Giants and Dodgers get at it again

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Once again the Dodgers are in a tight race for the National League West Division title with the San Francisco Giants. Right now the Dodgers are two games ahead of the Giants and Tuesday the two teams met at Dodger Stadium to start a three-game series.

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy

As Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Tuesday’s game, “This is a great time of year, in our game. You’re getting closer to the end. Now, you’re talking about races, pennant races, and things like that. And so, it’s close to the stretch run. It’s going to create some more intensity. This has been going on for years between the Giants and the Dodgers — and other teams — it’s why we play. This is what you look forward to; this should be a great series.” But he added, “It’s not going to determine what happens, there’s still a lot of baseball left, but obviously it’s a big series.”

In the other dugout Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed Bochy’s sense of urgency. “I know the fans are excited, the players are excited. To put ourselves in the position that we have, it’s a good thing. So tonight we’ve got our hands full with [Madison] Bumgarner, but we’ll give it a good effort tonight.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts

And the Dodgers did. Bumgarner pitched five innings, giving up five earned runs. The Dodgers would tack on four more. Rookie Rob Segedin had a very big night; he hit a solo homer in the second inning off Bumgarner. About an hour later his wife gave birth to their first child, Robinson Marley Segedin. The outfielder raced into the dugout after the top of the eighth inning and then to the hospital, just in time to be there when his wife gave birth to their son.

At Thanksgiving for the rest of his life, young Robinson is going to hear his dad tell the story of August 23, 2016, when his son was born. A home run off the one of the best pitchers in baseball and then boom, a bigger hit at the hospital.

It was a big night for the Dodgers. Kenta Maeda got the start, going five innings, giving up three runs. The Giants added two more after Maeda left the game, getting the game to a one run deficit after Ehire Adrianza singled to right scoring, Eduardo Nuñez, but the Dodgers came back in the bottom of the inning, a double from Andrew Toles that scored Chase Utley and then a single by Enrique Hernandez that scored Toles.

Andrew Toles
Andrew Toles

He would go on to hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off of Javier Lopez, scoring Josh Reddick.

Denard Span hit a solo shot off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to catch up with the Dodgers.

The final score was 9-5, Dodgers, with one baby born.

Tonight the Giants will send Johnny Cueto to the mound and Rich Hill gets his first start for the Dodgers.

For baseball fans this is starting to be the best time of the year, especially if their team is in the hunt. The Chicago Cubs have the best record in the majors: 81-45. The next best are the Washington Nationals at 73-52.

The American League East is probably the most exciting division. They have four teams that are within reach of the title: The Toronto Blue Jays who are tied with the Boston Red Sox for first place, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, who are just 6.5 games behind the division leaders.

The Seattle Mariners are just six games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West and the Miami Marlins are eight games behind the Nationals in the National League East.

From Rob Segedin’s Instagram
From Rob Segedin’s Instagram

Can the St. Louis Cardinals catch the Cubs in the N.L. Central? Stranger things have happened — it’s baseball after all. No team is out of it until the math says it’s so.

Game time for the Giants and Dodgers is 7:10 p.m. Pacific Time. The most interesting thing about the Dodgers right now: they are having a lot of success without their ace Clayton Kershaw. He hasn’t pitched since June 26 and his return is undetermined. The Dodger bats have been killing it while Kershaw has been out.

Below is Claudia Gestro’s video report from Tuesday’s game.

Photos by Claudia Gestro unless otherwise noted
Top photo: Charlie Culbertson and Rob Segedin