Giants @ Dodgers September 19, 2016: The Rivalry Resumes

Giants
Dodgers
7:10 PM PST
Los Angeles
3B
Nunez
LF
Kendrick
LF
Pagan
CF
Hernandez
C
Posey
SS
Seager
RF
Pence
3B
Turner
CF
Hernandez
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Crawford
RF
Puig
1B
Belt  C Grandal
P
Bumgarner (L)
2B
Utley
2B
Tomlinson
P
Kershaw (L)

The Dodgers-Giants rivalry is always relevant, but in recent times it’s been magnified due to both teams fielding quality sides and the games between them usually having playoff implications on the line. 2016 is no different, as both the chase for the NL West title and the Wild Card spots are currently up for grabs as the two teams meet tonight.

—–

What better way to start this mess than with the two aces facing off against one another? Clayton Kershaw will matchup with Madison Bumgarner tonight, their third duel of the season, with the Dodgers winning the previous two engagements.

Kershaw (1.81 ERA/1.72 FIP/2.02 DRA) has obviously elite numbers on the season, but this will be just his third start since coming back from a lengthy DL stint. In his previous two outings, Kershaw basically used the starts as rehab stints except in the majors, and while he’s likely still anything but 100%, today does seem like the outing the Dodgers are most likely to let him loose for a normal 100 pitches or so.

Since coming back, Kershaw’s had mixed results in terms of stuff. His fastball velocity and the break of his curve has been fine, and so has his general control, but his command has unsurprisingly been a bit rusty. Of particular note is that he’s been throwing an awful lot of spinning sliders that don’t bite anywhere near as much as usual and he’s been missing with them in the middle of the strike zone. That’s basically what has gotten him in trouble in his last two starts, and it’s something to watch tonight.

Bumgarner (2.66 ERA/3.21 FIP/3.21 DRA) is right in the middle of the mess for the NL Cy Young Award, basically all due to Kershaw’s injury. However, the Dodgers have inexplicably hit him well this year despite usually being absolute poo against lefties, and Bumgarner has given up 13 runs in 16 innings over three starts this year. Quite frankly, unless the Dodgers have picked up some kind of read on him tipping pitches or something, it seems unlikely that trend will continue, so we’re likely in for a low-scoring affair.

It’s actually surprising that Bumgarner is having the year he’s having considering his fastball velocity has fallen over a full tick (92.1 mph to 90.8 mph). Other than that, though, he’s been about the same guy as always. He primarily uses a slider and curve as his two off-speed pitches, rarely mixing in a changeup, and relying on deception and arm angle to get his stuff to play up even further.

—–

Today’s lineup for the Dodgers is also interesting, as it’s probably a preview for the playoffs against lefties. Gone are the free outs at the end of the lineup, as Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, and Chase Utley all earn nods tonight. Enrique Hernandez is also playing because of his history against Bumgarner, but if he continues to struggle, Joc Pederson might even see playing time out of desperation more than anything else.

Trayce Thompson, missing you.

Probably the only questionable call in this lineup is Utley, who does struggle massively against lefties now, much less against a guy of Bumgarner’s caliber. However, given the other options, it’s an understandable choice.

—–

Yasmani Grandal appears to be feeling better.

Micah Johnson was called up from AAA.

Alex Wood, who has been waiting to be activated a while, will have to continue waiting.

That move could be putting Scott Kazmir on the 60-day DL.

Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are throwing simulated games.

—–

Getting this one would take a lot of the pressure off and also the sting of losing yesterday’s game.

Let’s go.

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 Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times