The Dodgers close out the road portion of their regular season schedule on Thursday night with the series finale against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Dodgers have been quite successful away from home this season and with a win on Thursday would tie the 10th best road record for the club since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.
Much like the 2013 season as a whole, the bulk of the wins came during the Dodgers' 53-13 stretch from June 22 to Sept. 3. The Dodgers were 29-5 on the road during that stretch, including a 15-game road winning streak that was the longest in the National League since the 1957 Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers are 45-35 away from home this season, one of 14 LA Dodger teams to reach 45 road victories. Eight of the 14 teams made the playoffs, and in three other years (1962, 1971, 1982) they were eliminated on the final day of the season.
There is an outside chance, if the Dodgers win Thursday night then get swept by the Rockies at Dodger Stadium (where the team is 46-32), that the 2013 Dodgers could have a road record at least match their home record for the seventh time since moving to Los Angeles, something done in 1971, 1972, 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002.
Edinson Volquez takes the mound in Thursday's road finale, still looking for his first win as a Dodger. Volquez actually hasn't pitched that badly for the Dodgers, with a 4.30 ERA, 22 strikeouts and five walks in 23 innings. Of course he has also allowed five home runs, but at the very least he seems improved from the pitcher with a 6.01 ERA while pitching half his games in Petco Park.
Since Volquez was really only signed to provide extra rest for the starting rotation in September, he faced long odds of even sniffing the Dodgers' postseason roster. But with the final bullpen spot* likely a battle with Carlos Marmol, Chris Capuano, Brandon League, Volquez at least has a puncher's chance of pitching in October.
*I consider Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell and Chris Withrow to be locks for the playoff bullpen.
He'll have to improve on his season numbers versus the Giants in his final regular season start if Volquez will even be considered for the playoff roster, though. Volquez is 0-1 with a 6.65 ERA in four starts this season against San Francisco, and the Giants are hitting .322/.351/.506 against him. In 10 career starts against the Giants he is 2-2 with a 5.92 ERA.
One night after Barry Zito beat the Dodgers in his Giants farewell, free-agent-to-be Tim Lincecum takes the hill for San Francisco in his final regular season start.
Time: 7:15 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket