After being tormented by the San Francisco Giants over the last six years, it looks as if the tide may be turning the favor of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Monday night may have just added to the assumption that it may truly be the Dodgers’ time.
Despite the Dodgers winning the NL West for the past three years, the Giants have always found a way to get under the skin of the Blue Crew. Only adding salt to the wounds, the Giants have claimed a World Series title every other year since 2010.
Because of the recent championship success of San Francisco, LA fans have been forced to watch their perennial underdog rivals with its name in lights covered in championship confetti. From the Giants first championship in 2010, the Dodgers have been lying in the weeds waiting for their chance to reclaim the gold.
The hated rivalry was on full display during game one of the Dodgers-Giants series Monday in an unforeseen spectacle involving two of the team’s biggest stars.
Yasiel Puig and Madison Bumgarner added to their detailed history with a seventh inning scuffle that cleared both benches.
Bumgarner was seen yelling “Don’t look at me” to Puig as he ran down the first base foul line. To which Puig responded “What are you going to do?”
Luckily, it was only words and some slight shoving. Following the game the hashtag #DontLookAtMe was coined in response to the altercation.
After four straight hits in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers rode the emotional wave to propel them to a 2-1 come from behind victory over their division rivals following a RBI double off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.
Unlike previous seasons, the Dodgers were able to pull out the seemingly unthinkable while the Giants are stuck to figure out what happened. Many fans hope this game will be indicative of the potential role reversal for the two teams.
Twitter lit up with reactions to the improbable come-from-behind victory.
"Don't look at me." How a stare from Yasiel Puig inadvertently led to a stirring Dodgers comeback. https://t.co/RPUSBWWE6q
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) September 20, 2016
DODGERS WALK OFF!!
Los Angeles scores 2 in the bottom of the 9th to beat San Francisco, 2-1.
Dodgers now lead Giants by 6 games. pic.twitter.com/NQHkYhFP9h
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 20, 2016
One major monkey that has been on the Dodgers’ back has been the lack luster play of Clayton Kershaw in the postseason. While many fans argue Kershaw hasn’t been backed up with sufficient run support to win games in October.
Kershaw is undoubtedly still the ace of the rotation for his club, however in the postseason things just do not seem to go his way. But his load has only gotten lighter since the Dodgers have made it a point to go out and get more help for their No. 1 pitcher.
Kenta Maeda actually carried the team while Kershaw was on the disabled list. Maeda is currently first for the Dodgers in wins (16), ERA (3.2o) and strikeouts (171). Kershaw has been the Dodgers’ strikeout leader every year since 2009.
Also, the team acquired Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics in August. Since being acquired the 11-year veteran has gone 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA over five games.
Not to mention the Dodgers have one of the best farmhouses in the major leagues. With arms like Julio Urias and Jose De Leon finally finding their groove on the biggest stage, the Dodgers have more than just one arm to rely on.
As far as the struggling offense, the Dodgers acquired help as well as molded talent into what they hope will be a contender.
Third baseman Justin Turner is leading the team in home runs (27) and RBI (87). Prior to this season JT had never hit more than 16 home runs and had 60 RBI in a given season.
Adding youth to the mix, rookie shortstop Corey Seager has turned in a NL Rookie of the Year worthy season. He is leading the team in batting average (.317), while he has also added 25 home runs and 69 RBI.
With the moves and decisions made by Dave Roberts and company the team has a different look in comparison to recent years. Dodger fans and the team itself can smell a shift on the horizon.