“It’s just no flinch, up and down the lineup, the bullpen – just go about our preparation and every guy pulls their weight. It’s just a lot of fun, it’s a lot of fun to come to the field, strap it on and go play.” – Steven Duggar
wow, what a game.
It all came down to this and these San Francisco Giants didn’t disappoint. There’s much to be said about the game itself, but we should begin with management of the Dodgers series all year long, which has been tactical, adaptive and smart.
The Bums swept us at home to start this series, and we took two of the last three at home to win it. In between, Gabe Kapler and the staff put together winning efforts from a number of guys. They used in-game management and a flexible strategy and role player after role player stepped up.
Mike Tauchman’s incredible catch in game four was when it started. Tauchman remarkably reached over the left-field wall to rob Albert Pujols of a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Giants broke through in the 10th. Our first win against the Dodgers was at Chavez Ravine. Then we reeled off two more there. We believed.
We surged into the lead in the NL West and stayed ahead for three months, but back and forth we went with the nemesis to a nine games to nine games tie. From AP: “here’s how close these clubs played in 2021: The Dodgers outscored the Giants head-to-head 80-78.”
The last game between these two teams was yet another David vs. Goliath story, as the Sith Lord that spends $60million dollars more for the 28 guys on the field than we do sent Walker Beuhler (13-3, 2.31 ERA, 184 K) to mow us down. The SF Giants announced no starter and declared the plan was a bullpen game, to be started by Dominic Leone (3-3, 1.59 ERA, 38 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
- Walker Buehler (R) P
- Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
- Brandon Belt (L) 1B
- Kris Bryant (R) 3B
- LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) LF
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF
- Curt Casali (R) C
- Steven Duggar (L) CF
- Dominic Leone (R) P
With Brandon Belt’s first inning homer off Walker Beuhler and Steven Duggar’s triple in the second, the Giants showed up early and made the statement clearly: We’re not just giving you the division. Darin Ruf singled, scoring Duggar, while Brandon Crawford and Curt Casali had RBIs in the third to end the scoring for the orange-and-black.
Beuhler called it, “The worst I’ve thrown in a long time.” The Giants touched-up Buehler for a season-high six runs on seven hits over those three innings. The bullpen took it from there
Dominic Leone pitched a perfect inning in the first start of his career. It was the second straight “bullpen game,” and staked with a lead, the guys got it done against one of the best lineups in all of baseball – certainly the most expensive.
Jose Alvarez struggled, but Kap had a short leash. Jay Jackson and Zach Littell worked hard to keep the Dodgers at bay. The rookie, Camilo Doval, was impressive in an intense, high-pressure situation. Jose Quintana, the new guy, managed his innings but had to hand it over to the kid, what a call. The kid went an inning and a third, and made Kapler look like a genius, setting up Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee to finish the job.
Watson and Rogers each pitched a ten pitch inning. But McGee again had a hard time closing it in the ninth. After giving up Albert Pujols’ 678th home run which cut the margin in half, he gave up a single to Max Muncy. Then he hunkered down, and after a seven-pitch battle, McGee struck out Mookie Betts. He got Justin Turner to foul out to end the game and the place exploded in joy. Zach Littell got the win, his second.
San Francisco now owns any tiebreaker — such as home-field advantage if there’s a one-game playoff for finishing with the same record — against the Dodgers.
I am so proud of our boys.
Giants 6, Dodgers 4
On to Colorado for our 14th game in 14 days, the next three with less oxygen, as we climb to altitude. Let’s Go Giants! Pound the Rocks! You’ve nearly run the gauntlet, just three games to go.