Having checked off two boxes, the Los Angeles Dodgers will continue pursuit of a third when they wrap up their season series against the San Francisco Giants with one last game at their rival’s home on Sunday.
Having already clinched the National League West, the Dodgers (100-44) became a 100-game winner Saturday night with a 7-2 victory behind a 13-hit attack and a 17th win from left-hander Julio Urias.
The next goal for Los Angeles would be to finish the regular season with the best record in the NL, which would assure it of the home-field advantage through the league playoffs. The Dodgers have a 9 1/2-game lead over the New York Mets (92-55) in that race with 18 games remaining.
If the Dodgers are going to add to their win total in the series finale, they’re going to have to do it against one of the Giants’ hottest pitchers, Alex Cobb (6-6, 3.48).
The right-hander has pitched seven innings of shutout ball against two of his past three opponents, including the Atlanta Braves in a 3-2 home win on Monday.
He’s pitched in 7-4, 3-0 and 7-3 losses to Los Angeles this season — he was charged with just one loss — in his first three career outings against the rival, compiling a 5.51 ERA in those games despite having had success against Trea Turner (2-for-13) and Freddie Freeman (2-for-12).
Turner and Freeman have combined for seven hits in the first two games of the series. The Dodgers won the opener 5-0 on Friday.
If there was a silver lining for the Giants (69-76) in the rematch, it was the combined five shutout innings turned in by relievers Jarlin Garcia, Yunior Marte and Cole Waites.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler was especially impressed with the work of Marte in the eighth, when he went through Mookie Betts, Turner and Freeman 1-2-3.
“Really encouraging,” he observed. “There was an opportunity to send him back out (for the ninth), but when he looks like that, you kinda get the feeling you want to preserve him for (the next day). So we have good bullpen coverage (Sunday).”
Attempting to give Los Angeles a resounding 15-4 season-series win over the defending NL West champs will be lefty Andrew Heaney (3-2, 2.84), who is coming off one of his best outings of the season, having limited the San Diego Padres to one earned run and three hits in five innings in an 11-2 road win last Sunday.
In five career starts against the Giants, Heaney has gone 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA, with six different current Giants — David Villar, Thairo Estrada, Wilmer Flores, Willie Calhoun, Lewis Brinson and J.D. Davis — having hit career home runs against him.
Flores accounted for one of the Giants’ two runs in the series with his career-high 19th homer of the season in Saturday’s loss. San Francisco has just five hits in 11 innings against Dodgers starters in the series, with Dustin May’s five no-hit innings on Friday setting the tone.
“We expect that out of all our guys who go out there,” Justin Turner said of May. “That certainly helps the rotation if he’s going to go out and pitch like that.”
–Field Level Media