Sep 29

Game 157, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

It’s Clayton Kershaw’s turn to try to advance the Dodgers into the postseason and turn out the lights on the Giants’ hopes of getting there. He’s 15-7 on the year with a 2.25 ERA, 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA against the Giants. He and his teammates will face Madison Bumgarner, who’s 18-8 with a 2.88 ERA, 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA against the Dodgers this season. Both of these pitchers have been excellent since the All Star break: Kershaw’s gone 9-1 with a 1.48 since then, while Bumgarner has been almost as good, going 9-3 with a 2.31 ERA. He’s also thrown three complete games in that span.

There are some other games of consequence being played today and tonight as well.

Lineup when available.

Sep 01

Game 131, 2015

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

Bumgarner versus Greinke. If this were the opener of a playoff series the hype would hit Warp Six. Last year’s World Series MVP will pitch for the Giants against their ancestral enemy the Dodgers, who counter with this year’s leading Cy Young contender. Bumgarner won all five of his August starts with an ERA of 1.43; Greinke is 8-1 in his last ten starts and has the best ERA in MLB at 1.61.

Each manager is hoping his pitcher can go deep into the game, because bullpens on both sides were depleted in last night’s 14-inning affair. The Giants used eight pitchers in relief; the Dodgers used six. Here’s a shout-out to the Dodgers’ frequently-maligned Jim Johnson and Chris Hatcher, who combined for five spotless innings in the extra frames.

Lineup when available.

Look! Mattingly thinks he’s Tony LaRussa! Put the pitcher in the 8-hole, why not? I’m still wondering about the discussion in the dugout last night about pinch-hitting Kershaw or Greinke in the 11th inning; how hard did each of them lobby?

Aug 22

Game 122, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke has been emulating Superman recently. He’s made 11 consecutive starts without a loss, and he’s now 13-2 with an MLB-leading 1.58 ERA. He’s also the second-best hitting pitcher in the NL behind Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. His opponent will be left-handed Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA), who’s given up nine earned runs in his last three starts. He’s 1-3 with the Astros after coming over from the As at the trade deadline.

Lineup:

Puig’s back in right, Utley’s at second, and Kiké is in center. Van Slyke’s in left because Kazmir’s a lefty and neither Crawford nor Ethier hit southpaws well at all.

May 21

Game 40, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN, CSN-BA

This is a marquee matchup on paper. The Dodgers send out their ace Clayton Kershaw, who is a three-time Cy Young winner, MVP and four-time ERA title winner. The Giants send out last year’s NCLS and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, who was the best pitcher in baseball for the last three weeks of last year. When they’ve faced one another Kershaw’s had the statistical edge but the Giants have gotten the win in three of four games (thanks to foultip in the comments to Game 39).

Kershaw’s off to a rocky start (for him) this season, with a 2-2 record and a 4.24 ERA. Bumgarner is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA so far in 2015. In his career Kershaw is 8-2 with a 0.97 ERA at AT&T Park.

Ryu had surgery this morning. They found and fixed a partial labral tear in his left shoulder. He should be back next spring.

Lineup when available.

Apr 28

Game 20, 2015

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Like yesterday’s, this game is a rematch of the starters in last week’s series. Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner squared off last Wednesday. Neither one got the decision in a game ultimately won by the Giants. Each gave up two runs; Kershaw gave up three hits, Bumgarner gave up six. Kershaw walked one and struck out nine, Bumgarner walked two and struck out six. Each pitcher has faced the other team a lot in his respective career: Kershaw is 14-5 against the Giants with a 1.48 ERA and four shutouts. Bumgarner is 11-5 against the Dodgers with a 2.56 ERA.

Lineup when available.

The reason Alex is in left field is that Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day DL and IF/OF Kiké Hernandez was brought up from Oklahoma City. There’s been no Twitter explanation for Joc’s absence from the starting lineup.

Apr 22

Game 14, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area

This game pits last year’s regular season MVP Kershaw against last year’s World Series MVP Bumgarner. How about that? Apparently this is the first time in MLB history that’s ever happened.

This marks the fourth time in their careers that Bumgarner and Kershaw have faced off and the first since Sept. 13, 2013. The Giants are 2-1 in those contests, but Kershaw has better numbers (2.08 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) compared to Bumgarner, who has a 3.32 ERA and 19 punchouts in 19 innings.

Not only that, but they hit against each other. Kershaw’s 3 for 5 against Bumgarner, while Bumgarner is only 1 for 7 with 4 Ks, but that’s partly because Kershaw bears down against him: “He’s country strong, as they say.”

Neither guy has started off his season as well as he pitched last year, but that can’t last.

In other news, the Dodgers optioned LHP Adam Liberatore to OKC and recalled OF Chris Heisey from there.

Lineup when available.

Oct 29

World Series Day Seven, 2014

Giants at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

I wrote this at my other blog:

There’s no more dramatic phrase in sports, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve said so before and I’ll say it again: Game Seven is evocative of heroics on the field in do-or-die circumstances: Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter’s home runs, Sid Bream’s slide, Carlos Beltran’s strikeout, Luis Gonzalez’s dribbler…so many instances of melodrama.

Tonight we see another Game Seven. It’s only the third time in 13 years the World Series has gone the full seven games and the fourth time in the last 20 years, so cherish it.

The Giants ask veteran Tim Hudson to hold the Royals in check as long as he can, and the Royals do the same with veteran Jeremy Guthrie. The Giants have Madison Bumgarner in reserve, since today would be his between-starts throw day; the Royals have their fearsome bullpen threesome, only one of whom has pitched since Game Four (Davis threw an inning in the Royals’ 5-0 Game Five loss).

I can’t wait.

Oct 26

World Series Day Five, 2014

Royals at Giants, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

MadBum goes for the Giants and Big Game James goes for the Royals. It’s a rematch of Game One’s starters, one the Royals hope will turn out better than the original did. Bumgarner held the Royals to a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings in that game, while Shields gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk and was gone after three innings.

Oct 21

World Series Day One, 2014

Giants at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

The Giants ask Madison Bumgarner to start the Series and do what he did in the Wild Card game and in Game One of the NLCS: give them a strong and long performance and get them off on the right foot in the Series. The Royals send James Shields to the mound. He also started the Wild Card game, although he didn’t do well in it (5 innings, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, ERA of 7.20). He then started Game Three of the ALDS and won it to send the Royals to the ALCS, where he pitched Game One against the Orioles. He didn’t do well in that game either, (5 innings, 10 hits, 4 earned runs, ERA of 7.20 again).

Have the two teams faced each other recently? Yes. In August the Giants went to Kauffman Stadium, where they were swept by the Royals, who were in the midst of a stretch where they won 14 of 16 games. San Francisco was outscored, 16-6, with Bumgarner taking one of those losses in a complete-game effort.

Fun fact: in all the postseason games so far, 14 have been decided by one run.

Not so fun fact: once again we get Joe Buck doing play-by-play. This time his partners are Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, with Ken Rosenthal near the Royals’ dugout and Erin Andrews outside the Giants’.

If you’re in your car, ESPN Radio will have the games, with play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and analyst Aaron Boone. The pregame and postgame show consists of host Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN MLB Insider Peter Pascarelli and in-studio host Marc Kestecher.