On Sunday, the San Francisco Giants will wave goodbye to what suddenly has become one of their favorite road venues a mere 17 games into the season.
After they complete a three-game series against the host Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, the Giants will not see Dodger Stadium for a regular-season game until 2021.
The Giants made it three victories in six visits to the Dodgers’ home already this year when they crushed three home runs off Clayton Kershaw in a 5-4 victory Saturday night.
En route to three championships, the Giants had a decent amount of success at Dodger Stadium in the decade of the 2010s, recording a winning record there three times and a .500 mark twice.
Counting the 3-3 split there this season, the Giants have played the Dodgers nearly evenly in their home ballpark (12-14) over the past three years.
Due to a quirk in the unusual 2020 schedule, the Giants will complete the road portion of their season series with the Dodgers on Sunday. The clubs will meet three times in San Francisco later this month. The Giants are the only team the Dodgers have faced at home this season.
The Giants had expected a Johnny Cueto-Kershaw matchup when they opened the season at Dodger Stadium last month, but the L.A. ace had to be scratched because of a stiff back.
They got the matchup Saturday, and Cueto out-pitched his rival, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
A three-run homer by Justin Turner made things tense, but the performance nonetheless had his manager gushing afterward.
“Certainly our best starting pitching performance of the year,” Gabe Kapler told reporters. “What’s notable is there’s one well-hit ball in the air, and that’s the Turner home run. He was Johnny Cueto at his best until that very last pitch (to Turner).”
The Giants will hand the ball in the series finale to right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-1, 5.27 ERA), a first-year Giant who is quite familiar with Dodger Stadium. In fact, all three of his career appearances, including two starts, against the Dodgers have been in L.A., where he’s compiled an 0-1 record and 6.08 ERA.
The 29-year-old will be making his third start of the season. He struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings in a 5-2 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, giving him 17 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings this season.
While Gausman has had generally poor results against L.A., Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.19) has had nothing but success against the Giants in his career. He’s gone 4-0 with a 2.96 ERA in six games (four starts) against San Francisco, including being on the winning end of 10-3, 1-0 and 9-2 starts last season, all on the road.
The 26-year old has allowed just six hits in two starts against Houston and San Diego, but four have gone for home runs. All three hits he gave up in five innings Monday against the Padres were homers served up to Trent Grisham, Wil Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Buehler almost surely will have to do without starting shortstop Corey Seager, who missed Saturday’s game after having his back scanned earlier in the day. Seager left Friday’s series opener with lower-back discomfort.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts rejected the notion that Seager’s injury might have long-term effects and possibly push him into the new designated hitter’s role
“Too early,” he told reporters of the speculation. “Less than 24 hours ago, he was talking about how good his body feels and how it allows him to do what he wants to do. To take a dive and come up a little bit sore and to talk about the DH, I certainly think it’s premature.”
–Field Level Media