After winning their series in Colorado, despite losing the series finale 9-5, the red-hot Dodgers head to San Francisco to face the struggling Giants for three games. The Dodgers had lost four of five games against their northern rivals before sweeping them at home in a three-game series from June 24 to 26.
The Giants have hit quite the slump and fought through June Gloom for the worst record of the month in the National League, 10-17. In their last 10 games the Giants have just one win, and now find themselves in last place of the NL West.
Their slump made me wonder if they suffered from a similar onslaught of injuries as the Dodgers, but the Giants have not had to overcome such a constant stream of trips to DL. They have two big players on the Disabled List right now in Angel Pagan and Ryan Vogelsong, both on 60-day trips.
San Francisco was dead-last in the NL in runs scored for June, despite ranking fourth in team batting average.
There is a silver lining for Giants fans though because last place in the West is nothing to be too worried about. Considering that the entire division is separated by just 4.5 games, and second to fourth place has a measly two-game gap, the Giants may not be in the cellar for too long.
The Giants played just nine games at home last month, so look for them to get lots of support from the home crowd against the Dodgers as they hope to turn things around in July. A series sweep either way would swing the standings significantly.
Rookies Hyun-Jin Ryu and Stephen Fife will be starting the first two games of the series against against Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, the top two starters of San Francisco’s rotation. While Clayton Kershaw faces off against Tim Lincecum for the second time this year.
Kershaw has fantastic numbers against the Giants in his career with a 10-4 and sub-1.30 ERA. In 18 starts he has six without giving up a run, six giving up one run, and four giving up two runs.
Ryu starts the weekend-series on Friday for his third career time against the Giants. He is 0-2 in 19 innings with seven earned runs and nine strikeouts.