Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants Renew Rivalry
The Northern vs. Southern California rivalry has been a large part of baseball even before both teams resided on the West Coast. Formerly the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, these two franchises have been butting heads long before their relocation. This will mark the first time they have met this season, and it is always a special time for the fans. Especially because we are a year removed from the brutal beating of Brian Stow in the Dodger parking lot. Fans can only hope that this year it will only be about baseball as violence between fans places a damper on an otherwise great American tradition.
Tonight's matchup will feature Ted Lilly and Barry Zito squaring off on the mound. While both pitchers feature an ERA below 2.00, Lilly has been far more consistent than Zito as of late. Lilly is fresh off of a strong 6 inning winning effort at Colorado while Zito only managed 3.2 innings while walking seven. The Giants will need a special performance from Barry tonight as their offense is struggling to remain afloat without the big bat of Sandoval in the three spot. This game will set the tone for the remainder of the series as the Giants are trying to close the gap with their division rivals while the Dodgers will attempt to widen their margin in the competitive NL West. The Giants have been involved in 11 straight games decided by three or fewer runs, and manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't have it any other way. Even he is now used to the "torture" fans have since dubbed the Giants style of play:
"I guess you get used to it. It's our way. It's been our way for a while. I've said this: It's a valuable experience for these guys to play games like this where every pitch, every play, every at-bat counts. They learn how to perform under pressure."