The rivalry has now kicked off in 2022, where it’s arguably better than ever, and it was the Dodgers who took down the first game against the Giants with a 3-1 victory.
Carlos Rodon has looked like an ace for the Giants so far this year, having given up a grand total of three runs in the first four starts of 2022. The Dodgers showed signs of breaking through and almost did, but had to settle for getting the lead against him.
After cruising through the 1st, he found trouble in the 2nd after issuing a one-out walk to Max Muncy and a two-out walk to Cody Bellinger. Rodon then uncorked a wild pitch, but still seemed to be in control due to a 1-2 count, but CT3 won the battle anyway by dumping a single the other way to plate both runners and make it 2-0.
From there Rodon got a clean 3rd and 4th, retiring eight in a row at one point. Doubles in both the 5th and 6th gave the Dodgers a threat, but they weren’t able to capitalize, notably with a Muncy fly ball dying at the wall in right to end the 6th.
After a rough first start to the season, Urias has truly settled into the year now. In a playoff type of pitching matchup, he cruised through six shutout.
While he didn’t exactly have the cleanest of outings, he also was rarely threatened. He allowed a single in the 1st, a double in the 2nd, a single in the 3rd, and a single in the 5th, but that was it, and he only faced one batter with a RISP.
6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 65 Pitches
At that point he was removed with Dave Roberts, which I figured would be controversial regardless due to the 65 pitches. I don’t disagree, as having him at least get a baserunner would seem to make sense, but the Giants were righty heavy, it was the third time through, and the Dodgers have an elite pen full of quality righty arms to neutralize them. It wasn’t insane is what I’m saying.
Anyway, it predictably became a mess after Brusdar Graterol entered and destroyed a bat, but Justin Turner cut in front of Trea Turner and then threw wide of first for a “single” and an error after it went into the dugout. A walk put two batters on, and a dribbler in front of the mound resulted in an out but advanced both runners.
That was the end for Graterol as Alex Vesia came in for a lefty. He got Luis Gonzalez to fly out to left, but that was enough for a sacrifice fly to half the lead to 2-1, but he punched out the next batter to prevent worse. The 8th for the Dodgers belonged to Daniel Hudson, who issued a walk, but otherwise did well to keep the lead.
For the Giants pen, John Brebbia got the 7th and it looks like a 1-2-3 frame in the box score, but Bellinger did what the Dodgers do best.
The next inning was more problematic after Hanser Alberto led off with a double. That led to Jose Alvarez entering for Mookie Betts, and Mookie won the battle with a lined single to left to corner things. Alvarez then proceeded to uncork a wild pitch for an insurance run and then walked Freddie Freeman, but they couldn’t tack on as three straight outs ended the threat.
That meant Craig Kimbrel actually had to do a conventional closer job with a save opportunity to start the inning. He began with a walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but he bounced back with a strikeout and fly out. A bunt for a single surprised everybody and put the tying run on base, but although Kimbrel went to a 3-2 count with three batters and threw 25 pitches, he locked down the save with a groundout.
I mean this had to happen to Wilmer Flores, right?
This is foul.
I need to be this guy.
The booth is starting to think like me.
This was very cool.
The Dodgers are now 15-7 and hold a half-game lead (including tie-breaker) in the NL West over the Padres.
The series (oddly) concludes tomorrow at the same 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET time with Alex Wood taking the mound for the Giants against a mystery pitcher for the Dodgers, though it’s probably some combination of Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson.