I’m sorry Chad made these GIFs. I’m even sorrier I have to show them to you. But you know that I do, right? This is what happened to Hanley Ramirez leading off against Ryan Vogelsong in the 7th inning:
Looks fun, right? Except, oh:
You know how we’re always complaining that Coors Field swallows up Dodger outfielders, not only essentially ruining Matt Kemp‘s career but also banging up Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier? That’s how I’m starting to feel about Ramirez in San Francisco. Last year, he destroyed his thumb there in the WBC, then blew out his hamstring there days after returning. I hate that place. But then, between Coors, and the pool in Arizona, the NL West isn’t really friendly these days. Heart you, Petco?
* * *
Oh, and there was a game, I guess, and before Ramirez was injured, it was actually an interesting one, if not necessarily a well-played one. Vogelsong and Paul Maholm each made it through six full innings allowing just one run, with the Dodgers doing their best to help with endless dumb errors. (Kemp & Carl Crawford couldn’t figure out who was going to catch a ball that Kemp eventually dropped; Adrian Gonzalez was called out on batter’s interference; Kemp was picked off first; Juan Uribe, inexplicably running, was thrown out stealing easily.)
Maholm wasn’t exactly dominant, striking out two against three walks, but did induce two double plays and allowed only a Buster Posey single to drive in Hunter Pence. He also drew a walk and came around on Dee Gordon‘s triple, which is a real thing that happened.
Unfortunately, that was pretty much all the offense we saw, since the Dodgers managed just six hits, three by Gordon. The inning that began with Ramirez’ hit-by-pitch turned into a bases loaded, one out situation, but then Uribe ended any hope there with a double play.
* * *
I was going to continue, but let’s reserve a separate section for the Mattingly-bashing, of which there were two specific items on the agenda. The first, I’ll be honest, I didn’t dislike nearly as much as many others seemed to. In the bottom of the 7th, the Giants had two outs and a man on second. Mattingly intentionally walked Pence to get to Pablo Sandoval. That added a force play, and Sandoval was hitting .164/.270/.309 entering the night. That Sandoval singled in the run didn’t help, but I at least understood that.
But… holy good lord, the top of the eighth. Gordon singled with two outs, and moved to second when Javier Lopez threw away a pickoff. Lopez exists in this sport only because of what he does to lefties, against whom he has a .211/.293/.299 line in his career. Righties tag him for .303/.387/.429. You’d think that would be a situation where you absolutely wouldn’t want any lefty batter against him, but especially not Crawford, who has a .259/.305/.373 career line against lefties. This is why Scott Van Slyke exists. This may be the only reason that Van Slyke exists Unless we find out that Van Slyke got run over by a trolley on the way to the park or was otherwise unavailable, there is just about no rational reason to let Crawford hit. But since we saw him on deck with two outs in the ninth, it sure seemed like he wasn’t dead. And not that I wanted him to be dead — he seems like a nice guy — but man, it sure would have explained a lot.
Mattingly let Crawford hit, for reasons I cannot comprehend. He grounded out to first. You might as well have just ended the game there.
* * *
Back to Ramirez, the Dodgers announced that initial X-rays on his hand were negative, which is great news, if only because there’s no immediate indication of a break. (And good on Stan Conte for forcing him to come out, since it sure seemed like he wanted to stay in.) Until we learn more, we can stand down on the “will Gordon play short!” and “is Alex Guerrero coming up?!” business that came up on social media within literal seconds of the pitch. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have exhausted their ridiculous run of days off, and assuming Ramirez needs at least some down time, we’re looking at Justin Turner and Chone Figgins at shortstop. For a team struggling on offense, this is not appealing.
* * *
Oh well. There’s always this:
Please stop bringing signs to games, Giants fans. pic.twitter.com/sTNkjdVGku
— Phillip Barnett (@imsohideouss) April 17, 2014