The Dodgers were able to stave off a three-game sweep from the Giants but barely, with a 2-1 win Thursday afternoon at At&t Park. The win allowed the Dodgers to save some face. Because getting swept in San Francisco would have been mighty embarrassing and frustratingly horrible. Oh man we never would have heard the end of it from the Giant fans. (Shudders)
We found out that Hanley is ok, after being hit in the hand by a pitch in Wednesday night’s loss. X-rays were negative, and nothing is broken. Hanley is sore, and according to Ken Gurnick, he plans to play Friday night. In the meantime, Justin Turner filled in. and actually did an admirable job despite some wild throws. He was 1 for 3 and doubled and scored in the fifth. Hopefully Hanley comes back as soon as possible.
The Dodgers have been suffering from some severe glove screwery and bullpen flustering, but were able to not make too many bonehead plays today, well almost. I’ll get to that in a minute. The Dodgers got a strong performance from starter Hyun-jin Ryu today, and they needed it. The Korean lefty put the bad memories of opening day behind him by shutting down the Giant bats. Ryu threw seven scoreless frames, allowing just four hits, one walk, and whiffing three. He made 112 pitches, and was removed after the seventh. His mound opponent Madison Bumgarner was uncharacteristically wild today. He lasted just 4.1 frames, allowing two earned runs on six this, and walking three batters. He whiffed six, and took the loss.
The Dodger offense could muster only two runs off of Bumgarner, but I guess that’s as good as we can hope for against him. The boys in blue scored a run in the second. With two outs, Van Slyke walked, Uribe reached on an infield single off of Sandoval’s glove. Fedex delivered a key single to center that plated Van Slyke to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers actually left the bases loaded in the fourth, after a double from Van Slyke, and two walks. But Ryu and Gordon both whiffed.
Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 12 games by going 2 for 4 with a single and a double. In the fifth inning the Dodgers his single brought in the second run of the game for the Dodgers. After Turner doubled and moved to third on a fly ball, Gonzo’s single to right scored him to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. That would be it for the Dodger bats. Gonzo’s double in the eighth was totally wasted when the Dodgers had two tootblans on the same play. Van Slyke’s grounder caught Gonzo in a rundown, and then Van Slyke was thrown out trying to go to second. You don’t see that every day.
The Dodgers were 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and left seven men on base. The Giants were 1 for 8 with RISP and left nine runners stranded.
Speaking of hijinks, Puig had some tomfoolery in the second inning. The wind was blowing all day, and everyone was having issues with fly balls. Especially Puig. When belt singled, and Hicks hit a fly ball to right, that Puig dropped, but then fired to second base to force out Belt. It as hilarious. Then after that, he made this catch….
Yasiel Puig ladies and gentlemen.
Anyways, the Dodgers were able to survive another late inning rally from the Giants in the ninth. Closer Kenley Jansen had some issues again, but was able to get the job done. First the Dodgers had to stave off a rally in the eighth, when they used Brian Wilson in his first appearance back from the DL. Wilson pitching against his former teammates allowed a double and a walk, but whiffed Sandoval and got Posey.
In the ninth inning, Morse reached first base on a strikeout wild pitch. Then after a force out, and whiff to Hector Sanchez, a walk to Blanco, and a bloop single to Adrianza cut the Dodger lead to 2-1. But Jansen took a deep breath, and held on to get Brandon Crawford to fly out. The Dodgers win 2-1, and save face. Here’s how the Boys in Blue avoided a sweep at san Francisco by the skin of their teeth…..
Dodgers fail to score in the first inning. Bumgarner whiffs Dee Gordon. Justin Turner Flies to right, and Yasiel Puig whiffs.
The Giants leave a runner stranded at second. Joaquin Arias starts the game with a line out to left. Hunter Pence singles to center. With Sandoval at the plate, Pence steals second, as Fedex’s throw is wide. Sandoval grounds out, and Buster Posey flies to center to end the inning.
The Dodgers get on the board first in the top of the second. Scott Van Slyke draws a two-out walk. Juan Uribe reaches on an infield hopper to short that bounces off of Sandoval’s glove, and he can’t handle it. Then Tim Federowicz also known as Fedex, singles into center to drive home Van Slyke to put the Dodgers ahead 1-0!
The Dodgers have some shenanigans in the bottom of the second and they all involve around Yasiel Puig. After Michael Morse grounds out, Brandon Belt singles. Brandon Hicks hits a routine fly to right, and Puig tries to nonchalantly make a one handed catch to the side. However he drops the ball, as it pops out of his glove. Fortunately Puig’s arm is so strong, that he’s able to just fire to second to get a force out on Belt. Oh boy is he going to get it from Mattingly later on. Then Gregor Blanco hits a wind blown fly to right, and Puig gets turned around as the wind makes the ball slice behind him. Puig ends up making an amazing over the shoulder catch, and that ends the inning.
The Dodgers load the bases in the fourth when Bumgarner has a mini walkapalooza, but predictably can’t score. Van Slyke with a one-out double in the right field corner. The Giants intentionally walk Uribe, and Fedex walks as well to load the bases. But Bumgarner whiffs Ryu, and Gordon to get out of the jam. But the Dodgers still lead 1-0.
Ryu whiffs two to get out of the bottom of the fourth. After Posey grounded out, Morse walked. Ryu then whiffs Belt and Hicks and we’ve played four, with the Dodgers up 1-0.
Turner leads-off the fifth for the Dodgers with a double to left. Bumgarner’s pitch count is rising, and there is activity in the Giant’s bullpen. Puig’s fly to right allows Turner to tag up to third. Gonzo immediately singles in Turner, and the Dodgers lead 2-0. That’ll be it for Bumgarner, as Bochy trudges out to make the pitching change. Since Bumgarner did not go the required five innings, he can not qualify for the win. In comes right hander Yusmeiro Petit who immediately gets Kemp to GIDP, and the inning is over. But the Dodgers get one more, and they lead 2-0.
The Giants get an Ehire Adrianza single, but that’s it. Arias hits into a force out, and Pence ends the inning with a ground out.
Dodgers don’t score in the top of the sixth, Ryu whiffs Sandoval in the bottom of the sixth, and Kemp makes a great running catch near the wall on Morse’s deep fly to keep the Giants off the board.
Ryu battles Belt in the bottom of the seventh, and wins. It was a ten pitch at-bat, but Ryu gets him to fly out. Then Angel Pagan pinch-hits for Petit’s spot and grounds back to the box. Ryu’s pitch count is at the limit now at 110 pitches. Blanco tries to slap bunt, but Uribe is positioned perfectly to make the play.
Left hander Jeremy Affeldt comes in to pitch the top of the eighth for the Giants. Gonzo leads off with a double over Morse’s head. But kemp pathetically whiffs, and then the Dodgers make two Tootblans on one play. I’ve never seen anything like that. Van Syke hits back to the box, and the Giants catch Gonzo of off second and third. After a rundown, they tag him and then tag out Van Slyke trying to go to second. Unbelievable.
Brian Wilson makes his first appearance since being activated from the DL. He’ll pitch the bottom of the eighth against his former team. Amidst a chorus of boos, Wilson serves up a lead-off double to Adrianza. Then Puig has to race in from right field to catch Arias’s wind blown pop-up for the first out. Then Wilson walks Pence. Wilson battles and gets Sandoval on a check-swing whiff. That’s two outs. Wilson then retires Posey on a fly to center. Dodgers get out of it. After eight frames, the Dodgers still lead 2-0.
Affeldt retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the ninth. He pitches two scoreless frames. Move to the bottom of the ninth. In comes Kenley Jansen again. Morse check-swing whiffs on a ball in the dirt, but the ball bounces to the backstop. It’s a strikeout wild-pitch and Morse is safe at first. Belt’s force out erases Morse at second. With Sanchez at-bat, Belt steals second base. Finally Kenley whiffs Sanchez for the second out. Kenley then walks Blanco, and my stomach starts to churn.
Adrianza bloops a single into left and Belt scores, and Blanco goes to second. But Jansen would take a deep breath and recover. He gets Brandon Crawford to fly out to Van Slyke, and the Dodgers win it! Final score of 2-1.
The bullpen gave a scare but in the end all that matters is that they got the win. The Dodgers and Giants are now both tied for first with identical 10-6 records. The Dodgers will return home to face Arizona to begin a ten game home stand. Hopefully they’ll have some confidence, and playing the snakes these days is pretty fun.