The final series of the 2018 regular season is upon us, and the Dodgers find themselves looking up at the Colorado Rockies, one game out of the lead for the West division.
The Dodgers have no one to blame but themselves, of course. They handled business earlier in the month with Arizona and Colorado, but then folded against the likes of Cincinnati and the Mets. You gotta win the games that you should win, especially in such a tight pennant race.
And so they head into San Francisco looking to take as many games as they can from the Giants, and hope against hope that the Washington Nationals take it to the Rockies, and that the Cubs do some damage against the St. Louis Cardinals so the Dodgers could be the second wild card should Los Angeles not win the division.
The Giants would love nothing more than to sweep the Dodgers right out of the postseason. So much so that Madison Bumgarner lobbied and won the right to be moved back into the rotation so that he could face the Dodgers. He will start Friday night against Hyun-Jin Ryu. The last time that Bumgarner faced Los Angeles was on Aug 13, when he went six innings giving up seven hits and two earned runs. In his four September starts, he’s allowed 15 runs in 23 innings, going 1-3. Ryu for his part is coming off two scoreless games, where he went 13 innings total scattering eight hits and gathering 13 strikeouts.
Saturday’s game will see Clayton Kershaw going up against righty Derek Rodríguez. Kershaw has not been near his former self, but he has been good enough to keep the Dodgers in the game. Rodríguez is 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA on the year, but 1-3 in his last seven games, allowing 13 earned runs with 27 strikeouts.
Sunday’s final regular season game will be Walker Buehler against Andrew Suarez. Buehler has been very good this whole season, and doesn’t seem to be bothered by the big stage, should Sunday present itself with the division championship hanging in the balance. Andrew Suarez is a lefty who is 7-12 on the season with a 4.22 ERA.
The Dodgers can sweep the Giants, and deal with what happens in Denver. If they want this, all they have to do is deliver this weekend and they will be in the playoffs in some manner. Will they? That remains to be seen.