The Dodgers failed to clinch for what seems like the 500th game in a row, falling to the Giants 3-2 in a 12-inning affair. For typical closer reasons, the angry looking man in the image above was not featured in the game at all. Kenley Jansen did, however, throw about two innings worth of pitches from the bullpen mound.
Zack Greinke only allowed seven baserunners (four hits, three walks) in his seven innings, and he struck out seven, but a two-RBI double by whatever a Trevor Brown is did the damage for the Giants in the bottom of the second. I’m not doing my research on Brown, but I assume he was an undrafted free agent signing out of college, the last dude on the 40-man roster, and has a 3.412 OPS for the Giants since his September call-up.
The Dodgers didn’t have a ton going offensively early on, managing just four baserunners (three hits, walk) off Giants starter Jake Peavy through seven innings. The one run came off a Corey Seager single to drive in Carl Crawford in the top of the third, which cut the deficit in half and made it 2-1.
Peavy rolled after that, and the Giants seemed on pace to pull off the win in regular time, but the Dodgers finally scrapped together a run against Josh Osich and Santiago Casilla in the top of the ninth. Seager and Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning with singles, knocking Osich out of the game. Justin Turner then had a controversial sacrifice against Casilla, which he executed successfully and moved the runners to second and third.
The decision is arguable given the context and risk of a failure of a bunt, and I probably wouldn’t have done it, but it did sort of work in the end.
Bruce Bochy followed Mattingly’s choice with a controversial decision of his own that likely won the game, electing to play the infield back against Andre Ethier. Both managers turned out to be right in a way, as Ethier hit a sharp two-hopper to second. Ethier’s grounder scored the run from third but certainly would’ve snuck through a drawn-in infield.
The Dodgers failed to score after that, and so the game went to extra innings thanks to relatively clean performances by the bullpens.
Casilla, Lopez, Romo, and Strickland combined for four shutout innings, and though the Dodgers threatened (five baserunners), the Giants always managed to escape with the game intact. Chris Hatcher, Juan Nicasio, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, and J.P. Howell combined for four shutout innings of their own, allowing the same five baserunners as the Giants relievers, and they also managed to escape danger.
Unfortunately, Yimi Garcia was the cog that finally faltered, giving up back-to-back singles to the Giants on two-strike counts to put runners on first-and-third. He then got Brown to ground out into the five-man infield, which brought in Adam Liberatore, who gave up the Alejandro De Aza game-ending sac fly to left over a five-man infield.
The Dodgers lead is now five with six games to play, so it’s hardly a time to panic, but it’s a terrible way to lose and a terrible feeling to have this continue to drag out longer and longer. That’s doubly true with the Dodgers having to face Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tomorrow. Though fortunately they have Clayton Kershaw to pitch against him.
Should be a good one, if nothing else.