The Giants fell behind by five runs down in L.A. and didn’t seem the least bit worried.
The defense was again the problem. This time Luis Gonzalez, our great-hitting rookie playing only his second game ever in right field at Dodger stadium, lost a fly ball in the lights in that shitty ravine, allowing a couple to score. Carlos Rodon was imprecise twice – which you cannot be against the Bums – and it cost a couple. A throwing error on a ball to the plate. Two errors. Giants down by five.
But everybody was cool. … and now LuGo has the experience in his memory banks of losing one in the lights in the ravine, which he can guard against. It’s an endearing system, but, Giants 0, Dodgers 5
On national tv, on ESPN, before the first game after the All-Star game, Gabe Kapler openly told everyone what he was going to do. He confirmed the game plan throughout. Again. He said he’d be using pinch hitters, and specifically Austin Slater and Yermin Mercedes against the lefties.
It worked almost to perfection. But again, ran up against a wall of talent.
The Giants scoring started in the top of the seventh with a solo shot by Evan Longoria recently back from the IL … Hey! I said he’d do that! Well, not really. It isn’t a called shot for GBC because I wrote this morning I expected him to hit a homer … in Arizona, because he likes that place with the lid closed.
But I did say, in good health at last, I expect him to figure prominently on this road trip. Evan looked good tonight, strong, ready to go for the stretch. He opened up the trouble for Phil Bickford. His bat was quick. I am excited to see what Longo does in the weeks to come.
Kap’s system did the rest. Austin Slater hit for Yaz, Mercedes hit for Wynns. A hit batsman, a Thairo Estrada single and the bases were loaded up for Darin Ruf, in his second pinch-hit AB. Blam! Darin Ruf’s first ever grand slam ties the game, Giants 5, Dodgers 5. These were patient at-bats. It was impressive.
Dave Roberts looked befuddled. Kapler and co. looked like Larry Bird telling guys defending him where he was going to make shots from before drilling the jumpers.
When the Giants loaded the bases again in the eighth and took the lead on a bases-loaded walk, Kapler’s checkmate of Roberts looked complete. After trailing 5 – 0 in the sixth, the guys led, Giants 6, Dodgers 5, in the eighth,. wow.
[I am writing this in the bottom of the eighth and Dominic Leone is on the mound. He just gave up a one-out double to Gavin Lux. And now the run-scoring triple to Trayce Thompson scores the tying run. And the ESPN commentators are praising Dave Roberts for leaving the hot-hitting Thompson in. Ha. He looked harried, friends, but Roberts successfully did … nothing, to tie the game.] Giants 6, Dodgers 6
Dom, unfortunately, was done.
The switch to Jarlin Garcia was a relief. I absolutely agree with it. It makes sense to get the one out. Dom was shook. I really hoped our new system thought so, too. Recently Kapler and co. have been leaving guys out there to just get hammered. This felt different. It felt like we are in the second half and we are playing the nemesis and Kap is calling it tight. I am impressed with his attention to detail at these times. Maybe Trevor Rosenthal is the answer for night’s like tonight.
Unfortunately, Jarlin Garcia walked Cody Bellinger. He had to get that out. Mookie Betts stepped in and hammered a homer to make it Giants 6, Dodgers 9.
Talent. Expensive talent. The most expensive talent … delivered. It didn’t matter if Dave Roberts was befuddled. That’s the story of the Bums these last seven years – outspend everybody and work around your manager.
Craig Kimbrel took care of the Giants in the ninth, despite a coy swinging bunt single by Brandon Belt. Kimbrel, a talent, an expensive talent, delivered. On the last out, Mookie Betts made a racing, fantastic catch to end the game. Expensive talent.
That’s what we don’t have: expensive talent.
Go get it, Mr. Zaidi.
Carlos Rodon reached 110 innings pitched tonight which means he vests his option to opt-out of his contract at the end of the season. We knew and hoped he would, but now it behooves him to perform.
Great game, let’s get ’em tomorrow guys!