The Dodgers try for a season-best seventh straight win on Thursday night against the Mets, but to do so they have to accomplish something they haven’t done in 38 years.
A win on Thursday night would give the Dodgers their seventh sweep of the season, their second in a row, and their third sweep in the last four series. It would also be their first four-game sweep of 2017, and their first four-game sweep of the Mets since May 7-10, 1979.
That 1979 sweep came at Dodger Stadium, and is one of six times the Dodgers have swept the Mets in a four-game series. Three of those sweeps came in 1963 alone, the Mets’ second year of existence. Those early Mets were truly awful, with 340 losses in their first three seasons, and the Dodgers took full advantage.
Dodgers 4-game sweep of Mets
|May 7-10, 1979||LA|
|May 2-5, 1977||LA|
|June 11-13, 1965||NY|
|Aug. 16-18, 1963||NY|
|July 10-13, 1963||NY|
|May 19-22, 1963||LA|
The Dodgers were 16-2 against the Mets in 1962, and 16-2 again in 1963. In 1964, they fell to 15-3, but 47-7 (.870) over a three-year span will get it done. I wonder if letters to the editor 50-plus years ago were full of notes worrying about how the Dodgers would fall off when they faced better pitching.
With wins in the first three games of this series, the Dodgers have won seven consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, and have improved to 28-10 at home. Amazingly, that is only the second-best home mark in baseball this season. The Diamondbacks — one of the three 100-win-pace National League West teams — are 26-9 in Phoenix.
But that 28-10 start is better than the last two seasons for the Dodgers, when they won a combined 108 home games. In 2016, the Dodgers started 23-15 at home on their way to 53 wins at Dodger Stadium. In 2015, they won 55 games at home, including a 26-12 start.
Dating back to 2016, the Dodgers have won 39 of their last 50 regular season games at Dodger Stadium. They are 58-23 in their last 81 home games, and 110-52 in their last 162 in Los Angeles.
And they have six more games remaining on the homestand.
Grandal the grouper
Yasmani Grandal in his three seasons with the Dodgers has been a streaky hitter, with his home runs coming in bunches. He is in the midst of one of those streaks right now, with three home runs in the last two games, including two solo shots on Wednesday night.
In 2015, Grandal hit home runs in consecutive games three times, and also had two multiple-homer games. In 2016, he had home runs in consecutive games five times — including one three-game streak — and two multiple-homer games.
So far in 2017, Grandal has a pair of two-homer games, and this is his first stretch of homers in back-to-back games.
Hyun-jin Ryu gets the start for the Dodgers in the finale against the Mets, facing fellow southpaw Steven Matz.
The Dodgers are 11-9 against left-handed starting pitchers this year, but it is remarkable how few they have faced in recent weeks. They began the season facing 12 southpaws in their first 23 games, but have faced just eight lefty starters in the last 50 games.
Only three of those southpaw starters have come in the last 30 games, and Matz will be their first left-handed starter faced since June 9, snapping a string of 11 opposing right-handed starters.
The Dodgers are hitting .248/.334/.434 against lefties this season, fourth in the National League with a 105 wRC+. Since May 1, the club is hitting .276/.364/.525 against southpaws.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network