Heading into the final series of the regular season both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are playing with purpose. For the Dodgers, having already clinched the National League West title, are looking up at the Washington Nationals for home-field advantage in the National League Divisional Series. While the Giants are locked in a air-tight battle with the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.
The first game of the series went in favor of the Giants, beating the Dodgers by a final score of 9-3. Rich Hill got his final tuneup before the postseason matchup with the Nationals. In five innings he gave up two earned runs on six hits while striking out four. Hill is scheduled to start game two of the NLDS.
As of June 26, San Francisco (49-28) found themselves up eight games on Los Angeles (41-36). Fast forward to now, the Dodgers are 91-69 while the Giants are 85-75. Because of this both teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as postseason aspirations. The Dodgers are simply putting the finishing touches on their regular season with a NLDS date set while the Giants are currently holding onto a slight one-game lead over the Cardinals.
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The season has been very interesting between both teams with plenty of storylines in between. Most memorably, the small dustup between San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Los Angeles’ Yasiel Puig. Bumgarner seemed to be the aggressive yelling ‘Don’t look at me,’ as Puig ran down the first baseline after grounding out. To which Puig responded, ‘What are you going to do to me?’ Both benches cleared and the soon-to-be melee turned out to be a small exchange of words.
Following the game, the hashtag #DontLookAtMe was coined. In fact, the Dodgers even chipped into the fun for laughs and giggles as well. The team even went as far as to make shirt with the new craze printed on them.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 20, 2016
More importantly, Puig sent some over to the Giants’ clubhouse to show Bumgarner and company it was no hard feelings. The Dodger would eventually go onto win the game after a walk-off double by LA first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
It has almost been a week since the Dodgers clinched the NL West, yet they are still playing with purpose. Some may ask why? The rivalry is the simple answer to that question. As if former Giant Charlie Culberson hitting the game-winning, division-clinching home run wasn’t enough. The Dodgers want to be responsible for the reason why their hated rival does not make it to the postseason. Los Angeles hopes to succeed with that plan and bring an end to San Francisco’s even year reign of supremacy.
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Saturday, it will be #KershawDay for Los Angeles as its ace will square off with San Francisco’s Ty Blach. And Sunday, in what will be the final game called by the legendary Vin Scully, the Dodgers will send Kenta Maeda to mound to do battle with Giant’s pitcher Matt Moore.