Put simply, the Los Angeles Dodgers came into San Francisco for a weekend series and took care of business. After a tough series in St. Louis where the Blue Crew lost three of four games, Los Angeles got clutch hitting and great pitching from a squad that is hoping to regain some solid momentum as the baseball season continues to roll along. In addition, the Dodgers accomplished an interesting feat on July 29. According to Vin Scully, the 4-0 victory on July 29 combined with the 10-0 victory on July 28 was the first time the Dodgers have shut out the Giants on the road in back-to-back games since the teams came to the west coast.
Relying on your ace
Clayton Kershaw showed why he won the Cy Young award in 2011 as he pitched a complete-game shutout. The Dodger ace held the Giants to five hits while striking out seven. Kershaw is now 8-6 with an impressive 2.95 ERA for the year. If the Dodgers are going to win the division and make a deep run into the playoffs, they will need consistent pitching from the staff, which starts with Clayton.
As a fan, it is always impressive to see balanced hitting across the lineup. Seven Dodgers had at least one hit, and A.J. Ellis drew four walks. Los Angeles didn't get the same run production that they did on July 28 when they scored 10 runs, but this lineup really seems to be coming together. Hanley Ramirez has raised his average to .251, and he picked up another RBI as a Dodger. If Ramirez can continue to build his confidence, this could be a very potent lineup.
Thanks to the three-game sweep in San Francisco, the two teams are now tied at the top of the National League West. The Dodgers now get to go home for nine games, where they will host the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Rockies. This is the time to build some momentum and rebuild a lead in the division. What will be interesting to see is whether the Dodgers pick up another pitcher at the trading deadline. At this point, they could probably use one more arm.
The author grew up in Seattle and is ultimately loyal to the Mariners, but now lives in Los Angeles and also roots for Dodger Blue. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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