Once More, With Feeling: Giants, Dodgers Renew Rivalry Amidst a Pennant Race
This upcoming Dodgers-Giants series will be the first time these two teams have faced off since May 10. The Giants enter the series only five-and-a-half games back from the Dodgers and tied for the lead in the wild card with the Rockies. This will be the biggest series of the year for the Giants.
The Giants will be tossing young lefthander Jonathan Sanchez vs Hiroki Kuroda in game one. Sanchez is looking for his third straight win and is throwing the best since he has been in the majors. In two starts against the Dodgers this year, Sanchez is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Kuroda on the other hand has given up seven runs in his last three games and has a 4.44 ERA, but hasn't faced the Giants this year.
The Dodgers have been struggling, losing six of their last 10, as it looks like Torre has burnt out their pitching.
For game two, the Giants will have Joe Martinez on the hill, trying to improve on his comeback story. In Martinez's first start back, he threw five innings and gave up three runs.
Martinez had one shaky inning but besides that pitched pretty solid. Randy Wolfe is coming off a start in which he gave up nine hits and four earned runs through seven innings, but in his only start v.s the Giants this year, he threw six innings and didn't allow a run.
I think this game two will be a pivotal one, with Sanchez looking like he's on, especially at home, the Giants should take game one. But if game two can go to the Giants, they will have a lot of momentum going into the third and final game of the series in which Tim Lincecum is pitching.
Timmy does not know who he is squaring up against yet, as the Dodgers haven't named a fifth starter. It does't really matter who he faces though, because in his young career Lincecum is 3-0 against the Dodgers.
The Giants are solid at home and the Dodgers have been pretty good away from Chavez Ravine, with a 31-23 record. The Giants need to look out for Juan Pierre, Manny Ramirez, and Orlando Hudson as they have all torn up the Giants this year. Casey Blake has blasted three home runs off the Giants this year, and Andre Either has hit two.
This could also be a good series to awaken the bat of Edgar Renteria who has batted .333 against the Dodgers this year in 33 at bats. Benjie Molina is also looking to stay hot and the Dodgers are a perfect team for him to do that against. This year Molina has hit two long balls off the Dodgers.
In a series drenched in big story lines, such as Martinez looking to beat his rivals in only his second start back from a near death experience, where Mike Cameron hit a liner off his head. Jonathan Sanchez is trying to establish his dominance in the league with a fourth straight good start, and prove he isn't a one with his no hitter.
The Dodgers are looking to avoid another late-season collapse, and the Giants are looking to make a late season push for the playoffs and the pennant. But above all, the story I will be most intrigued with, is the new addition to the rivalry; Casey Blake's mockery of Brian Wilson's signature move which he does after ever save.
Wilson points to the sky with his glove and finger as his arms are crossed, in remembrance of his late father. Wilson won't forget what Blake did and nor should he.
So put your seat belts on fans, its gonna be a hell of a series.
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