The Giants lost a 2-1 ballgame to the Dodgers, splitting this shortened series. That’s not bad. A win would have been nice, but it’s hard to get too mad at a loss to the Dodgers that Clayton Kershaw started. It’s even harder to get mad when everyone played pretty well and the team only lost by one run in the tenth inning. That means everyone did their job today. If the offense can’t score more than one run against Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, well, such is life.
It was a pitching duel, of sorts, between Kershaw and Ty Blach once again. With Blach pitching six innings of four-hit, one-run ball, and Kershaw going seven innings, allowing six hits and only one run, which scored after he left the game. However, this game relied much more on defense than the pitchers’ stuff.
Blach struck out just one batter and walked three, as he struggled with his location for much of the game, relying on contact and strong defense to get him out of most of his jams. Kershaw fared a bit better, with six strikeouts and no walks, and relied heavily on his curveball kill pitch, in addition to impressive defense behind him.
Where Blach got into his worst spot of trouble was in the top of the fourth. Yasiel Puig singled to center field and Blach walked Enrique Hernández. He struck out Yasmani Grandal, but allowed a single to Matt Kemp that scored Puig. However, Logan Forsythe hit into a double play to end the inning, and he held them off for the rest of his day.
The bottom of the eighth is when the Giants were finally able to oust Kershaw. Hunter Pence had seen enough of the curveball and sent it back in the form of a single to center field. And then, my friends, that is where the magic happened.
Kelby Tomlinson came up to bat, where he would get Kershaw knocked out of the game, though he didn’t know it yet. Tomlinson had been robbed of a hit by an excellent diving catch from Chris Taylor in the third and struck out in the sixth. However, with Pence at first, Tomlinson looked Clayton Kershaw in the eyes and laid down the greatest bunt of all time. The ball went up the first base side of the field, away from the glove of the left-handed Kershaw, advancing Pence and allowing Tomlinson to reach safely, due to his speed.
That was it for Kershaw, as Buster Posey was brought in to pinch hit. And he did, knocking a single into right field, allowing Hunter Pence to beat the throw from Puig and put the Giants on the board.
It was the best opportunity the Giants had to do damage for the majority of the game because there were no outs and Posey and Tomlinson were still on base. Then Austin Jackson hit into a double play and Panik flew out to left field and that was the end of that.
Offensively, it went about as well as you expect a game against Kershaw to go. Andrew McCutchen followed up his mammoth game last night with an 0-for-4, Joe Panik did the same. Evan Longoria and Pence went 2-for-4. And Gorkys Hernandez came in as a pinch hitter and promptly got a hit. Then, of course, he was thrown out on the basepath when Panik lined out to Puig for a double play.
The bullpen looked pretty strong again, aside from a slightly shaky inning from Pierce Johnson, who allowed one run on two hits, the second of which was an RBI double from Kyle Farmer in his one appearance in the game. Side note:
Kyle Farmer has 3 RBI in his young career. They are the product of 2 extra-inning, pinch-hit doubles against the Giants— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) April 8, 2018
I don’t know much about Farmer but I’m sure the Dodgers just keep him under glass until they have an extra innings emergency against the Giants. I just checked the box score from yesterday and he was 1-for-1 but their mistake was using him before the game went into extra innings. Now they will know better.
Anyway, Cory Gearrin, Josh Osich and Hunter Strickland all had scoreless innings of relief. All things considered, everyone did their job today and it’s just hard to get too upset about a loss like this. They got some hits and even scored a run against Kershaw, even if their timely hitting still needs work. Ty Blach pitched six innings and only allowed one run and the bullpen didn’t implode. After the hot mess that was the last year and a half of Giants baseball, this was a pretty enjoyable afternoon of rivalry baseball.
You win some.
Lou Seal is circling the field with a t-shirt gun in between innings. The new netting that protects fans was too high for one of Lou Seal's t-shirts to clear. It fell to the ground in front of the Dodger dugout.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) April 8, 2018
You lose some.