The scheduled bullpen game for Gabe Kapler’s San Francisco Giants was shaky from the start.
Jay Jackson gave up a lead-off home run to Trea Turner, briefly rallied with a strikeout to Max Muncy, before walking Mookie Betts and Justin Turner.
Served it up on a Trea. pic.twitter.com/Y2daPD2Bh4— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 5, 2021
Kapler had seen enough with one out recorded in the top of the first inning, yanking Jackson for lefty Jarlin Garcia and the Dodgers rudely welcomed Garcia to the game with a double steal.
Corey Seager then plated Betts with a sacrifice fly and AJ Pollock plated Turner with a double into the sun-splashed regions of left center field.
The Dodgers came into this game mad and looking to blow off some steam. It may have had something to do with last night’s game. They lost that game. Do you remember? I remember it.
But if you want to win ball games against good teams that are mad, you have to make them earn their time on the base paths. The Giants bullpen didn’t do that to start the game. Two free bases and lackluster supervision of runners on base led to the Dodgers crooked number in the first inning.
The Giants did what a team needs to do when facing an early deficit and answered with some offense of their own. Kris Bryant and Evan Longoria both singled before Buster Posey laced a two-out double to right field, scoring Bryant.
Buster gets the Giants on the board pic.twitter.com/CCoAMtilCr— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 5, 2021
The first inning ended with just the one run, but it was a start. Especially given the context of last night’s game in which the Giants had left 38 people on base, going 3 for 22 with runners in scoring position. (Do you remember this? I don’t remember this? How did we win that game again?)
Posey’s extra base hit to right had to be a sign. The offense was coming back.
“There is potential here. Good things will come from this,” I said, turning to my cat for confirmation. She looked up at me and said nothing.
The Giants peppered Urias with 8 hits in 5.2 innings, putting runners on base in every inning but the second, but nothing came from it. Urias squirreled out of trouble with a wide, lazy curve, high-90s heat mixed with a change-up. For every hit he surrendered, he took a strikeout.
That rally in the Giant’s first blasted off with two outs already recorded and was quickly grounded by Urias striking out Belt on four pitches.
Mauricio Dubon doubled in the fourth, again with two outs, and Posey, normally known for his speed, had to hold at third. La Stella popped out to end the threat.
The Giants flashed a little more pep in their bats in this game, but the clutch hits still eluded them. They were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. They haven’t hit a home run since Thairo Estrada’s eighth inning dinger on Thursday against the Brewers.
In the last seven games, the Giants are hitting home runs at the slowest rate in the Majors, going deep once every 60 at-bats. Their average for the year is a home run every 23 at-bats for the year.
The Giants are not going to single a team to death. They are designed to look for a pitch and drive the ball. Their offensive strategy is similar to Earl Weaver’s Orioles teams from the 70s: get two men on base, then hit a homer.
Right now, the Giants are doing the first part. The second part will come. Hopefully soon. Soon would be good.
The Dodgers answered the Giants wild, extra inning win with a cool-yet-determined win of their own.
Now this series is tied, the season series is tied, and the NL West is tied.
On to tomorrow.