Tonight, I’ll sail into the waves. Blood is in the water in McCovey Cove. Madison Bumgarner is the shark.
The life-raft for the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw, with provisions of five more games after that.
The Dodgers still need only one more victory to ensure they’re playing baseball past Sunday, and will face four pitchers not named Bumgarner between now and then. But a few more measures of the theme from “Jaws” will play after the Giants survived the harpoons of Zack Greinke, a ninth-inning Dodger comeback and several extra-inning threats for a 12-inning, 3-2 victory.
The visiting team rode the seas for four hours without ever leading. Greinke throttled the Giants for six of his seven innings, but the second inning bit him.
In that frame, Brandon Crawford singled with one out, and Kelby Tomlinson singled with two out. Trevor Brown, out of Hart High School and UCLA, came to bat. In his 26th career plate appearance, the 23-year-old catcher went down in the count 0-2, waited things out to 2-2, fouled off one pitch, then hit one to right-center out of the reach of Andre Ethier for a double to put the Giants ahead, 2-0. It would be the only base hit with runners in scoring position for San Francisco all night.
The Dodgers half-rallied against Jake Peavy in the top of the third, with Carl Crawford hitting a single with two out, stealing second and scoring on Corey Seager’s single to center.
That was all the offense against the starting pitchers. Peavy struck out Adrian Gonzalez, and went on to retire 13 of the last 14 batters he faced, surrendering only a Joc Pederson walk. Greinke all but matched him, also facing only one batter over the minimum, finishing the night with his ERA at 1.68.
Relievers Josh Osich and Chris Hatcher pitched shutout eighth innings, bringing us to the ninth.
Seager lined an 0-2 cutter from the southpaw Osich into center for a single. Gonzalez grounded a fastball to right field for another hit. Santiago Castilla replaced Osich, while Ronald Torreyes pinch-ran for Gonzalez. Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ cleanup hitter for the night, sacrificed to put both runners in scoring position.
Andre Ethier came to bat with first base open and Giants manager Bruce Bochy choosing to play the infield back, conceding the tying run to protect against the go-ahead run. That’s exactly how it played out, with Ethier grounding up the middle to Tomlinson, whose only play was to first base, allowing Seager to score. Chase Utley then grounded to short for the third out.
Juan Nicasio entered to begin the bottom of the ninth. He had a harrowing encounter to start things with Matt Duffy, striking him out with a high full-count fastball. Buster Posey, who was 0 for 3 against Greinke, doubled sharply to left to put the winning run in scoring position.
After an intentional walk to Brandon Crawford, Marlon Byrd grounded slowly to Utley for the second out, and Tomlinson grounded to Scott Van Slyke at first to take us into extra innings.
The Dodgers put two men on with one out in both the 10th and 11th innings, but stranded them. San Francisco likewise abandoned a runner who had reached second with one out in the bottom of the 10th, and hit into a double play with one out in the 11th.
Los Angeles stranded yet another baserunner with two out in the 12th, but this time, the Giants wouldn’t return the favor.
Byrd and Tomlinson singled off Yimi Garcia, putting runners at the corners with nobody out, with Tomlinson then taking second base on defensive indifference as the Dodgers played a five-man infield. Brown grounded softly to third, and the runners held.
Adam Liberatore relieved Garcia against left-handed Alejandro De Aza, who lifted an 0-1 fastball to left field, deep enough for a game-winning sacrifice fly.