A three game sweep of San Francisco in their home park. Three games down in the standings and playing the first place team in their home park. They return home tied for first. The last time that happened? How about never? At least it hasn’t happened in the last twenty years. (I stopped researching beyond that). We know the Dodgers tied the Astros the final three games of the 1980 season, and the pennant was really on the line then, but those were home games.
Don’t let other pundits tell you that these three games weren’t significant. Yes, there is a lot of season left, but the momentum swing is on. That San Francisco Giants club is demoralized. The Dodger team is re-energized. That’s what a 16-0 run over the final 20 innings at AT&T Park will do.
As Giant fans slowly walked out of AT&T Park on Sunday, an atmosphere of desperation was palpable in the air. They had thoroughly been spanked by their arch rival on their home turf and there is no sugar coating things. They are reeling.
“It’s ugly, it’s not fun losing games, but we can’t panic. We’ve gotta turn the page and tomorrow play with a better attitude I guess” is all Giant center fielder Angel Pagan could say after Sunday’s loss to FoxSportsnet Central‘s Jaymee Sire. The trade deadline looms and they picked up a 36 year old infielder in Marco Scutaro to help out. It isn’t a trade that exudes much confidence and leads them to think things will change. “I don’t see us involved in a bigger kind of deal,” said Giant G.M. Brian Sabean in a San Jose Mercury News interview with Tim Kawakami. He added, “I don’t see the market is necessarily there for any team trying to do something big.”
That might be an accurate statement for a team that is limited in spending powers, but for a club like the Dodgers, there still may be a deal of significance to be made. Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Josh Johnson, and Ryan Dempster are still out there and as the deadline nears, I’m of the belief that the Dodgers will have the upper hand at trading with a desperate club to get something for their guys that will soon be departing via free agency or have contracts that are on the hefty side.
And what if the Dodgers don’t make another move before the deadline? Well, they’re probably still alright. First, because they have made deals of significance after the deadline before; and second, because the team is getting healthy. Ted Lilly and Rubby De La Rosa may be back soon and Stephen Fife has stepped in admirably and handled the fifth starters spot. It’s also comforting to note that Chad Billingsley has performed well in his two post All-Star break starts and may have turned the corner.
If the Dodgers continue making big moves, will the Giants counter them? Sabean says he will not. “We’re not going to mortgage our future,” he says to Kawakami. No more deals such as last years trade when they dealt their former number one pick, Zack Wheeler to the Mets for a two month Carlos Beltran stint. (Wheeler, by the way, is now in AA with the Mets organization where he is 9-6 with a 3.29 ERA with 109 IP and 106 K’s).
Charlie Dressen said in 1951 that the “Giants is dead.” Thanks to a bullpen telescope he was wrong then but maybe not so much now. We certainly witnessed a dead team this weekend. There are 59 games left to play. This will be a dogfight to the end, but I like the Dodger’s chances.
“If anything, it (the sweep) makes us a little mad,” said losing pitcher Ryan Vogelsong following today’s loss. “We need to take it out on the Mets when they come in here; I hope that’s what it does.” So we’ll see. Did the Dodgers just send the Giants into a slump, or will they rebound and continue battling for the division title?
Sources for article:
Fox Sports Bay Area report by Jaymee Sire - San Jose Mercury News: Sabean on the Giants’ trade options: “I don’t see us involved in a bigger kind of deal”