National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, October 1st
(All times eastern)
San Francisco Giants (93-66) at Los Angeles Dodgers (84-75), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Matt Cain (16-5, 2.77)
Los Angeles - Aaron Harang (10-10, 3.68)
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are one victory shy of matching
their longest winning streak of the year. If they hope to make the playoffs,
they'll need to set a new season high and get some help.
The Dodgers begin a do-or-die three-game series on Monday night with the San
Francisco Giants still on the outside of the wild card picture.
Despite a victory in five straight games -- their longest string of victories
since another five-game run from July 18-23 -- the Dodgers sit two games
behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card in the NL with three
to play. While Los Angeles hosts NL West-champion San Francisco, St. Louis is
taking on the Cincinnati Reds, who have already won the NL Central.
Los Angeles got two-run homers from Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis in
Sunday's 7-1 win over the Colorado Rockies and have outscored its opponents
34-7 over the five-game win streak.
The Dodgers have won a season-high six games in a row twice this year, last
doing so on May 17-22.
"We painted ourselves into this corner," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
"If we do what we have to do, St. Louis will have to win two games. We're
forcing them to win games."
Mattingly turns to veteran Aaron Harang, who won for the first time in six
starts on Wednesday at the San Diego Padres. He scattered four hits and four
walks over 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three in his first victory
since Aug. 18.
The 34-year-old righty is 10-10 with a 3.68 earned run average in 30 starts
this season and will face the Giants for the first time in 2012. He is 7-7
against them in 17 career starts with a 3.22 ERA.
Things won't be easy for the Dodgers tonight as they square off with the
Giants' Matt Cain, who is likely to start Game 1 of the National League
Division Series and gets one final tuneup tonight.
Cain has won three straight starts, giving up just two runs in that span, and
is 6-0 with a 2.18 ERA over his last nine outings. He logged seven shutout
innings in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, working around
four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
The right-hander, who will pitch on his 28th birthday, is 16-5 this season
with a 2.77 ERA. He has made three starts in 2012 versus the Dodgers, going
1-0 with a 2.53 ERA.
That has made Cain's career numbers in this series a bit more respectable as
he sits 4-8 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 3.40 ERA.
The Giants have won four of their last five and rallied for a 7-5 win over the
San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Down by a run in the ninth, Xavier Nady hit a pinch-hit solo homer to even
things up and Hunter Pence added a go-ahead two-run homer in the frame.
"I liked the way the guys kept getting after it, especially after it was ugly
there early," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
San Francisco has won five of its last six versus Los Angeles and lead the
season series 9-6.
10/01 10:43:58 ET