LA Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants
7:15 PM PT
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound going for his 12th win in the final series between rivals Dodgers and Giants. The Giants are up 8-7 in the seasons series with the Dodgers. Last time these two clubs met at AT&T Park, the Giants swept the three game series. Earlier in the month the Giants also took 2 out of 3 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw looks to help uproot Barry Zito and the Giants and spoil their chance at the Division Title. The Giants are a fraction out of 1st place behind San Diego with Colorado close behind as well. The Dodgers only have 18 games left in the season which are entirely NL West opponents. Their last series with Houston wrapped up their NL Central games, and they finished 23-19 against them this season.
Reed Johnson is in left field today, playing for Pod who has an injured foot. It's great to see Jay Gibbons in the lineup once again. He will be playing first base tonight instead of Loney. Jamey Carroll, another utility guy, will be at second base tonight instead of Theriot.
After a frustrating season, there has still been a few bright spots. The starting rotation (Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda, Padilla, Lilly) have been excellent since the All-Star break. Hong-Chi Kuo has had an incredible season, and was the only member of the bullpen to deserve any praise. Although Kenley Jansen has also pitched very well, and I would like to see more of him next year. I feel that more credit is due to both Jamey Carroll and Jay Gibbons. Carroll has performed incredibly well in the absence of Rafael Furcal this season. Carroll could easily be a starting shortstop, and deserves recognition for always playing hard even with a broken finger! Jay Gibbons has hit 5 homeruns and 15 RBIs in his 43 at-bats since the Dodgers recalled him. It makes me sick to think of how much time Torre wasted on Auto Out aka Garrett Anderson instead of Gibbons. Gibbons is indeed an interesting story. He played with the Baltimore Orioles from 2001-2007. In 2007 he was cited in the infamous Mitchell Report. In 2008, he performed so poorly that the Orioles cut him. They claimed it was a "baseball decision" and not because of the steroid allegations. I read an interesting fact that "on June 12, 2008, Gibbons wrote an emotional letter to all 30 MLB clubs, asking to return to baseball, promising to donate his salary to charity. The only team that gave him a chance was the independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, a team unaffiliated with MLB. He played in 27 games for the Ducks, hitting .280 with 5 home runs in 107 at-bats." The Dodgers gave him a chance, and signed him to a minor league contract prior to the 2010 season. With the Isotopes he hit 19 homeruns, had a .347 batting average in 94 games. LET JAY PLAY:)
There's nothing I'd like to see more than a sweep of the Giants here at the end, one last hurrah for our boys in blue!!