Giants atop the NL West after sweeping DodgersBy David A.
Out west the San Francisco Giants are picking up where they left off last season when they won their second World Series title in the last four seasons. Over the weekend, the Giants swept the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning on Sunday night 4-3 at home.
The Giants currently lead the National League West division by 1 game over the Colorado Rockies and 3 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants started their season slow but have turned things around after the first month. The win was the sixth straight for the Giants and Los Angeles has now lost four consecutive games.
San Francisco picked a good night to have a national television audience watching as the team came through with clutch hits to sweep the series. Matt Cain won his first game of the season after he and the bullpen survived a three-run eighth inning.
Cain was not pleased with his work on the mound, but knows how important it is to get that first win under his belt for the season. The win was not only Cain’s first, but also the first win the starting rotation has had in over two weeks. The win gave the team its sixth straight victory overall.
Another amazing fact is that the season is only 31 games old and San Francisco has swept all four of the teams they have faced from the National League West. The win was also the fifth straight against Los Angeles since opening day when they were shutout by Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
As good as the sweep was for the Giants it was equally bad for the Dodgers. Manager Don Mattingly and his players must have been shaking their collective heads following the 4-3 loss on Sunday. Their three losses against the Giants were all one run games, of which two of them they lost in the last at-bat for the Giants.
After Los Angeles was able to narrow a four-run lead to just one run, Sergio Romo came in to relieve in the ninth and retired the Dodgers one two three, for save number 12 in 13 attempts.
Cain started his pitching career losing 8 consecutive decisions in 14 starts versus Los Angeles. However, since then he has gone 5-0 in 11 starts with an ERA of 1.93. This season Cain has given up just a single run in 13 1/3 innings pitched versus the Dodgers, while he has an ERA of 7.85 against his other opponents.
The Giants are winning their games late and their current six-game streak is a good example. In their three game sweep of Arizona a two-run single in the 8th broke a tie score in the first game, in the second game a two-run homer lifted them to the win in the 9th and in the third game a three-run home run in the 8th gave them the win. In four of their six wins during the streak, they have won by a single run, while winning one by two runs and one by just three runs.
The Giants now sit atop the division, and will look to start opening the lead over the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.