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Race for the National League West: October 1

Dodgers are 2 games back of the Giants with 3 to play

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last we spoke the Dodgers were only a game back of the San Francisco Giants and although unlikely, the possibility of at least tying their bitter rivals was seen with light of controlled optimism, if you will.

Here we are a week later and it’s looking like a Dodgers-Cardinals matchup at Chavez Ravine on Wednesday to decide who advances to the NLDS. Nevertheless, with one series left to be played nothing is set in stone which is why we’re still doing the segment, and like the Dodgers proved on Wednesday, you can never doubt the unlikely.

Let’s break down everything major that has happened with these two clubs.

NL West

1st: San Francisco Giants - 105-54

Record over the last seven days: 6-0

It’s looking like the problem in Philadelphia wasn’t really Gabe Kapler, right? Whether you can nit-pick specific details to criticize his first tenure managing a major league ball club, Kapler has handled a really difficult task better than even the most optimistic Giants fan could’ve expected.

The Giants are in a really difficult situation and could’ve easily lost this division without tarnishing even in the slightest what has been a magnificent season. They’re going up against the defending champs (with the July 30 additions of a Cy Young and MVP candidate) but even in the time since Max Scherzer and Trea Turner arrived in Los Angeles, despite their significant impact, the Dodgers have picked up only a single game in the standings.

All of this has been on display over the last seven days with San Francisco traveling to Colorado, one of the toughest places to play in 2021 after a loss to end the series versus the Padres and just handily beat the Rockies like business as usual. There was no contest at any point with a combined score of 20-6 in favor of the visitors for the series.

The NL West leaders then headed home to play the D-Backs and won all three games with poise. They kept a late rally at bay with a 6-4 win Tuesday, and followed that up with a 1-0 shutout scoring that lone run with the following sequence:

  • Single by Tommy La Stella
  • PR Steven Duggar Stolen Base
  • LaMonte Wade Jr. Sac Bunt
  • Sac fly by Kris Bryant

The league leaders in homer runs won a game the old fashion way displaying flexibility.

San Francisco finished off the sweep by erasing an early 3-0 deficit with another walk-off victory.

Anything can happen in this series against the Padres at home but it’d take a very unforeseeable development to take away this division crown from San Francisco.

2nd: Los Angeles Dodgers - 103-56 (2 GB)

Record over the last seven days: 5-1

The Dodgers are playing very good baseball, but when you put that in contrast with their current opponents, that’s just not good enough. A 4-2 record against the Rockies and D-Backs on the road is good, just not enough unless you were counting on a major collapse from San Francisco which just never happened.

The Dodgers left Arizona with a loss over a three game series and beat the Padres by one and two runs respectively in a couple of games that at some point felt way more comfortable than that for Los Angeles.

The Tuesday game felt weird because although the Padres looked out of it, the Dodgers offense never put the game to bed and Blake Treinen got the last out with the tying run in scoring position when he struck out Tommy Pham.

On Wednesday the lineup jumped out to an early 5-1 lead on Ryan Weathers with the red-hot Max Scherzer on the mound. Game over, right? San Diego went on to score eight more runs on Scherzer and Brusdar Graterol but in an outstanding effort that will at the very least boost morale the ball-club hit four solo shots in a two-inning span to tie up the game, followed by Corey Seager hit a two-run bomb to take the lead.

This was actually the first time any team hit back-to-back bombs and followed that up with a game-tying and then a game-winning home run all in the same inning.

Seager followed with two more home runs on Thursday, with the Dodgers finishing off a sweep.

Tune in to a baseball game, you just might see something incredible.