Joined: 25/09/2018 03:48:47
LOS ANGELES — When the San Francisco Giants arrive in Los Angeles to face a red-hot Dodgers club in the opener of a three-game series Friday Derrick Nnadi Color Rush Jersey , it will not be with a full head of steam.
The Giants are returning to California having barely avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Marlins, needing 16 innings Thursday afternoon in South Florida to do it. There should be exhaustion and jet lag aplenty, especially from Buster Posey, who caught all 16 innings.
Now the Giants will be facing one of baseball’s hottest teams in a Dodgers club that has gone 9-2 in June and has crushed a baseball-best 30 home runs this month.
Back in April, when the Giants and Dodgers seemingly met on a daily basis, things mostly went San Francisco’s way. The Giants took three of four in a series at AT&T Park in late April and won six of the first 10 matchups between the clubs.
The Dodgers struggled with runners in scoring position back then and barely showed any power. And when they did go deep the odds of nobody being on base were high.
That all has changed now, and the two hitters getting the most credit for L.A.’s power revival both have Bay Area ties.
Palo Alto native Joc Pederson has eight home runs this season, seven of which have come in June.
And former Oakland A’s infielder Max Muncy is in the midst of a coming-out party for the Dodgers with 13 home runs, 30 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage in 46 games. Before the season, Muncy played in 96 major league games and hit five home runs with 17 RBIs and a .321 slugging percentage.
“I try not to think about it, (but) it’s hard not to,” Muncy said, according to mlb.com. “Games are a lot of fun right now. Everyone’s feeling the momentum up and down the lineup.”
Also in a bit of a revival is Cody Bellinger Dorian O'Daniel Color Rush Jersey , who had a home run in four consecutive games last week.
The common thread among Pederson, Muncy and Bellinger is that all three bat left-handed and the answer from the Giants will come with lefties Derek Holland (Friday) and Madison Bumgarner (Saturday) starting in the first two games of the series.
Holland (4-6, 4.54 ERA) has helped the Giants toward six victories in his last nine starts. In two starts against the Dodgers this season he is 0-1 with a 7.56 ERA. In three career outings against the Dodgers he is 0-2 with a 7.43 ERA.
“Definitely we don’t feel good when you know going in these are ballgames you should be winning, and we’re not getting (victories) like we should,” the Giants’ Andrew McCutchen said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s not something you take lightly.”
The Dodgers are scheduled to send Ross Stripling (5-1, 1.65) to the mound in the series opener. The right-hander, who threw 7 1/3 no-hit innings in his major league debut at San Francisco in 2016, has won each of his last five starts, posting a 1.15 ERA in that stretch (31 1/3 innings).
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
The Nationals open a series against Miami hoping to end a five-game skid and get back to .500. Washington fell to 42-43 with a loss to Boston on Wednesday, the first time the preseason NL East favorites have been under .500 this late in the year since being 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015. The Nationals held a players’ only meeting after a 3-0 loss to the Red Sox highlighted by Adam Eaton’s throwing error and a wild pitch from Ryan Madson. Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 2.63) makes his second start since returning from the DL Albert Wilson Color Rush Jersey , while Marlins righty Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00) makes his second MLB start.
NOT VERY VERLANDER
Justin Verlander (9-4, 2.12) tries to stop a personal slide when the Astros open a series against the White Sox. Verlander has allowed nine runs in 11 2/3 innings over his past two starts, taking losses to Toronto (four runs) and Tampa Bay (five runs). Verlander hasn’t allowed four or more earned runs in three straight starts since June 2014 while with Detroit. Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.55) is up for Chicago.
Johnny Cueto is expected to be reinstated from the disabled list and pitch when the Giants open a four-game series against the Cardinals. Cueto was placed on the disabled list May 1 with inflammation in his right elbow. A few days later, he visited Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed him with a strained elbow. Cueto is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts this season. The Giants are 41-21 in his starts since he joined the team in 2016.
Angels rookie Jaime Barria will start against AL West-leading Seattle in place of Tyler Skaggs a day after the left-hander went on the DL with a thigh strain. Barria is making his 12th start of the season and has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. Lefty Marco Gonzales (8-5, 3.77) makes his first start since pitching the first complete game of his career in a 4-1 win over Kansas City.
Joe Mauer needs one double to give him 415 in his career, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the Twins’ franchise record. Minnesota has lost six straight and returns home from a 1-8 trip to play Baltimore, which has the worst record in the majors at 24-61. More good news for the scuffling Twins: Two-time All-Star Ervin Santana (right middle finger surgery) is scheduled to make his next rehab appearance for Class A Fort Myers.