The Giants won again on Thursday afternoon, easily taking care of the Diamondbacks 6-2. No surprise there, as the DBacks were just as helpless against the Giants (three-game sweep) as they were against the Dodgers a week ago (three-game sweep).
Through it all, the Dodgers' lead in the NL West remains at two games. And guess what? Friday night starts a three-game set in San Francisco. The fun is just about to start.
What else should be fun? In these three games in San Francisco, and in two weeks back in Los Angeles, Don Mattingly has lined up his rotation perfectly: two starts apiece for Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
There's really no other way to go about this, as those six games will most likely be make-or-break. Both teams could very well end up in the postseason either way, but obviously, both want to avoid the dreaded one-game Wild Card playoff.
Rainouts could always wreak havoc on these plans, as the Dodgers play seven games in between in Colorado and Chicago (Cubs), and we know the weather there isn't exactly sunny and calm. Let's just hope nothing crazy happens.
I also like how both series will see Ryu, Greinke, and Kershaw pitching in that order. It splits up the two lefties, and leaves the best pitcher in baseball at the end to either salvage a series, or emphatically give a series win. There's no other guy I'd want to have the ball than Kershaw in a sticky situation. You know he'll take it and battle until the last pitch.
A few days ago I wrote about the Dodgers' offense being the key to getting into the postseason, and I still very much believe that to be true. The bats simply cannot afford to go AWOL during these games and waste good starts. Of these six games against the Giants, you know the starting pitching will be good, if not very good in each one. The bats need to step up and make sure they aren't wasted performances.
The Dodgers and Giants going toe-to-toe is what pennant race baseball is all about, and I'm glad to see the big guns on the mound, and not guys like Roberto Hernandez or Kevin Correia needing to outperform themselves just to stay in the game. Nope. It's all about the Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu proving they're the best 1-3 in the game.
Now THAT'S going to be fun to watch.