This pinch-hit post is dedicated to Vic Davalillo.
Game 1 of the Series of Great Import between the Dodgers and Giants at AT&T Park ended with the gentlemen in the orange jerseys winning 5-2. The Dodgers offense acted like someone trying to grow a garden by buying a bag of seeds and then pouring them on the sidewalk and wondering why he doesn’t end up with 40 heads of lettuce.
The Dodgers had 13 men reach base, seven of them on walks by Giants starter Tim Lincecum. However, the Dodgers could only get two of them home. One run scored on a ground out by Matt Kemp and the other came on a home run by Adam Kennedy that scraped the top of the right field fence. The Dodgers didn’t ground into any double plays. They just couldn’t get a hit with a runner in scoring position
The Giants pinged out 10 hits, all singles, with few of them being hit hard. However, the Giants parlayed their scoring chances into runs with annoying and relentless effectiveness.
After the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the third, the Giants tied the game on a Brandon Crawford single, a Lincecum sacrifice, and an RBI single from Angel Pagan.
After Kennedy’s homer in the sixth, the Giants used a bunt single by Pagan, a stolen base, a ground out, and then an RBI infield hit by Hunter Pence to tie the game.
The seventh inning was one of those innings that tries manager’s souls. Mark Ellis led off with an infield hit. Shane Victorino was given the bunt sign. After failing to get the first attempt down, Victorino took a called strike, an event that Victorino seemed unable to fathom. Don Mattingly kept the bunt on and Victorino struck out bunting foul on an attempt that seemed quarter-hearted at best. After Adrian Gonzalez walked to end Lincecum’s night, Sergio Casilla got Kemp to ground out and then struck out Hanley Ramirez.
In the bottom of the seventh, Hector Sanchez singled. Pinch runner Gregor Blanco stole second. Crawford walked. Bruce Bochy then sent Manny Burriss up as a pinch-sacrificer. Burriss did his job. Angel Pagan was purposely passed to load the bases. The question now before the House was: should Josh Beckett stay in the game or should Brandon League come in to pitch to Marco Scutaro?
Beckett stayed in. Scutaro looped a single to right, two runs scored. The Giants would score another run in the eighth, aided by a pair of infield hits.
And now the Dodgers must wait to see how the Cardinals game against the Brewers turns out. It’s tied 4-4 in the 10th as I type this. (There was a lengthy rain delay at the outset.) The Pirates were demolished by the Cubs, 12-2.
Chris Capuano versus Matt Cain Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!
Update: The Brewers beat the Cardinals, 5-4 in 13 innings in a game that ended after 2 am St. Louis time. Ryan Braun’s 39th homer of the season was the decider. The Cardinals remain 1 1/2 games up on the Pirates and Dodgers for the second wild card spot.
Also, more surprisingly, the Cubs stay alive for another day!