You ever have one of those days where literally nothing goes right? You stub your toe getting out of bed, the hot water isn’t working when you get in the shower, you get to your kitchen to discover you’re out of coffee, you leave one minute late and end up in a traffic jam, you pull into work to find that someone just pulled into the last parking spot, the power goes out while you’re on an important phone call, you realize you left your lunch at home when you don’t have time to go get anything, you get a flat tire halfway home, you come home to find that your dog has just had an absolute field day pooping all over your house and also you’re out of milk? Yeah, one of those days.
That’s basically what this game was for the Giants. They were all having this exact day at the exact same time. It was a faithful reenactment of “Homer at the Bat” in which Kris Bryant showed up ready to beat Shelbyville, only to discover that every single one of his teammates had had some kind of a horrible curse placed upon them and had each individually forgotten how to play baseball.
Literally nothing went right for the Giants. Their pitchers couldn’t throw strikes, their strikes didn’t miss bats, their offense couldn’t take pitches or make contact with runners in scoring position. They had to scratch and claw to get their first run of the night and then immediately gave it back in the following inning. They burned through everyone in the bullpen and not one of them inspired any confidence.
The only thing the Giants did well tonight was manage to keep it from becoming an absolute blowout, and even that is questionable. They had some big outs. Big moments where they escaped jams, but only in spots that would limit the damage that had already been done. Which just kind of felt like putting sprinkles on a cake made of dirt and frosted in nuclear waste.
I guess I should maybe talk about what actually happened, for those of you morbidly curious enough to want to punish yourselves. The Giants went down in order in the top of the first. Then Anthony DeSclafani entered to start this game. I know, it’s hard to remember that far back. But he did. And quickly gave up a run in the first after a single from Corey Seager and a double from Trea Turner.
He came back out in the second and immediately gave up singles to Gavin Lux and Cody Bellinger. Chris Taylor knocked in Lux with a sac fly. Mookie Betts singled to Brandon Crawford who deflected the ball, before it rolled away. Thankfully Bellinger didn’t see that, as he held at third. But that was enough for manager Gabe Kapler, who pulled DeSclafani for José Álvarez who got the one out he was asked to get. In hindsight, I guess that lines him up to be pitcher of the night!
Every inning was like that. The Giants would go down quietly and quickly, or at least fruitlessly, and then every bottom half of the inning was like an extended cut of the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Just an absolute gory slog in which Gandalf never arrives.
Kervin Castro walked the first two batters he faced in the third, before being pulled for Jarlin García, who walked Lux to load the bases. A great catch by LaMonte Wade, Jr. saved the day with an excellent catch to end the inning, but then things just picked up where they left off in the fourth.
Walker Buehler reached on a fielding error by García to start things off, and Mookie Betts made them pay for it with a two-run shot to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
The Giants came up in the fifth, needing a hit badly, and Evan Longoria delivered once again with a single to right. With one out, Steven Duggar walked, using nerves of steel to take a borderline high strike that was called a ball. This knocked Buehler out of the game and brought in Joe Kelly. Tommy La Stella worked the count full and got a single to right to load the bases for Darin Ruf, who got into an 0-2 hole quickly, but managed to ground out and score Longoria.
Dominic Leone, who had entered in the bottom of the fourth, walked Gavin Lux on five pitches, before Tyler Rogers replaced him, loaded the bases and allowed another run, an RBI sac fly that scored Bellinger and gave the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.
Zack Littell entered in the sixth and allowed a single to Trea Turner, at this point the Dodgers’ 15th baserunner of the night. He got two outs before allowing a single to Lux.
The Giants managed to score another run in the eighth, with Bryant knocking in Brandon Crawford, who had doubled to lead off the inning. But as was the norm for this game, they also allowed a two-run home run to Will Smith in the bottom of the inning, finally allowing the Dodgers to blow the lid off of it.
And yet, all hope isn’t lost. Sure, they collectively forgot how to be competent baseball players tonight. And sure, they burned through their entire bullpen more or less without anything to show for it. And sure, Julio Urias will be pitching the next game and his last two starts against the Giants have been abysmal for them. But there will be a Game 5. In San Francisco. With Logan Webb on the mound.
Everyone has a bad day. It usually doesn’t happen all at the same time, but I’m choosing to believe that they’ve gotten it out of their systems.