I was fully prepared for the Giants to lose this game, for the entirety of the game. For one reason: the Dodgers seemed determined to let them win and I was certain they would be too polite to accept it.
Before we get into that fiasco, let us stop and take a moment to appreciate Tyler Fitzgerald, who has joined the elite club of Giants players with home runs off of Clayton Kershaw, giving the Giants their first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning.
Please rise and remove your caps for the following highlight:
Fitzgerald takes Kershaw deep pic.twitter.com/pgRsHtLF6j— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) October 1, 2023
Now, back to the Dodgers attempting to hand this game to the Giants on a silver platter.
The bottom of the sixth inning was wild. Austin Slater walked to lead things off, and a wild pitch from Kershaw allowed him to take second. Luis Matos then walked as well. And then the circus music started playing. Music that will haunt Max Muncy’s dreams tonight.
Thairo Estrada grounded into what could have been a double play, but they were only able to get Matos at second. Then Wilmer Flores hit into what could have, again, been a fairly routine double play. Fortunately for him, Muncy bobbled it and dropped the ball. Twice. Slater scored and everyone was safe.
That was all for Kershaw, with Michael Grove entering in relief. But the hijinks hadn’t ended yet. With just the one out still, Marco Luciano grounded into, again, what could have been a fairly routine double play. Instead, after getting Estrada at third, Muncy made a low throw to Freddie Freeman, who wasn’t able to make the catch, allowing Luciano to reach safely.
However, the reason I was convinced the Giants would ultimately lose is that, even with all of that going wrong for the Dodgers and plenty of base-runners, they only managed the one run. Despite winning, they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
But ultimately, that one extra run would be enough. Thanks in large part to a great start from Tristan Beck, who allowed one run on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. Beck’s only run allowed came in the top of the fifth. David Peralta hit a ground-rule double, and Mookie Betts knocked him in with a line drive single to left.
Ryan Walker entered in relief in the sixth, allowing just a hit and a walk with a strikeout in two innings, followed by a clean eighth inning from Tyler Rogers, and then another save from Camilo Doval, who now leads the National League in them.
He got some help tonight from Patrick Bailey. With two outs, Chris Taylor singled on a line drive to left. But Taylor got a bit greedy and tried to run on Bailey. Having it, he was not.
PATRICK BAILEY CALLED GAME pic.twitter.com/FwrAbFhryF— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) October 1, 2023
With that, my watch has ended for this season. I would like to thank the Giants for giving me a win to remember them by. I will cherish it as I crowd around the hot stove in a couple of months.