Those pesky Dodgers….
John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, U.S. Vice President from 1933-1941, once famously said: “The Vice Presidency isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit.” Well, a Wild Card spot isn’t quite that bad, but it sure ain’t what it used to be. It’s all about winning the division title these days, and it looks to be a classic Giant/Dodger battle for the division crown in 2012. There are a lot of ways to compare the Giants and Dodgers at this point of the season- their strengths, and also the things that need improvement. But another way to compare them is the schedule they both have to play the rest of the way. Who does the schedule favor?
And speaking of baseball schedules (if I may digress), I dig baseball schedules in all their incarnations. Especially pocket schedules and refrigerator magnet schedules. Whenever I’m doubting the human race, I try to remember that a species that invented baseball and refrigerator magnet schedules can’t be all bad. At the beginning of the season, it all comes down to what the Jimmy Fallon character says in the movie “Fever Pitch”: “A new season is a clean slate.” And here we are now, with over half the slate now turned into boxscores. The Giants have 36 homegames left, 32 roadgames. The Dodgers have 32 homegames left, 35 roadgames. The Giants have a few more games left against under-.500 teams than the Dodgers do (although that depends on what the opponents’ records are at any given moment, of course.) So, it’s a modest advantage to the Giants regarding the schedules, except….for those last 3 games of the season being at Dodger Stadium. But, on the other hand, by a fluke of the MLB scheduling computer, L.A. has 8 games to play against the Cardinals left on the schedule, after already having played them 3 times earlier in the season; while the Giants have 3 games left with the lowly Astros, after already having played them 6 times.
Will the Dodger pitching hold up? Will Kemp keep up a torrid pace for the next 2+ months? Will the Dodgers get Dempster? How concerned are you about the Dodgers?