This was a Giants-Dodgers classic with a stunning catch to prevent what would have been Albert Pujols’ 669th home run and his first walkoff at Chavez Ravine. But for the guy Farhan Zaidi traded for in the last week of April, who became a Giant for life:
and the score remained 5-5 and we went to the first Giants-Dodgers extra innings game with a free man on second.
AP reported that Tauchman called it one of his top two catches in the majors:
“I robbed another homer in Baltimore. I got up pretty good,” Tauchman said. “It’s probably the most fun play you can make. You can practice over your chain-link fence in the backyard. The opportunities are so few and far between, so it’s pretty cool.
“You can never really tell, but I think any time you’re going back, or after anything, you want to go hard at first to keep yourself from drifting. I got to the spot to time my jump,” Tauchman said. “Sometimes the ball goes in and sometimes it doesn’t. I happened to make a play for the boys.”
The Giants traded Wandy Peralta to the Yankees for Mike Tauchman in the last week of April. Zaidi said he had his eye on him for a long time. Tauchman was immediately effective for the Giants and instantly became a regular part of the lineup that was, within days, in first place in the division. Another sneaky great Farhan Zaidi pick up.
Add to that, as Greg Papa pointed out in his interview with Zaidi Thursday, that the very first player signed by Farhan Zaidi to be a Giant, Jason Vosler, hit the go-ahead home run off the bench in the late innings in Arizona. Throw in Alex Wood’s fantastic start, Yasztremski and DeSclafani’s success … and the Farhan Zaidi Era of moneyball in SF looks more impressive each day of this young season. And we haven’t even really seen Tommy LaStella, the longest term/highest paid player among the Zaidi contracts.
The Tauchman catch took it to extras and I have complained loudly and often here that Gabe Kapler has yet to show me he can win these. I said he has looked like a guy who arrives at extras and realizes he doesn’t have what he needs. Tonight he proved me wrong.
LeMonte Wade, Jr. who has been somewhat short-changed for playing time, made huge use of the chance he was given at leadoff. He drew two walks and showed his worth in the clutch driving in the go-ahead free man on second in the 10th. Longo doubled in Wade and Yasztremski to give the Giants the 8 – 5 lead and Jarlin Garcia closed out the bottom of the inning.
Giants 8, Dodgers 5
We remain tied for second at (31-20), but the Padres pounded the Astros on the road 10-3 to stay up by a game and a half. Damn, the Padres are good right now. They ripped off nine wins in a row and have won 12 of their last 14.
DeSclafani had a bounce-back start, but again left early. He was chased in the fourth having given up two runs, five hits and four walks. He threw 90 pitches of which 51 were strikes and he had three Ks. I’m okay with this. He needed a decent outing and not to get beat up by the Bums again.
I see now that using the bullpen early, even if it has been costly, gives us flexibility in the middle innings when the starter struggles. It’s part of the savvy of an opener attitude. Tonight the ‘pen was excellent in LA. Baragar, Littell and McGee held the vaunted Dodger lineup scoreless through the seventh.
Barnes tagged Tyler Rogers for a three run dinger that tied the game in the eighth. I think teams are starting to read his submarine delivery better now, but anyway, that has been the Dodgers m.o. – blasting late innings homers for wins. Yet, Tauchman’s catch and the Giants offense gave Tyler Rogers the win despite giving up the three runs. Garcia was solid to get the save.
Today Logan Webb, back from injury, will go up against the smoking hot Julio Urias, who destroyed us at Oracle last week. We used a lot of guys out of the ‘pen in game two. I don’t expect the Giants to win today, but hey, after that super-inspiring catch by Tauchman, I have sweet hope that math just keeps working.
I wanted to leave LA with a split and we have Gausman on the mound Sunday. I could see it happening. In a way, Logan Webb can be allowed to fail early in his return-from-injury start. It’s the same thing we achieved with Johnny Cueto’s return: make it as negligible a loss as possible. I like this kind of thinking. It shows real vision for the forest and the trees, the series’ and the season.
Let’s Go Giants!