Funny what a difference a year makes. Last season around this time, the Giants had already clinched the division title, and the Dodgers were scrambling to stay alive in the wild card race. Flash forward a year later, and it’s the Dodgers who have already clinched the NL West division title. The Giants however are nowhere near contention. The Giants were in fact eliminated from the playoff race long ago and are just finishing out their schedule. These games are really meaningless for both teams. Except for home field advantage for the Dodgers. What I love about this is that the Giants can’t spoil anything for the Dodgers, because they’ve already clinched. These games are just for pride.
The Dodgers fielded their normal lineup sans Andre Ethier who is still nursing his sore ankle. The Giants have won nine of the 16 games, and according to Vin, if they win the season series, it would be only the third time ever (52, 83) that the Giants won the season series in the same year the Dodgers finished first place. Remember the Giants took three of four from the Dodgers at Dodger stadium a week ago. So turnabout is fair play.
The pitching match-up was a familiar one. Hyun-jin Ryu countered right hander Matt Cain. Ryu was as solid as ever, tossing seven innings of one-run ball. Ryu gave up one run on four hits, with one walk and six whiffs. His lone mistake a solo home run by former Dodger Tony Abreu. Otherwise he was masterful, picking up his fourteenth win of the season.
His opponent big Matt Cain was not as effective. Cain has had a bad year, and one of his problems is too many home runs served up. Coming into tonight he had allowed 21, and you can add two more to that, thanks to two long balls from Yasiel Puig, and Matt Kemp. Cain also struggled with his command. When I think of Cain I think of Cain and Abel, or something like that, but Cain was unable, get it, to beat the Dodgers. The Dodgers have now beaten Cain ten times. The big right hander walked three and whiffed four in seven innings, and has a strange habit of rubbing his face when he gets into trouble.
He was in trouble when he walked three in the fourth, but the Dodgers couldn’t score, stranding three as Cain wiggled out of the jam.
All the scoring was on solo home runs. Puig launched another titanic blast over the center field wall in the top of the fifth, which put the Dodgers up 1-0. Former Dodger Tony Abreu’s line drive solo shot tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth. Since when did the Giants get Tony Abreu?
Then Matt Kemp’s towering solo home run gave the Dodgers back the lead 2-1 in the top of the sixth. That was all for the scoring. Not much else happened after that, except for maybe a hilarious throwing error from Posey on a swinging strike three to A.J in the top of the ninth.
The game featured former Giant Brian Wilson coming into the game in the bottom of the eighth to a chorus of boos from the salty Giant fans, to pitch a scoreless eighth frame. Jansen nailed things down in the ninth, and the Dodgers take the first game 2-1.
Oh and apparently the pool fiasco is in the news again. Apparently according to Tony Jackson, the one of the Dodgers may have urinated in the pool during their pool celebration after their clinching. I don’t know if you do or not, but I could care less for such things. I think it’s hilarious. I doubt the Dodgers really peed in the pool. They were probably just joking around. But even if they did, then I wouldn’t shed a tear. I can’t stand the Dbacks. I hope the Dodgers peed in the pool, and then threw the bobcat mascot in afterwards. Good.
Anyways, here’s how the dailys went tonight as the Dodgers improve to 91-66 on the season, and remain two games behind Atlanta for the best NL record.
The Dodgers start the top of the first with a shallow fly out from Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford singles to left, and steals second. But Cain gets Hanley whiffing on a called strike three like a statue, and Adrian Gonzalez grounds to second.
Ryu comes away with a clean bottom of the first frame. After Angel Pagan’s infield single that rolls past Hanley, Ryu retires the next three hitters, Perez, Brandon Belt both on fly outs, and Buster Posey on a tapper back to the box. We are Scoreless after one frame.
The Dodgers get a mini rally in the top of the fourth, thanks to a walkapalooza from Cain, but of course don’t score, leaving the bases loaded. Cain walks Hanley, and Gonzo, before Kemp fouls out. Uribe flies to right, with the runners holding. A.J. Ellis works the third walk of the frame, loading the bases. Cain then battles M.Ellis, which results in a called strike three, and the Dodgers stranding three. The game remains scoreless.
The Dodgers take the lead in the top half of the fifth. Yasiel Puig smacks a one-out monster home run to center field, putting the Dodgers up 1-0. The ball travels halfway up the center field seats. Another monstrous shot for the rookie phenom. Crawford doubles, and advances to third on a Hanley Ramirez deep fly to center. The Dodgers can’t score Crawford though, after Gonzo’s fly out to left. The Dodgers lead 1-0.
The lead lasts for all of two seconds. In the bottom half of the fifth, after Sandoval whiffs to start the frame, former Dodger Tony Abreu’s line drive solo homer to left ties the score at 1-1. That’s just the second home run of the year for Abreu. Rru recovers to retire Adrianza, and get Pagan on a line out to Crawford.
The Dodgers take the lead right back in the top of the sixth. Matt Kemp slaughters a Cain pitch for a solo home run to put the Dodgers back on top 2-1. This was another monstrous shot to straightaway center field.
Ryu protects the one run lead with a scoreless bottom of the sixth. He retires Perez, belt, and Posey in order. Ryu then leads-off the top of the seventh with a single for good measure. But he is immediately picked off by Posey who fires to first to get him.
It looks like Ryu is beginning to tire out in the bottom of the seventh, but he soldiers through the inning. He gets Hunter Pence to ground out, but Sandoval walks. A force out from Abreu, and a grounder from Adrianza ends the frame. Dodgers still lead 2-1 after seven. Former Giant Brian Wilson enters the game to a round of boos from the Giant fans in the bottom of the eighth. Wilson retires all three batters he faces, whiffing Perez, and Gregor Blanco to end the frame.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. With the Dodgers still leading 2-1, here comes Kenley Jansen for the save. Belt grounds out. Posey singles to right. After a wild pitch, Jansen blows away Pence and Sandoval, to seal the win for the Dodgers. The Boys in Bleu win! Final score 2-1. The Giants get to lick their wounds, as the Dodgers add another win into their column. Joins us tomorrow as Ricky Nolasco faces off against Barry Zito. Madison Bumgarner was scheduled to pitch, but the Giants will start Hollywood Zito instead. I’m going to go celebrate the Dodger’s win by peeing in someone’s pool. Viva la Pool party!!! Until tomorrow guys, goodnight all.