After last night’s resounding thrashing of the San Francisco Giants that ended the team’s 11-game losing streak, the Dodgers take a solid one-game winning streak into tonight’s game, which will feature Giants’ lefty Matt Moore (5-13, 5.31 ERA) facing off against the totally overmatched Whirling Darvish and his own personal three-game losing streak, and who has lost eight of his last ten decisions, and whose National League record since coming to the Dodgers stands at 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA. Since his 2-0 start and 1.50 ERA in early August, Darvish has since allowed 16 earned runs in his last 18-1/3 innings for an impressive 7.85 ERA and unheard of, record-shattering 2.35 WHIP.
Just how big was last night’s win? After losing that 11 in a row and knowing that the Whirling Darvish would be on the mound tonight, stopping the losing streak with Clayton
Kershaw on the mound was vital, ending the fear of the streak reaching 13 by midnight tonight, baring yet another rainstorm and rain delay. Instead, that elusive magic number has been cut, sliced all the way down to eight, given Arizona’s loss last night to Colorado, their fourth loss in their last five games. Also, the Dodgers’ win and the D’Back’s loss clinched a post season spot for the Dodgers, whether they want it or not.
Against the lefty Moore, Dave Roberts has Enrique Hernandez and his .213 average in center field. The only positive thing that can be said about that is that it’s not Curtis Granderson and his .107 average in 23 games and 75 at bats as a members of the Dodgers. On the plus side, Austin Barnes is back behind the plate, which we are so hoping is now a regular thing as both his offense and defense have so totally surpassed the overrated yasmani grandal, whose days as the Dodgers’ regular catcher should be OVER FOR GOOD.
A couple of words about Cody Bellinger: First, his athleticism continues to amaze, especially at first base, and if he is allowed to stay there and not move around every other day, he will soon become the default, unquestioned best defensive first baseman in baseball. One play last night where he leaped about 30 feet off the ground to nab a high throw from Justin Turner, and as he returned to earn, whirled around to tag the runner before he could hit the first base bag was an absolute classic. Second, Bellinger is of course holding big margins in leading the Dodgers in both home runs and runs batted in, and if
that holds on for the season, he would become only the third player ever (Ron Kittle, Albert Pujols) to lead a playoff team in home runs and RBI as a rookie.
There is a real battle going on for number two in RBI, with Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager tied at 68, followed by Justin Turner and Chris Taylor tied as 67. But that is like saying that Ross Stripling is second on the team with saves at two, followed by six others with one each.
It will be cold and windy at AT&T tonight, but no rain.