It’s September 10 and two NL West ball clubs are battling it out for the right to be called division champion and also hold the best record in all of baseball. This phrase indicates what at the beginning of the season was the expectation heading in but there’s one clear difference.
The San Francisco Giants and not the San Diego Padres are going toe to toe with the defending World Series champions, Lisa Angeles Dodgers.
From now on until the end of the regular season we’ll publish a weekly segment every Friday recaping the past seven days (two series) for the Giants and Dodgers. Where they were a week ago, what changed, the recent highlights and all that good stuff.
Let’s scroll back to where we were last Friday.
The San Francisco Giants had gone 2-5 against the Braves and Brewers in a rare slide during their marvelous run giving the Dodgers the chance to catch up and head into the weekend series tied for the division lead at 85-49
Friday: Giants eke out a 3-2 win in extras.
David Price was the scheduled starter for Los Angeles but Dave Roberts had to scratch him and roll with a bullpen game to open up the series.
Anthony DeSclafani bounced back from his two previous bad outings against the Dodgers earlier in the year and threw 6 scoreless, navigating around two hits and three walks.
The Dodgers pen did a marvelous job conceding only one run over the first nine but the lack of a bulk innings guy took its toll after all Roberts was left to pitch Andrew Vasquez in his Dodgers debut and Evan Phillips on extremely high leverage spots, each allowed a run and the Giants ultimately won it in extras.
Apart from that brief hiatus in New York the trend of losses in extras continues for the Dodgers.
Saturday: Dodgers win 6-1
The first of two scheduled bullpen games for the Giants had a rough start as Los Angeles put up a 3 spot in the first off of Jay Jackson that started with a Treat Turner HR with some help from the wind blowing out to center.
Julio Urias had his problems early on but managed to settle in and ultimately left the ball game allowing only 1 run despite the eight hits allowed.
Six runs might not seem like a lot but given the current state of the offense and pitching staff for LA it’s more than enough even against the powerful Giants.
Sunday: Giants take the W 6-4
Walker Buehler clunker. What felt like an oxymoron before this game shocked Dodgers fans.
The Giants jumped on the Cy Young candidate for a 6 spot, his worst outing in 2021. To provide some context Buehler had already started 5 games this year against San Francisco and allowed a grand total of 3 runs.
The comeback attempt for Los Angeles began just a little too late with the two run homer by Pujols in the ninth giving the impression that the game was actually closer than it really was.
The Giants wrapped up the week with a one game lead on the division after the series.
San Francisco Giants
Gabe Kapler’s ball club went to Colorado for a three game series. From afar this might not seem like the toughest task but the Rockies bolster one of the best home records in baseball.
Long story short, the Giants swept the series. The first time an away opponent has done that in Coors Field in 2021.
San Francisco scored 10+ in each of the first two games and capped off the first part of their road trip with a ninth inning comeback, jumping on Carlos Estevez and ultimately winning 7-4.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The team left San Francisco to St Louis where a four game set was on the schedule.
Unfortunately the offense really didn’t get the memo and LA managed to split the series even though the staff allowed only 10 runs over the four games.
Back to back one run losses on Wednesday and Thursday really twist the knife for the fans.
1: Giants 90-50
2: Dodgers 88-53 (2.5 Games behind)
The Giants finish their road trip with three at Wrigley Field and then it’s a four game set at home as the Padres roll into town.
The Dodgers also have the Padres coming into Dodger Stadium to finish off the week. Next week it’s time for the Arizona Diamondbacks with the highlight that Kershaw is scheduled to start on Monday against Arizona.