It was just another day for the contenders of the NL West – one that seems to shift momentum with every game won or lost.
The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers continued their chess match of a regular season, as the Orange-and-Black once again gained on their counterparts to the south with a much-needed win in Arizona, 4-2. Meanwhile, the Dodgers suffered another inexplicable blowout loss to the Colorado Rockies, 16-2.
This movie-worthy twist comes on the heels of a weekend series between the two rivals – one in which the Dodgers took two out of three from the Giants at AT&T Park, including a 17-0 demolishing on Saturday.
The Giants bounced back after suffering their first three-game losing streak since August 25th. With Jake Peavy on the mound on Tuesday, he continued his hot streak while throwing 7.2 innings of 5-hit, 1-run ball, en route to a 2-1 victory. Today saw another thriller, as Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ 18-win ace, and Andrew Chafin, on the mound for only his second major-league start, pitched to a 6-inning, 2-run stalemate, despite Brandon Crawford’s 4-hit game.
The score remained 2-2 until the 9th inning, when Arizona closer Addison Reed loaded the bases before giving up the decisive two-run single to rookie Matt Duffy. Also, surprisingly enough, it was former Giants closer Sergio Romo, who threw 12 strikes on 14 pitches in the 8th inning to earn the victory for San Francisco (84-68), and a series win against the Diamondbacks.
The Giants now have 10 games left in the regular season – seven against the sub-.500 San Diego Padres (who would love to play spoiler to San Fran’s postseason hopes) starting on Friday, and a critical three-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Speaking of the Blue Crew, the Dodgers found themselves only two games ahead of Los Gigantes after a series loss to the Colorado Rockies – both losses coming off of head-scratching blowouts. After an opening 11-3 win at Coors Field, the Rockies showed that their National League-worst 61-91 record wasn’t applicable at home. Additionally, Colorado has fared well against their NL West foes, winning their season series against San Francisco 10-9, and taking 6 games out of 16 against the Dodgers.
Despite racking up 11 hits on Tuesday against Colorado’s Tyler Matzek (and 16 hits overall), the Dodgers could only bring home 4 runs. Meanwhile, Los Angeles starter Dan Haren was rocked for 5 earned runs in 5.0 IP, and the pitching staff gave up 10 runs overall in a blowout loss.
Then, came the 16-2 beatdown the Rockies gave to spot starter Carlos Frias, in place of injured starter Hyun-Jin Ryu – the fill-in gave up 8 runs, and was pulled after recording only two outs. The rest of the bullpen fared no better, allowing 15 runs after 6 innings. Despite everything, the Dodgers will have a chance to, at the very least, maintain their narrow lead with a four-game series at Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs.
Now, with only two games between them and 10 games left, the Dodgers and Giants know that every game, every out, and every strike – for them and against them – will determine who will win the NL West.