Dodgers cut postseason magic number to 1

September 29th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even if the Dodgers don't win a sixth consecutive division title, they also don't want to back in to the postseason. So when the Giants sent the best they have to the mound in , the Dodgers were ready with a must-win performance.
With crushing a two-run homer, adding three hits to his incredible resume against the Giants ace and stepping up again, Friday's 3-1 victory kept the Dodgers one game behind the first-place Colorado Rockies.
"They're winning baseball games and we've got to keep pace," manager Dave Roberts said of the Rockies, whose win streak reached eight. "We've got to control what we can control."

The Dodgers can control clinching a Wild Card berth, as the magic number for eliminating St. Louis is one with two games left in the regular season. The Cardinals play the Cubs at Wrigley Field at 10:05 a.m. PT on Saturday, which means the Dodgers may clinch a postseason berth before they take the field or in the early innings, if Chicago wins.
"We want to win our way into the postseason," said Turner, who has resumed his role as the heart and soul of the lineup down the stretch after an injury-riddled first half. "We don't want to rely on someone else losing to get us in. So -- another big one tomorrow."
When last seen in uniform, Turner was being escorted to the Chase Field X-ray machine to scan a left thumb swollen from a 104 mph grounder Wednesday night. X-rays were negative and Turner didn't seem to be feeling much pain when he took Bumgarner deep to break a tie in the fifth inning after Hernandez led it off with his third hit of the game.
"I was pretty patient my first couple at-bats against him," said Turner. "I wanted to be ready to jump on a first pitch and he threw a fastball. I was trying to go in and left it over the middle."
It was Turner's 14th home run of the season and the fourth of his career against Bumgarner, whose start was delayed from Wednesday so he could pitch against the Dodgers in a game that had postseason implications.
"I've beat him with that pitch quite a few times," said Bumgarner. "He's a smart hitter. He made an adjustment and got to it."
Ryu, in possibly his last start as a Dodger with free agency on the horizon, was just as clutch as Turner, allowing one run in six innings and inducing three of the Giants' five double-play grounders.
"After being hurt early, I know he really wanted to make a statement and finish the season in the rotation," Roberts said. "You see it every time he takes the baseball. He's in control and he doesn't beat himself and he put the ball on the ground when he needed to."
Ryu is 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA on the season and 5-0 within the division.
"He just knows how to pitch," Turner said. "He has four pitches. He commands the ball. He throws to all four corners. His ability to change speeds, throw strikes when he wants to throw strikes, expand when he wants to expand has been really special this year. He's put together an outstanding season for us. It's unfortunate that he hurt his groin and had to shut it down for a couple months or you might be talking about him for the Cy Young Award."
Nick Hundley, catching in place of the injured , put the Giants on the board when he led off the bottom of the second inning with his 10th home run and first since July 28, just clearing the left-field fence on a 1-1 cutter. It was the first run Ryu had allowed in 14 innings.

The Dodgers tied it in the third. Hernandez singled for the second time in three innings, walked with one out and Manny Machado singled home Hernandez. In his career against Bumgarner, Hernandez is 19-for-39 (.487).
"Kiké has done so much for us, and tonight we needed those at-bats," said Roberts.

The Dodgers bullpen escaped a threat in the seventh. After relieved Ryu and walked leading off, allowed a single to , but Baez struck out and , then Alex Wood struck out pinch-hitter .
pitched the eighth inning and the ninth for his 38th save.

Ryu pulled double-play balls out of his repertoire three times. In the second inning, after allowing Hundley's home run, he walked Crawford and Garcia with no outs, but got 6-4-3 and then Hernandez on a fly to center. In the fourth, with one out and the bases loaded, he got pinch-hitter on a 4-6-3 to end the inning. In the sixth, after Joe Panik led off with a single, bounced into a 6-4-3 rally killer.

Ryu improved to 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA (one earned run in 19 innings) over his last three starts.
"I read something today on MLB's Instagram, a quote from that he said before tonight's start, that you can do two things: either quit and lay down or go out there like your hair's on fire. That really stuck with me. That was my mentality going into tonight's game." -- Enrique Hernandez
starts Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Giants and . Kershaw is 6-1 with a 2.34 ERA over his last 12 starts. He's 22-10 against the Giants in his career and 13-4 with a 1.30 ERA at AT&T Park.