Giants @ Dodgers September 20, 2016: #DontLookAtMe Edition

7:10 PM PST
Los Angeles
Belt  LF Toles
Cueto (R)
Hill (L)

The Giants may not want to look now, but the Dodgers are six games up in the division with 12 games to go. With walk-off adrenaline still flowing, the reigning NL West champions go for the series win against the second-place Giants on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Perhaps Madison Bumgarner was a little testy on Monday because his team is currently tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card, and every loss puts them closer to being eliminated from postseason play altogether. Or he just has a serious anger management problem.

The Dodgers will once again try to get to the San Francisco bullpen in the second game of the series. The San Francisco relief staff has a MLB-leading 29 blown saves (the Dodgers bullpen has blown 21 saves). Dustin wrote in more detail about the differences between the two teams today.

In order to take advantage of the San Francisco bullpen, the Dodgers hope Johnny Cueto (16-5, 2.86 ERA, 3.05 FIP) doesn’t pitch a complete game against them like he did in his last start against St. Louis. The herky-jerky right-hander allowed two runs on five hits over nine innings against the Red Birds. The Dodgers did rough up Cueto for six runs back on April 6, but since then he has fared well against them. Since first donning black and orange, Cueto is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this season vs. LA, and he has struck out 29 Dodgers in 28 1/3 innings. Overall, Cueto is 4-6 with a 2.93 ERA against the Dodgers in a dozen career starts.

Justin Turner is 6-for-18 (.333) with a home run against Cueto. Chase Utley, one of the first Dodgers to jump into the melee on Monday, is also hitting over .300 vs. Cueto with two home runs in 34 at-bats.

The last time Cueto took on Rich Hill (12-4, 2.06 ERA, 2.34 FIP) was in his Dodger debut on August 24, when the Dodgers edged out their rivals for a 1-0 win. Hill as a Dodger is 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA/1.74 FIP and has been top notch since returning from the blister, but he showed that he was human in his last start against the D-backs. He allowed four runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and a walk in 5 1/3 innings.

Overall, Hill is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in six career starts against the Giants. Hunter Pence has faced Hill the most of any of the current San Francisco players, and has three hits in ten at-bats against him.

Andrew Toles gets the start in left field, batting seventh. Toles had a key leadoff single to spark the ninth-inning rally on Monday night, so he’s certainly earned this nod.


In roster news:

After being acquired from the Braves in June, Bud Norris went 3-3 with a 6.54 ERA and allowed 10.1 H/9 in 13 games (nine starts) for the Dodgers. He helped out the depleted rotation at first, but after suffering from back stiffness in late July and landing on the disabled list, he never regained his effectiveness.

Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched in a simulated game on Tuesday.

Brett Anderson is also going to give it a go again.

That was a fast turnaround on those custom t-shirts.


The next two games will be on ESPN2 (tonight) and ESPN (Wednesday) with no blackout restrictions. KCAL coverage begins on Friday. Let’s cherish these final games we have with Vin Scully.

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About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.