Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-6, 3.16) vs. Madison Bumgarner (17-9, 3.02).
So it begins, the first of six games left in our final sixteen against the arch-rival Giants. With the Giants two games back in the West, and the weekend series up in San Francisco, I've got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that we are going lose ground this weekend. The Giants are on a tear, and Bumgarner (SF's #1) is 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA in three starts vs. the Dodgers this year. San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence leads the NL in hits and runs scored and Angel Pagan is on a hot streak himself. Remember, the Giants led the West for most of this first half of the season, owning a lead as much as ten games at one point.
The Dodgers look shaky from the plate, led by Yasiel Puig, who appears to have lost his way (and his swing). The Dodgers are 12th in the league in HR, with no one besides Adrian Gonzalez really mashing. Dee Gordon's slumping has kept him out of starting lineups of late. And when we have to depend on fourth outfielder Carl Crawford to lead us to victory over a sub-.500 team, you know we're in trouble. (And I'm not even bringing up the infield's recent error-prone play.)
I'll be watching (amazingly, I can watch this game end-to-end). But I've got a bad feeling about this.