Los Angeles Dodgers Going for Sweep of Giants

7/29/12 in MLB   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Dodgers entered this weekend series against their division foes trailing them in the division race by only three games. The Giants had held one of the top records in baseball since the All-star break with Buster Posey's hitting leading the way. The Dodgers, however, were stumbling quite a bit, which forced them to look toward the trade block to improve their roster. 

After scooping Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, the Dodgers lineup appeared a bit more formidable after the likes of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. In the first game of the series, the Giants tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning, only to lose 5-3 when Hanley Ramirez hit a two-out, two-run shot off Sergio Romo in the tenth inning. The Dodgers cut the division deficit to only two games. 

July 27, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Hanley Ramirez celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the tenth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Beck Diefenbach-US PRESSWIRESaturdays matchup was between Barry Zito and Chad Billingsley. Matt Kemp got the scoring started quickly with a two-run shot in the first inning and the Dodgers never let up after that. They cruised to a 10-0 victory to cut the division lead to one game heading into the finale on Sunday. 

Ryan Vogelsong vs. Clayton Kershaw. Vogelsong leads the NL in ERA. Kershaw has historically owned the Giants in San Francisco, however, he lost his first start in the Bay Area his last time there. Without Pablo Sandoval in the Giants lineup, they will be hoping to get some surprise offense from somewhere other than Posey or Melky Cabrera. 

The last time these teams met, the Giants trailed the Dodgers by three games entering a three-game series. They swept the series and managed to move into a tie with the Dodgers for the divisional lead. This time around, the Giants are hoping to avoid a mirror imaged series. They hope to maintain a two game lead after this series comes to a close, and they will need a great start from Vogelsong to make that a reality. 

On the flip side, Kershaw, if he ever needed extra motivation, loves to pitch opposite the Giants. He lives from these moments. He wants the ball in his hands on the mound when the game means something. And with a lineup that has decreased power and effectiveness, Kershaw could pitch the Dodgers into a first place tie this afternoon. 
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