LOS ANGELES–Life was a lot totally different for Farhan Zaidi the final time the Giants performed at Dodger Stadium.
Because the Los Angeles basic supervisor, Zaidi was involved about whether or not the Dodgers would be capable to clinch their sixth straight Nationwide League West crown and if his membership had sufficient depth to compete deep into October.
After accepting the job because the Giants’ president of baseball operations in November, Zaidi returns to Southern California on the opposite facet of the rivalry. He joked this spring that he’ll ask for a bigger Giants brand on his pullover as soon as his crew begins beating the Dodgers, however taking down Los Angeles is far simpler stated than achieved.
Particularly proper now.
The Dodgers set a franchise-record for runs in a four-game collection with 42 in opposition to Arizona this weekend whereas the Giants scored simply 5 occasions in 4 video games in opposition to the San Diego Padres. Los Angeles is 2 video games above .500 whereas San Francisco is 2 video games beneath that mark and already, there are severe considerations concerning the viability of the Giants offense.
Zaidi was not employed to rework the Giants in a single day, however he could not have believed the hole in expertise between his outdated franchise and his new one could be so drastic in the beginning of the 12 months.
After constructing the Dodgers right into a prolific pressure, the Giants’ high govt is simply as keen to finish his outdated employer’s run of dominance on the high of the division. Doing so might be the best problem of Zaidi’s profession, however he’ll be hailed as a hero if he’s in a position to accomplish that mission.
Monday (7:10 p.m.): Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Julio Urias (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Tuesday (7:10 p.m.): Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 2.57 ERA) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Wednesday (7:10 p.m.): Derek Holland (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Ross Stripling (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Storylines to look at
1. Can the Giants hit the Dodgers’ lefties?
If Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi and Nick Margevicius dealt with the Giants within the opening weekend of the season, it’s troublesome to think about San Francisco doing a lot in opposition to proficient Dodgers southpaws Julio Urias and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Giants don’t have a deep group of right-handed hitters to create matchup points, in order that they’ll want a few of their regulars like Joe Panik and Brandon Belt to enhance on a tough first collection. Each Panik and Belt swung sizzling bats throughout spring coaching and if the Giants are going to hold with the pack within the NL West through the first half, they’ll want each gamers to exceed expectations.
2. Can the Dodgers hit the Giants’ lefties?
San Francisco set its rotation so that each one three of its left-handed starters would face a Los Angeles crew whose high hitters swing from the left facet of the plate.
Cody Bellinger hit 4 residence runs in 4 video games in opposition to Arizona, however he sat fairly a bit in opposition to lefties final 12 months and is making an attempt to show to supervisor Dave Roberts he deserves the proper to name himself an on a regular basis participant. Shortstop Corey Seager is again within the lineup after present process Tommy John surgical procedure final 12 months and he’s one other powerful hitter the Giants should cope with.
The Giants not must take care of Yasiel Puig, however new Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock will check San Francisco’s starters from the proper facet.
3. Will the expertise hole present up straight away?
Because the Giants trended downward over the past two years, they nonetheless discovered a approach to play principally tight, aggressive video games in opposition to a Dodgers crew that received back-to-back Nationwide League pennants. The exception got here on the finish of final season, when Los Angeles arrived in San Francisco and promptly swept the Giants en path to clinching the division.
The Dodgers beat the Giants 15-Zero on the ultimate day of the common season in a recreation which confirmed off the super depth Zaidi helped construct in Los Angeles, and now, it’s his job to do the identical in San Francisco.
The Giants don’t have the bats to compete with the Dodgers’ offense, however they’re enthusiastic about their pitching employees and consider it has the potential to maintain a tricky lineup in verify. Are the Giants too optimistic? We’ll quickly discover out.
Gamers to look at
1. Madison Bumgarner: The Giants ace regarded just like the Bumgarner of outdated in a seven-inning stint on Opening Day in opposition to the Padres. Bumgarner’s matchups with the Dodgers are all the time entertaining and although he received’t must battle Puig, he’ll cope with infielder Kiké Hernández who owns unbelievable profession numbers in opposition to the Giants lefty.
2. Evan Longoria: Longoria was the lone Giants hitter who proved to be a constantly powerful out of their opening collection in San Diego, however he fouled a ball off his calf in Saturday’s recreation and wanted to relaxation on Sunday. Will he choose up the place he left off?
3. Julio Urias: Urias is an unbelievable expertise who has dominated in opposition to the Giants in restricted alternatives in his temporary profession and he’ll have the prospect to start out in opposition to San Francisco Monday. After a formidable spring, Urias might be a key cog within the Dodgers rotation this season and is one other instance of how nicely the Dodgers have developed their younger expertise.
Quantity to know: 5
5 is the variety of video games the Giants received at Dodger Stadium final 12 months, a shocking whole given the Giants’ immense highway struggles. San Francisco went 5-5 in Los Angeles final season and even took two of three from the Dodgers when the golf equipment met final August.
The Giants could not be capable to maintain tempo with the Dodgers within the NL West, however they nonetheless have plenty of gamers who’ve given their rival bother prior to now and that’s price protecting in thoughts because the Dodgers chase their seventh straight division title.