Friday is the start of a 13-day stretch where the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants will meet for six games. Plenty figures to be a stake as the Dodgers hold a slim two-game lead over the Ginats in the National West standings.
Although the rivalry has plenty of history, what’s lacked recently is a contested pennant race down the stretch. With a change in that this season, former Dodger Orel Hershiser discussed the positives that come with the Dodgers and Giants being close in the standings, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
It’s great for the division. It’s great for baseball. It’s great for history,” Dodgers broadcaster and former pitcher Orel Hershiser said. “Baseball would get a jolt.
Hershiser also said the rivalry would outshine that of one in the AL West:
If Oakland and Seattle went down the stretch, I’m not sure the nation would be as interested. There’s a national interest if the Dodgers and Giants come down to the wire.”
Hershiser spent 13 of his 18 seasons in MLB with the Dodgers and made 37 career starts against the Giants, along with seven relief appearances. Among his other accomplishments, the right-hander finished with a career 22-9 mark against the Dodgers’ long-time rival.
Both the Dodgers and Giants have held comfortable leads in the standings, with the northern California team ahead by 9.5 games in June only to see it evaporate by the end of the month. Comparatively, the Dodgers’ largest lead this season was 5.5 games, which came in August.
After his last start against the San Diego Padres, Clayton Kershaw discussed his upcoming outing on Sunday and said he was glad to finally shift his focus to the Giants. Kershaw will take the mound in the series finale with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke pitching ahead of him.
On top of the series potentially leading to a change atop the NL West standings, Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong provided his opinion on the two teams. Vogelsong will not pitch in the series.
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