The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days, without a break. This was Game 11 of the 16, the first game of the last weekend series against the Dodgers.
The oldest rivalry in baseball culminates this season in a meeting of two teams tied for first in the NL West, with the best record in all of baseball (85 – 49), meeting for their final three games, with the season series tied 8-8. epic.
In San Francisco, the Dodgers and Giants wrestled for four and a half hours of pitching, defense and chess-like management of players, to a tie through ten and a half innings and two outs in game one.
It was a brilliant match-up that ended on an error of the finest of margins – a game of inches – and became an instant classic … that went to eleven.
San Francisco sent Anthony DeSclafani (11-6, 3.24 ERA, 132 K) to face a starter whom the Dodgers announced in advance was an opener, Corey Knebel (3-0, 3.12 ERA, 19 K).
- Trea Turner (R) 2B
- Max Muncy (L) 1B
- Mookie Betts (R) RF
- Justin Turner (R) 3B
- Corey Seager (L) SS
- Will Smith (R) C
- Chris Taylor (R) LF
- Cody Bellinger (L) CF
- Corey Knebel (R) P
DeSclafani was good to start this one, but against a team like the Dodgers, they still got traffic. He gave up a leadoff single to Trea Turner, one of the best hitters in the game, but then picked him up on a FC that put Muncy in his place on first. DeSclafani got Mookie Betts to foul out, but then walked Justin Turner, putting two on with two out for Corey Seager. After falling behind 0-2, Desclafani struck out Seager swinging against three pitches: slider, changeup, slider, all at around 88mph.
- Darin Ruf (R) LF
- Brandon Belt (L) 1B
- Kris Bryant (R) 3B
- LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
- Buster Posey (R) C
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Thairo Estrada (R) 2B
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) CF
- Anthony DeSclafani (R) P
Darin Ruf singled to deep right field to start the game for the Giants, but it was to no avail, as Belt struck out, Bryant fouled out and LaMonte Wade, Jr., grounded out to first.
DeSclafani had a three-up, three-down second. Knebel sat down Buster Posey on a weak fly-out to center. Then he allowed a single to Crawford that led to nothing, as he followed it up by picking up Thairo Estrada with a K, and getting Mike Yastrzemski to fly out to center as well.
This game was a tense, taut battle of changing pitchers with corresponding moves by the managers at the plate throughout. Roberts and Kapler were moving, countermoving, not sending guys out on-deck. Avoiding tipping moves.
Roberts sent out guys to pitch nobody had ever heard of before. Kap fought back lefty/righty. A great national league game. Knebel was done after two, so McKinstry hit for him to start the third, and DeSclafani struck him out on four pitches.
Trae Turner walked to get on leading off again. Muncy grounded out moving Turner to second, and he took third on a wild pitch by DeSclafani. But Desclafani got Mookie Betts to fly out to center on three pitches to end the inning. DeSclafani was working, having thrown 54 pitches through three innings.
The Dodgers brought in Paul Bickford and he was an immediate mess. He walked DeSclafani, walked Darin Ruf and then gave up a single to Brandon Belt. The Giants had bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the third and Bickford was done.
But Alex Vesia came in for the Dodgers and he got out of the jam! He gave up only one run – on an Austin Slater single that scored DeSclafani. Giants 1, Dodgers 0. Posey grounded out and Crawford lined out to end a very frustrating inning of failing to bring home RISP that would become a theme of the game. The Dodgers defense is legit.
The Giants went 3 for 22 with runners in scoring position. It was unreal how often they were foiled by the Dodgers defense.
Justin Turner spinning in the dirt and coming up throwing. Treimen just forcing guys to pop up to shallow center. Betts and Bellinger making shoetop grabs.
But our defense is legit, too, and the Dodgers went 2 for 11 with RISP. This game was a dead heat. Great game.
The Dodgers used ELEVEN pitchers in this one.
The Giants had DeSclafani go six scoreless followed by Tony Watson and Tyler Rogers who held.
There were many times the Giants could have won this one and a crazy one occurred in the top of the ninth. With a 1-0 lead, Jake McGee came in and got Mookie Betts to ground out to third, one down. But then Justin Turner singled to left and Corey Seager came up and doubled to deep left, moving Turner to third.
Will Smith then hit a grounder to second and, to prevent the run, they fired the ball back in to Posey, who came running up the third base line to tag Turner. But he got back and Posey ended up tagging Seager! Leaving Turner on third. The lead man is safe.
The game would have been over on the double play! It was total craziness at third base as Buster stood there tagging guys and complaining as the ump indicated who was actually out.
Justin Turner then singled a 94mph fastball from McGee to center to bring in the tying run, Dodgers 1, Giants 1. Unbelievable. The Giants led this game 1-0 until the last out in the top of the ninth.
Pujols came in to hit for Bellinger. Could’ve been a career-capper type moment for Fat Albert, and to his credit, Jake McGee got him to ground out to first to end the top of the frame tied.
Kenley Jansen almost blew it again, but the Giants just couldn’t score with RISP in the bottom of the ninth.
Dominic Leone gave up just one run in the tenth – allowing the Manfred Man on second to cross. The Giants were able to keep it level on a Brandon Crawford RBI.
Marc wrote: “Crawford had an MVP statement game on the big stage. Miller said he was driving the ball to left center in BP, then he hit one that was 3 feet away from clearing loaded bases in the 3rd and the next he hit three feet further and got a double.
His ground ball single was perfectly placed between an armada of Dodgers to tie it in extras. And his defense is just extraordinary.”
Jarlin Garcia closed out the meat of the Dodgers in the top of the eleventh. Badass.
In the bottom of the eleventh, the Dodgers turned the ball over to a 26yo righty, Evan Phillips. Who? Exactly.
Ruf struck out and the Dodgers intentionally walked Belt. Then Bryant drew a walk, moving the Manfred Man, Yaz, to third and putting Belt on second. Bases loaded for Dickerson with one out.
Dick grounded to short and the Dodgers went home to force out Yaz and prevent the run, leaving the bases loaded for Buster Posey with two down.
Posey hit a grounder to Trae Turner. The Trae Turner error on a two-out throw to first that pulled Will Smith off the bag by inches, allowing our 34-year-old catcher Buster Posey to leg it out and reach first safely, scoring Belt from third, decided the game.
A walkoff that couldn’t be celebrated until replay review decided what actually happened at first finally came to conclusion with Buster declared safe.
we have the mojo now.
Giants 3, Dodgers 2
whew. Instant Dodgers-Giants Classic.
2021 NL West Standings