the Dodgers in 1993, as the Dodgers blasted them 15-1 on the final day to keep them out of the postseason.
Compelling, potentially season-altering moments like these are exactly why the Giants and Dodgers engage in a three-game series to end the regular season year in and year out.
The Giants have been out of the playoff picture for quite some time, but the Dodgers are right in the middle of it. In fact, the three-game weekend series – the final three games of the regular season for both teams – is a make-or-break one for LA in every sense of the word.
The Dodgers are currently sit one game behind the Colorado Rockies for the National League West.
However, they are only one game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL’s final playoff spot. In other words, the defending National League champs are hanging on by a thread.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals end the season with a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs, a team that has already clinched the top spot in the National League and will most likely look to rest its key players in order to get ready for the league’s Division Series next week.
To start the three-games series at AT&T Park, the Dodgers will send Hyun-jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to the mound against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA).
Ryu enters this matchup in fine form, as he did not give up a single run in each of his last two outings, giving up a total of eight hits over 13 innings in wins over the Rockies and San Diego Padres. Bumgarner has not been too bad himself, as he shut out the Rockies on Sept. 15 but gave up three runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Cardinals last Saturday.
Dereck Rodriguez (6-4, 2.50 ERA) will take the ball for the Giants on Saturday against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53 ERA). Rodriguez has lost each of his last two decisions, while Kershaw has won each of his last five.
To end the season, there will be a pair of rookies who take the mound, and this could very well decide the Dodgers’ season. Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) will go for the Dodgers against Giants lefty Andrew Suarez (7-12, 4.22 ERA).