By Jon Weisman
A little side content while we wait to see how the Dodger roster will adjust for the latest injuries to Justin Turner and Hanley Ramirez …
On Monday, the Dodgers will host Cleveland while the Giants are idle, meaning that Los Angeles will have played three more games than San Francisco at that point.
It also means that the Dodgers (who moved within a game of first Saturday when San Francisco went into the ninth inning against Cincinnati with a 1-0 lead and somehow ended up losing 7-3 in extras) could have more wins than the Giants on Monday but still be in second place.
Here’s how the Giants will catch up to the Dodgers in games played:
- July 7: Giants at Athletics/Dodgers idle (two more games played by Dodgers)
- July 14-17: All-Star Break/Dodgers and Giants both idle (2)
- July 24: Giants at Phillies/Dodgers idle (1)
- July 28: Pirates at Giants/Dodgers idle (0)
In short, over a 22-day stretch, San Francisco will play 18 games while the Dodgers play only 15.
However, the Giants and Dodgers don’t remain even the rest of the way – in fact, the Dodgers play 20 straight days from July 29-August 17, while the Giants are off on July 31, August 11 and August 14.
- July 31: Braves at Dodgers/Giants idle (1)
- August 11: Dodgers at Braves/Giants idle (2)
- August 14: Dodgers at Braves/Giants idle (3)
So they’ll be three games apart in their total again, at which point we’ll restart the countdown:
- August 18: Dodgers and Giants both idle (3)
- August 25: Rockies at Giants/Dodgers idle (2)
- August 28: Rockies at Giants/Dodgers idle (1)
On September 1, the Giants and Dodgers draw even in games played again, through unusual circumstances. While the Dodgers host the Nationals, San Francisco and Colorado will have some bonus baseball: the completion of a May 22 game suspended after six innings with score tied, 1-1, plus their regularly scheduled game.
From then on, the Dodgers and Giants will remain no more than one apart in games played:
- September 4: Dodgers and Giants both idle (0)
- September 8: Padres at Dodgers/Giants idle (1)
- September 11: Diamondbacks at Giants/Dodgers idle (0)
- September 18: Dodgers at Cubs/Giants idle (1)
- September 25: Padres at Giants/Dodgers idle (0)
Then, over the final three days of the 2014 regular season, San Francisco will continue to host San Diego, while Los Angeles hosts Colorado.
As for head-to-head competition, the Dodgers and Giants play each other in these remaining series:
- July 25-27: Dodgers at Giants
- September 12-14: Dodgers at Giants
- September 22-24: Giants at Dodgers
San Francisco is 7-3 against Los Angeles this season, including 5-2 at Dodger Stadium. All those games were played before the Giants’ June struggles that have seen them, after a 42-21 start, lose 14 of 18 games and all but a single game of a 9 1/2-game National League West lead.
In 2013, the Dodgers went 2-7 in their first nine games against Arizona as the Diamondbacks charged out to their NL West lead, but the Dodgers went 7-3 in the final 10 games against the Diamondbacks as part of last year’s big rally.