Dodgers 4 8 0
Giants 6 8 2
WP- Zito (5-11)
LP- Nolasco (13-11)
S- Romo (37)
HR- Sandoval (14)
It was an evening of goodbyes. Think Blue TV said so long, and the long-running
Dodger pregame show on KCAL made its last broadcast. Perhaps Time Warner will hire Eric Karros in another capacity. Mariano Rivera keeps making news on his farewell tour. Now the rumor is circulating that the legendary closer wants to play some center field before the end of the season. Todd Helton said goodbye to the fans in Colorado, and the Toddfather hit a homerun in his final game at Coors Field fittingly.
Barry Zito made his final start for the Giants, a sentimental one, on Wednesday evening at AT&T Park. Zito has been delegated to the bullpen for the last three weeks, and his last win was in May. Zito’s Giants career is done, and it seems like the San Francisco fans have a soft spot in their hearts for the aging left-hander. Zito’s swan song came with a win over the Dodgers. Zito was angry that Bruce Bochy took him out after five innings, but the veteran left on a winning note.
Ricky Nolasco, on the other hand, has been pitching dreadfully of late. His last three starts have been disasters. Tonight was no exception. Ricky allowed 6 runs on 8 hits, and the Giants once again pounded the right-hander. There’s no need to rehash the epic failure of a 19-run loss that Ricky started this month against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. It is becoming clear that Don Mattingly should use Hyun-jin Ryu in game three of the NLDS over Nolasco.
Matt Kemp had three hits and drove in two runs. This promising stint by Matt can give us hope for Beast Mode in October. J.P. Howell struck out the side in the seventh inning. Carl Crawford had two hits and brought in two runs. Yet the Dodgers still had trouble with runners in scoring position and went 2-for-10 with RISP.
Barry Zito takes the mound at AT&T Park for the final time of his career. He retires Yasiel Puig on a groundout to third to open up the top of the first. Carl Crawford lunges at a slow curve and ends up flying out to Hunter Pence in right field. Matt Kemp flies out to deep right field, and Zito only needs 9 pitches to send the Dodgers down in order,
Ricky Nolasco goes to work for the Dodgers in the bottom half of the first, and Angel Pagan flies out to left field to start off. Gregor Blanco strikes out swinging on a high fastball, and Brandon Belt is out on a little comebacker. Ricky makes 10 pitches in the 1-2-3 inning.
Buster Posey leads off the bottom of the second with a broken bat double. Nolasco hits Hunter Pence with a pitch. Pablo Sandoval singles to left, and the Giants have the bases loaded with nobody out. Brandon Crawford strikes out on a bad ball, but then Tony Abreu proceeds to triple past a Yasiel Puig who tries to backhand the ball. The bases are cleared, and the Giants take a 3-0 lead. Abreu is picked off between third and home while Zito is at the plate. Then Zito grounds out to end the frame, but the damage is done thanks to the former Dodger property Abreu.
Nolasco has a good third inning. He induces a fly out from Pagan, Blanco lines out to left, and Belt strikes out swinging.
The Dodgers finally get a hit off Zito in the top of the fourth with a lead-off single by Puig. Carl Crawford follows with another single, this one to right field. Matt Kemp
crushes a double off the left field wall, and Puig brings in a run! Kemp’s been driving the ball deep which is very promising. Young grounds out to the mound. A.J. Ellis pops out to Belt in foul territory. Brandon Crawford boots the ball for an error, and JHair reaches safely as a run comes in! Thank you, Brandon Crawford. Skip Schumaker grounds into a force out to end the inning as annoying Abreu under hands the ball Crawford just in time to get the sliding Hairston. The Dodgers are able to close the gap with two runs.
Buster Posey singles to lead-off the bottom of the fourth. That’s the catcher’s second hit off Nolasco tonight. Pence flies out. Then Pablo Sandoval goes deep for a two-run homerun, and just like that the Giants jump ahead 5-2. Brandon Crawford flies out. Tony Abreu strikes out to end the inning.
In the fifth, Nick Punto singles on a line drive which is deflected off the glove of Zito. Punto is able to move to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nolasco. Punto advances to third on a cracked bat groundout to short by Puig. Crawford flies out to left, and the Dodgers strand their man at third.
That’s going to be all for Zito as a Giant. Zito gets the news from Bruce Bochy that he is out of the game, and Zito throws a mini tantrum in the Giants’ dugout. Zito pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 1 strikeout and no walks on 77 pitches.
In the bottom of fifth, Pagan dunks a single to left field to lead-off for the pumpkin-colored foes. Blanco flies out, but Belt singles to right field. Pagan moves to third. Nolasco finally gets the last out as Posey grounds into a force out to end the inning.
George Kontos will relieve Zito in the sixth inning. Matt Kemp singles to left field to lead off, and that’s Bison’s second hit of the night. Tony Abreu’s catching error on a grounder hit by Young breaks up the force attempt. Kemp advances to third on the play. Matt Kemp scores on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Ellis. 5-3 Giants. Hairston hits into a double play to end the inning, but the Dodgers get another gift run thanks to San Francisco’s poor defense.
Nolasco walks Pence to begin the bottom of the sixth. Nolasco is able to strike out
Sandoval for the first out. Crawford strikes out. Tony Abreu once again is really trying to annoy the Dodgers. He doubles to shallow right field even though Puig tried to dive for the ball. Pence comes in to score, 6-3 Giants. That’s going to be all for Nolasco. Brandon League comes in, and he is surprisingly able to get the last out. Pinch-hitter Johnny Monell grounds out to end the inning.
Ricky Nolasco pitched 5 2/3 innings while allowing 6 runs on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts and a walk on 95 pitches.
J.P. Howell comes out of the Dodger bullpen for the bottom of the seventh. Pagan strikes out swinging and briefly argues with the plate umpire over it. Blanco strikes out swinging. Brandon Belt strikes out on a check swing. Howell strikes out the side.
Santiago Casilla is in for the top of the eighth. Puig hits a comebacker for the first out. Carl Crawford doubles to left field (his 30th double of the season). Matt Kemp cracks his bat on a fly ball single which drops just in front of Pence in right field. That’s Kemp’s third hit of the night, and he gets the RBI since Crawford was steaming into home. Posey is just able to pick up a little nubber hit by Young and throw him out at first base. Kemp moves to second. A.J. Ellis flies out, and the Dodgers still trail 6-4.
Carlos Marmol goes to work in the bottom of the eighth. Marmol promptly walks Posey, the lead-off batter. Hunter Pence strikes out swinging. Brett Pill walks, and once again Marmol’s control is out the window. Crawford flies out to right, and he goes 0-for-4. Marmol gets Abreu with a good fastball to end the frame. Marmol can get wild, but when he throws a great pitch like that one to get Abreu he can grow on you.
Sergio Romo comes in to close the game in the top of the ninth. The fans at AT&T Park start up an annoying round of the “Beat L.A.” chant. Dee Gordon pops out to Buster Posey in foul territory for the first out. Skip Schumaker grounds out. Adrian Gonzalez then comes up with two outs, and he wallops a double off the bricks in right field for his 32nd double of the season. Hanley Ramirez comes up, and Nick Noonan smothers a hard hit grounder to third and guns to first to end the game.
The Dodgers are now 91-67 on the season, and the series is tied at one with one last game against San Francisco for this season slated for Thursday.