By Jon Weisman
On is the heat.
With temperatures in the 90s as a greeting, the Dodgers are preparing to host playoff contenders from Chicago and San Francisco over the next six games.
Some would call this the Dodgers’ biggest test of the year to date, though Los Angeles already played the Giants and Cubs in back-to-back series in June. The Dodgers went 3-4, which I would call a bogey, though it’s worth noting Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke pitched in only two of those seven affairs.
Here’s a quick recap of how those games went:
- Giants 9, Dodgers 5 (June 19): Mike Bolsinger allowed a grand slam to Buster Posey in the third inning, while Daniel Coulombe and Josh Ravin combined to give up four more runs in the seventh.
- Giants 6, Dodgers 2 (June 20): Carlos Frias allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings.
- Dodgers 10, Giants 2 (June 21): Yasmani Grandal hit two of the Dodgers’ four homers in support of Brett Anderson.
- Cubs 4, Dodgers 2 (June 22): The power-outage game, in which Clayton Kershaw allowed a tiebreaking, seventh-inning home run to Matt Szczur.
- Cubs 1, Dodgers 0 (June 23): Zack Greinke pitched six shutout innings, but in his first game in two months, Joel Peralta took the loss in the 10th.
- Dodgers 5, Cubs 2 (June 24): Justin Turner hit a three-run home run, and the bullpen pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings in relief of Bolsinger.
- Dodgers 4, Cubs 0 (June 25): Four more shutout innings from the bullpen after Frias goes five.
It was an unpredictable stretch, to say the least, and you can judge for yourself the good or bad of going 3-4 without getting a victory from Kershaw or Greinke.
In any case, here we are again with the Cubs and Giants, but this time at home, and this time with Kershaw or Greinke pitching half the games.
Kershaw, who pitches tonight and Wednesday, has …
- a 0.90 ERA with 82 strikeouts and seven walks in 70 innings since July 1.
- a 1.29 ERA with 149 strikeouts and 16 walks in 118 2/3 innings since May 26.
- 28 consecutive scoreless innings at home.
And, Kershaw and Greinke currently have two of the top 10 single-season Dodger Stadium ERAs ever.
0.85 Sandy Koufax (1964)
1.08 Orel Hershiser (1985)
1.33 Don Sutton (1971)
1.38 Sandy Koufax (1963)
1.38 Sandy Koufax (1965)
1.39 Don Drysdale (1968)
1.42 Zack Greinke (2015)
1.49 Clayton Kershaw (2015)
1.52 Sandy Koufax (1966)
1.53 Bill Singer (1967)
It’s a scene, man.
After Kershaw pitches tonight, it’s Mat Latos, Alex Wood and Brett Anderson scheduled to go Saturday-Monday, before Greinke and Kershaw finish the homestand off.