Well, well , well. Perhaps the Los Angeles Dodgers have been reading my blog, took to heart that they are frustrating, and decided to take it out on the Atlanta Braves.
Or perhaps they themselves were finally frustrated with not being in first place, and recognized September as being Go Time. Or, they’re just all finally healthy and playing together and starting to flex the muscle that is the 2021 Dodgers lineup.
The Dodgers swept the NL East leading Atlanta Braves on route to climbing back into first place in the NL West. Luckily for them, this was possible by the San Francisco Giants also losing three of four to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Giants and Dodgers are now tied for the best record in Major League Baseball.
In the month of August, the Dodgers went 23-6. In their last 23 games, in which they only had one off day, they went 18-4. And as much as I complained about them, how they couldn’t win more than one game against the Colorado Rockies at home when they knew the Giants had already won, it’s pretty remarkable what they’ve done with essentially three starting pitchers.
The Dodgers are enjoying an off day on Thursday while the Giants still have to battle the Brewers one more time. This definitely sits in the Dodgers favor, as the Giants have seen some of their pitchers recently placed on the Covid-IL list, and it gives the Dodgers time to rest their bullpen.
The Dodgers and Giants will face each other for a three game series in San Francisco this weekend, for the last time in the regular season. One team could end up being three games up on the other at the end of the weekend. More plausibly, one team will take two-of-three and the division will only have a one game separation.
Which is good, because Dodgers will have to start a bullpen game in San Francisco. Los Angeles has both Julio Urías and Walker Buehler lined up to start against the Giants, but the Friday series’s opener will be David Price. The Dodgers could have pushed all the pitchers to pitch on short rest, but have decided to value rest and routine over this one series.
The Dodgers as such will not have Max Scherzer, but they will also miss Logan Webb, who has been fantastic lately. In each of his last 14 starts, Webb has allowed two runs or less. Another plus for the Dodgers. No starting pitchers for the Giants are currently listed for the series.
So far in head to head contests this season, the record between the teams is 8-8. Each team has scored 68 runs in those 16 games. It is also the first time that these two teams have been tied for the NL West lead in September since September 18, 1997.
On Thursday, the Dodgers selected the contract of Andrew Vasquez. Los Angeles just acquired Vasquez from the Twins on Tuesday night, in exchange for minor league catcher Stevie Berman. Vasquez will see his first big league action in two years. He made ten appearances with the Twins from 2018-19, in which he only threw five innings, allowing seven runs. The southpaw passed through outright waivers in 2019 and has spent the past couple years at the highest levels of the Twins’ system.
In the corresponding roster moves, the Dodgers have optioned Ryan Meisinger to Triple-A Oklahoma City for the roster space, and Scott Alexander was placed on the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster.