Giants vs. Dodgers takeaway: San Francisco beats Los Angeles to retake first place
For the last time this season, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers compete in a series. It’s a three-player game in San Francisco’s Oracle Park. Amazingly, the two teams not only split the last 16 games, but both had the same number of runs in 68 against each other. They also went into the game with 85-49 tied for the best record in baseball, which of course meant they were tied at NL West. The loser of this division will get stuck in a real play-in game with the wildcard.
The Giants won 3-2 late on Friday night, but that wasn’t even close to telling the story. Here is what went down.
Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani lasted only three innings and gave up three runs on six hits. It could have been a lot worse but he left with bases loaded and no out and the bullpen didn’t allow any of those runners to score. DeSclafani actually had an ERA of 6.04 in his last seven starts and the Dodgers had marked him for an ERA of 9.43 in his five previous starts this season.
The proverbial script was reversed this time. DeSclafani came through six scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (both singles) while hitting five.
Given that these teams no longer play head-to-head games after Sunday, this can be described as the biggest series of the year for both teams. DeSclafani went out and did his job for the Giants by setting the tone for the game.
Dodgers tie it in ninth
The game went through eight innings with just one run as it was 1-0 Giants. The Dodgers eventually threatened to take the lead, but contented themselves with simply tying them down. After a groundout from Mookie Betts, Justin Turner singled out and Corey Seager doubled up. It’s been a tricky position for the Giants, but they’ve scaled the runner down to a Will Smith Grounder at home to make things a little tastier. Chris Taylor took the tieing run, but the damage stopped there. It could have been so much worse.
Giants are giving away a chance in the ninth year
The Dodgers brought Kenley Jansen closer to a tie in the closing stages of game nine. Jansen promptly walked the lead-off man on four pitches. Then he threw two more balls to start against Brandon Belt. Belt harmlessly flew out to center the 2-0 and then Kris Bryant took a step. Alex Dickerson then hit a 3-2 count before flying out and Buster Posey ending the inning. Given Jansen’s command problems, it really felt like the Giants should have capitalized.
Dodgers waste opportunity in 11th
With a runner who started in second place, Corey Seager finished individually in 11th place in the Dodgers. So they had runners at the corners with no out. Turner was pinned to the plate on the next play and then there were two strikeouts. It was another missed opportunity.
The game ended with a walk-off review
For real! And it was Buster Posey who put down a grounder.
With an out at the bottom of the 11th, Brandon Belt was deliberately run to build up a double play. The problem was that Kris was one step ahead of Bryant (remember, a runner started second). So the bases were loaded when Mike Yastrzemski made the choice of a field player to bring the runner home. Posey followed deep right with a grounder and hit him on further review thanks to Trea Turner’s throw, which pulled Will Smith out of his pocket.
The Dodgers used a bullpen game
With a few injured starters and one on administrative leave, the Dodgers decided to just go with all the helpers on Friday. Corey Knebel started the game, but most of all the Dodgers used an absurd 11 pitchers in the game. That should affect the rest of the series. Check out the cadre shifts tomorrow because the Dodgers are sure to bring in some fresh guns from the minors.
Julio Urías (15-3, 3.17) takes the ball for the Dodgers in Game 2 of the series at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time. The Giants have not announced a starting pitcher and the rotation is exhausted. Left-handed Sammy Long and Jose Quintana are capable of getting length and neither of them served on Friday.
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