The Dodgers and the Giants are two different teams with two very different hitting philosophies. Watching this game you can see the differences. The Giants are very aggressive at the plate. They swing at everything. When they have two strikes, they become even more aggressive. The Dodgers are the opposite. They try to work to many walks, and end up taking way too many pitches with two strikes. Baseball 101, when you have two strikes on you, protect the plate and swing the bat.
What a letdown tonight was. The Dodgers only collected two hits tonight off of lefty Madison Bumgarner, as the Annoying Giants spoiled Hyun-jin Ryu’s Dodger debut.
Ryu made his first start in Blue amidst much media frenzy. Harking back, and reminding us of other great Dodger pitchers from the far east. He wasn’t terrible, but allowed way too many hits. Fortunately he was able to wiggle out of most of his jams. He was bailed out by three Dodger double plays. That didn’t matter much anyways, because….well….two hits. Two hits just won’t cut it no matter who is on the mound.
A lot of people will complain about Justin Seller’s terrible seventh inning in which he made not one, but two bumbling errors. Of course they would have lost anyways, because nobody could hit Bumgarner. What possibly could have helped is if Don Mattingly had started Carl Crawford in left field. But he didn’t, choosing instead to start Jerry Hairston. Jhair didn’t do much, although he did make a good throw to nail Angel Pagan trying to extend a single into a double. Although I’m not sure it would have made that much of a difference in this game anyways.
Bumgarner, one of the better young lefties in the league, pitched eight strong frames, allowing just two hits, walking none, and whiffing six. In comparison, Ryu pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on ten hits, walked none, and whiffed five.
The Giants plated two runs in that fateful seventh inning, which were both unearned runs because of Sellers screw ups. Joaquin Arias knocked in the only run that was earned with an RBI single in the top of the fourth. The Giants had ten hits, Pagan, Pence and Arias each had two. I just threw up a little in my mouth.
The only semblance of offense was a Andre Ethier double in the second, and an A.J. Ellis double in the bottom of the eighth. Otherwise nothing. Well if you are a glutton for punishment, read on for the first loss-cap of the year. You are a braver person than I am. Now to the lowlights……
Top of the first. Hyun-jin Ryu has a bit of a shaky beginning, but escapes a jam unscathed. The always annoying Angel Pagan leads off by dunking a bloop single into center field. Marco Scutaro, who is just as annoying as Pagan, bunts for a hit. The Giants have runners at first and second and nobody out. Fatman Pablo Sandoval flies out to Bison for the first out. Then ryu gets Buster Posey, to ground into a nice 5-4-3 double play to end the frame. Phew! Giant’s lefty Madison Bumgarner retires the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the first.
The Giants threaten again in the top of the second. Hunter Pence, and Joaquin Arias both lead off with consecutive singles. Although, Pence’s hit was scorched off of Justin Seller’s glove. Ryu who had looked a bit nervous to start, gets the light hitting Andres Torres to ground into a beautiful 5-4 double play. The second consecutive frame in which the Dodgers turned two. Ryu whiffs Brandon Crawford for the third out, and collects his first Major League strikeout.
Move to the top of the third. Ryu whiffs Bumgarner easily, then Pagan gets a bse hit down the left field line. But he’s greedy, and tries to stretch it into a double, and is easily thrown out at second on a strong throw from Jhair. Ryu then gets Scutaro to ground out to escape the frame without allowing scorage.
The Giants finally break through in the top of the fourth. Consecutive singles from Posey, Pence, and Arias plate a run for the Giants to make it 1-0 SF. Ryu is able to get out of the frame without allowing anything further by whiffing Torres, and retiring Crawford on a grounder.
Fast forward to the top of the fifth, with the Giants still leading 1-0. The Dodgers turned their fourth double play of the game in this frame. Bumgarner singles to left. After Pagan flies out, Scutaro hits into a nice 5-4-3 double play!
Ryu finally has a 123 inning in the top of the sixth. He whiffs Posey, and Pence, to retire the side. The Dodgers go down 123 again pathetically in the bottom of the sixth. Bumgarner continues to cruise through the Dodger order.
In the top of the seventh, Justin Sellers had a really bad inning. Real bad. First he commits the first of two bumbling errors by over throwing an Arias grounder. Then Torres singles Arias to second. There is a coaching visit to the mound. Crawford grounds out to third, but the Dodgers are unable to turn the double play, and the Giants advance runners to second and third with one out. Finally Mattingly hooks Ryu and brings in Ronald Belisario. Beli gets Bumgarner to hit a high chopper to short, but Sellers makes one of the worst throws to the plate I have ever seen. The throw sails about 20 feet over AJ’s head, allowing Arias, and Torres to both score, and the Giants now lead 3-0. Pagan and Scutaro both ground out to finally end the horrendous frame. The Dodgers go down again 123 in the bottom of the seventh, as Bumgarner keeps on mowing the Dodger hitters down.
Kenley Jansen pitches a scoreless frame in the top of the eighth, and we move into the bottom half of the eighth inning still down 3-0.
In the bottom of the eighth, Bumgarner goes back out to the mound for another frame. Cruz fouls out again. Ethier whiffs. Aj doubles into the right field corner, but then that brings up Seller’s spot in the order. So we have to go to the bench, but nobody on the bench is any better then he is with the bat. So Mattingly goes to Nick Punto to pinch-hit for Sellers. Bumgarner whiffs him looking like a pathetic statue on a called third strike. And we go to the ninth.
Paco Rodriguez comes in to pitch the top of the ninth for the Boys in Blue, and he retires the side in order. Move to the bottom of the ninth. Giant’s closer Sergio Romo comes into the game for San Francisco. The Dodgers don’t do anything, and fall to the Giants by a score of 3-0. Crawford actually pinch-hit for Jhair in the ninth, but popped out.
Well that’s that. A very annoying game was had by all. I want to preach patience to everyone. I know it’s frustrating, but we can’t lose perspective here. It’s only been two games, and we have 160 more to go. We have a long way to go. Let’s just take it one game at a time, and see how things go. Either way, when you have two strikes, please swing the bat if the pitch is around the strike zone. Don’t just stand up there like a statue. Hellooooooooo….Mcfly! Anyone home? Btw I don’t care about Ryu not running out a groundball. It’s not excusable, but it’s not like THAT was the reason we lost.
The Dodgers go at it again tomorrow. Check back over here again for all the complete Dodger coverage. Josh Beckett will make his first start of the season, as the evil ones will counter with Tim Lincecum in the series rubber match. Go Blue.