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Beat (past tense) LA

The bats piled on the runs as Logan Webb stifled the Dodgers for the Giants third consecutive road sweep

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are getting used to walking off the field to a dull chorus of boos.

Cardinals fans were understandably upset: 1-strike away from a win and *blink* it’s gone will put the best of us in a mood (just ask Ranger fans).

Los Angeles Dodgers fans got a little more cranky and unpleasant than usual after sitting through a 3 game series in which invaders from the North scored a record setting 29 runs and secured their first visiting sweep in over a decade.

It’s clear both franchises’ followers don’t know how to deal with regular season disappointments in healthy ways. I understand, these things take practice! But the Dodger crowd outdid themselves.

Down 5 runs in the 8th, fans took to moaning-in-mass when a team trainer came onto the field to examine Casey Schmitt after being hit by a pitch. (Schmitt’s X-ray came back negative).

Audible groans again when Scott Alexander, who has been struggling with his hamstring, seemed to re-aggravate it and was pulled from the mound in the 9th.

But what can one do when you have to sit through a sunny weekend of history being rewritten by the visiting rivals? Sometimes the only power we have is over our own vocal cords—way to put ‘em to good use. Stay classy, LA!

Logan Webb and Tony Gonsolin on the marquee of the Giants-Dodgers series finale promised a pitcher’s duel after the previous game’s history-making bludgeoning. I know the final score might belie the fact, but the billing was accurate for the first-third of the game.

Logan Webb escaped 2-out trouble in the 1st after two singles and a walk loaded the bases for rookie James Outman. An inside-out sinker painted along the corner froze the outfielder for a backwards-K. He retired the next 7 in a row after the stressful start.

With a low-90’s fastball that he makes up for his lack of velocity with location and a splitter with looney tune movement that slides and dives, Gonsolin’s shiny sub-2.00 ERA over 9 starts is the result of baiting batters out of the zone and eliciting weaker contact. The finesse is a bit of a throwback and really fun to watch—probably not as fun to hit against.

The Giants starting-9 definitely didn’t seem to enjoy it on the first go-round, striking out 5 times without reaching base over the first 3 innings.

But as we know, these bats take an inning or six to get warmed up. No rush. The second time through the lineup over the 4th and 5th innings, San Francisco knocked in 3 runs. Their third time in the 6th, they scored 4.

The offense scratched their first run across on a Michael Conforto sac fly before they had their first hit. That would come a batter later when Mike Yastrzemski lined a sharp single to right fielder Jason Heyward, a starter’s pistol for a race home between Joc Pederson on second and the baseball—scooter beat the throw, no sweat.

With one out in the 6th, Yaz doubled in the gap to advance Conforto to third before Luis Matos knocked in the first 2 RBIs on the first extra base hit of his career with a 2-strike double off a Gonsolin splitter. Catcher Blake Sabol singled in Matos and LaMonte Wade Jr. closed out San Francisco’s scoring and the book on the Dodgers’ starter when he singled on a line-drive off lefty reliever Victor Gonzalez.

That 6th inning could’ve gone a lot worse for LA if not for their shortstop…check my notes…Mookie Betts? In his 8th career start at short, Betts once again proved that things in baseball, life, are just easy for him.

With Estrada on second, Conforto lined a 100 MPH laser up the middle. Playing behind the bag, Betts slid to his left, picked the ball on one-hop in the outfield grass, spun and threw a dime to third to hose an unsuspecting lead runner.

I know Betts as a Dodger is old news, but I’m still not over it. I will never understand the Red Sox’s decision-making process that allowed him to leave, and I will never forgive them for giving him to LA.

How lovely it would be to just openly celebrate Betts’ diamond exploits? Alas, I can not for he wears Dodger blue. The caveman part of my brain that can’t help but passionately cheer for one jersey and passionately hate another thrives. All I can do after Betts pirouettes around the field is muster up some semi-audible, emotionally stunted mutterings about how it’s all John Henry’s fault, if he had only done the thing I wanted three years ago yada yada yada—bitter couch potato.

The 7 runs hung on Gonsolin’s name was the most allowed in an outing over 68 career appearances with his ERA jumping a whole point to 2.92.

The Dodgers out hit the Giants 8-to-7 while Webb manned the bump, but the right-hander expertly navigated LA base path traffic, limiting Dodger damage to just 2 runs over 7 innings.

After the Giants scored twice in the 4th, the Dodgers answered back with a run of their own before an out had been recorded.

With runners in scoring position and only one out, Webb induced a friendly grounder off the bat of Heyward stroked directly at Estrada. The second baseman threw home and Sabol applied a beautiful sweep tag to nab J.D. Martinez and preserve the lead.

In the 5th, with San Francisco’s lead back to 2, the Dodgers once again had a response.

Freddie Freeman legged out a double and scored on David Peralta’s single. With runners at the corners and less than two outs, Webb buckled down and got Martinez to ground into an inning ending double play. Lead still intact.

Logan Webb has now pitched through the 7th inning in 8 of his 15 starts with nearly 100 innings thrown. Webb’s ability to consistently pitch well and deep into games is becoming one of the more valuable pieces to the Giants success as recent injuries pick away at the team’s pitching depth.

Sunday ended where it started. The Dodgers threatened with a bases loaded threat in the 9th. Alexander was pulled after hamstring tightness, and an unsuspecting Camilo Doval was asked to warm up on short notice.

Tranquilo Camilo came in and cooly pegged Will Smith on one pitch to bring the tying run to the plate. Classic Doval! He then struck out Peralta, got Martinez to fly out to right to bag his 19th save of the season, and pulled out the ol’ push broom.

Sunday’s 7 - 3 win could be considered the second exclamation point following Saturday’s initial punctuation to Friday’s 11-inning statement.

I was so exhausted and emotionally drained after Friday’s game that I expected to sleep for two days and wake up Monday morning to find out the Dodgers had annihilated the Giants over the next two games as punishment for their insolence. Its the way things have been going these past 10 or so years. No matter how poorly the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen was performing, and how well San Francisco was playing as a team, a sweep for the orange-and-black wasn’t on anybody’s radar.

This outcome works too. The series could prove to be consequential in a potentially tight division race months down the road. The good vibes might pay dividends in the short-term as well as it kicks off a stretch of 7 home games against the Padres and Diamondbacks on solid footing.