The Giants scored a run in the first inning tonight and that was all any pitcher from either team would allow in this unusual, but effective, pitching duel.
Tyler Beede pitched a good, if trying, game. In five scoreless innings, he gave up four hits and three walks while striking out five in 80 pitches. He loaded the bases twice but managed to get out of it each time. He fared slightly better than Tony Gonsolin, who started for the Dodgers and went four innings, allowing one run on two hits, while walking four and striking out five.
Mike Yastrzemski hit a bloop single to right to lead off the first inning. After Brandon Belt popped up, Evan Longoria worked a walk. Stephen Vogt hit a ball to Joc Pederson, who trapped it on one hop, trying to fool the runners. A noble attempt, but everyone reached safely on the hesitation. This loaded the bases for Kevin Pillar, who hit a broken bat dribbler for an out and an RBI, scoring Yastrzemski. Brandon Crawford walked to re-load the bases for Austin Slater, but he wasn’t able to take advantage and they left the bases loaded.
Many runners were stranded in tonight’s game. It was kind of the theme. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and they stranded 11. Not ideal. And generally not a winning strategy. But for once, it worked.
Things looked hopeful in the top of the second as, with two outs, Yastrzemski walked to bring up Belt. Belt hit a fly ball that looked like it was going out, but he was robbed at the wall by Enrique Hernandez. As our own Doug Bruzzone said on Twitter, he was “chavezravined.”
Hernandez had the tables turned on him in the bottom of the inning. After Tyler Beede walked two, Hernandez himself was robbed at the wall by Pillar. Will Smith (the wrong Will Smith) singled to load the bases with two outs. Unfortunately, for the Dodgers, this brought up Gonsolin, who struck out swinging.
The Giants threatened again in the top of the fifth, as Belt doubled to get things going. Gonsolin was out of the game, and Caleb Ferguson was having a bit of trouble. After walking Longoria (his second of the game) he managed to strike out Vogt. That was all, though, as they brought in Yimi Garcia who got Pillar to ground out to end the inning.
During that half inning, Mauricio Dubon was talking to Buster Posey and getting his advice and wisdom the entire time and he had the biggest smile on his face. I feel you, Dubon. I think we can all relate. He was living the dream of every young baseball player who grew up watching Buster Posey play the game.
Beede struggled in the bottom of the inning. Smith singled to lead off, followed by a pop up from pinch hitter Matt Beaty. Pederson singled after that, followed by a line out from Corey Seager. With two outs and two on, Beede walked Justin Turner to load the bases. Bruce Bochy opted to let Beede try to get out of it (his first of two questionable, yet effective calls tonight), which didn’t seem advisable with Cody Bellinger up, but Beede got him to fly out to Yastrzemski to end the inning and validate the skipper’s faith in him.
Shaun Anderson entered to pitch the sixth and struck out two, both swinging. Corban Joseph walked to lead off the seventh, followed by a walk from Belt (after Yastrzemski struck out) and the Giants looked poised to do some more damage, but Longoria grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Vogt hit a bloop single to lead off the eighth and with two outs, he stole second during Austin Slater’s at bat. This was only Vogt’s second career steal, the last coming in June of 2014. Unfortunately, Slater struck out to end the inning, prompting me to write this mid-game haiku:
He was left on base
Stranded runners everywhere.
Home plate is lava
Things got dicey in the bottom of the inning. Corey Seager lined out, ending Suarez’ night. Sam Coonrod entered but he hit Turner and was immediately pulled. Fernando Abad entered and got Bellinger to ground into a double play to the Brandons, Belt to Crawford to Belt, to end the inning.
In the ninth, Dubon continued his streak of impressive hitting against Dodgers pitchers as he got a lead off double off of Kenley Jansen. Chris Shaw entered as a pinch hitter, but struck out swinging. During Yastrzemski’s at bat, Dubon got a good jump and stole second fairly easily, his first career steal, cutting Vogt’s lead on him by half. But, as you may have guessed, he was stranded.
Jandel Gustave entered to pitch the ninth inning. With a one run lead. I’m not entirely sure why? It’s still not clear to me why Will Smith wasn’t the first choice for that inning, but perhaps it will be made clear in the post-game presser. Anyway, Gustave walked A.J. Pollock, but got Gavin Lux to line out and then Hernandez to ground into a double play to end the game and get his first career save, beat L.A., and get the Giants one game closer to getting Bochy his 2,000th win.
Edit: As predicted, it was announced in the post-game press conference that Will Smith was not available due to experiencing some back tightness before the game.