Dodgers @ Giants Sept. 12, 2014: Huge series is huge

The Dodgers are two games ahead in the National League West and begin what could be a season-deciding series in San Francisco. These teams play in Los Angeles in 10 days, so this series might not ultimately decide the NL West champion, but it could go a long way to determining it.

Dodgers
Giants
7:15 p.m.
San Francisco
CF
Puig
CF
Pagan
2B
Turner
2B
Panik
1B
Gonzalez
C
Posey
RF
Kemp
RF
Pence
SS
Ramirez
3B
Sandoval
LF
Van Slyke
1B
Arias
3B
Uribe
LF
Blanco
C
Ellis
SS
Crawford
P
Ryu (L)
P
Bumgarner (L)

The Dodgers have their big three going in the series, beginning with Hyun-Jin Ryu tonight. The Dodgers are 7-1 in his last eight starts, and he’s been good his last two starts since coming off the disabled list (1.98 ERA, 13 2/3 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 16 K). The only outcome that doesn’t still have the Dodgers in first place on Sunday night is if they’re swept. Odds are, that won’t happen, especially with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw following Ryu this weekend.

Scott Elbert (remember him?) was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. To make room for him back on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Red Patterson for assignment. I doubt anyone claims Patterson, but Elbert coming back is interesting. He was designated for assignment last month and passed through the league unclaimed. If Elbert is anything like he was when he was healthy, he could slide right into the second left-hander role. But, he’ll have some competition.

Paco! Hoornstra also reported Paco Rodriguez told him he thinks he could be activated on Sunday. That would be an incredible boost to the bullpen, as Rodriguez is adept at getting both lefties and righties out. His addition — and hopeful effectiveness — would do a lot to take pressure of J.P. Howell. Now, about that lineup. Actually, it’s pretty good. I thought Don Mattingly might stick with the hot bat of Carl Crawford, even with Madison Bumgarner on the hill. Alas, Mattingly made the right call by starting Scott Van Slyke. Justin Turner also starts for Dee Gordon, making Yasiel Puig the leadoff hitter. Eno Sarris of FanGraphs got a couple quotes from Mattingly in the clubhouse.

Whatever the hell that means. At least his speed will be available off the bench, should it be needed.

The last time the Dodgers visited AT&T Park, they took all three games from ‘Frisco. The Giants are much better since that series. This should be fun*.

*- Exciting, stressful, pennant race baseball

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.