The Dodgers took game one and took a two game lead in the West.
Clearly, the Dodgers did not suffer a hangover after their 18-run outburst yesterday, as they jumped on the Giants in game one. The Dodgers scored in every inning but the fourth and seventh, and beat up on the Giants arms.
Kenta Maeda was making his second start against the Giants, and this one did not go as well as his first. Maeda had an easy time with the Giants the first time through the order, but got in trouble in the third after an infield single and a walk. Yasmani Grandal allowed a passed ball, and Angel Pagan and Buster Posey each hit RBI singles to score two runs.
Maeda labored again in the fifth, starting with a Pagan single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Brandon Belt RBI double. Maeda then walked Brandon Crawford and threw another wild pitch, but struck Hunter Pence out to end the inning and end his night.
Maeda’s best tool is his pinpoint control, and he very clearly didn’t have it tonight. He came into the game having walked three batters in a game three times (and four once), but he walked three and had two wild pitches. Maeda clearly struggled, but if “struggling” is allowing three runs in five innings, that’s solid. Needing 103 pitches to finish five innings is less than ideal, but Maeda kept the Dodgers in the game.
Rob Segedin, whose child could be born tonight, hit his second career home run to lead off the second inning. The Dodgers got to Bumgarner again in the third as two singles and a sac fly gave them a 3-2 lead. Maeda lost the lead, but the Dodgers regained it in the fifth.
Enrique Hernandez led off the fifth with a single and was forced out on a tough play by Bumgarner. Seager saw nine pitches and drew a walk, and Turner hit an infield single that Eduardo Nunez couldn’t field cleanly. With the bases loaded, Adrian Gonzalez poked a single to center just over Crawford’s glove to plate two. Bumgarner got out of the inning trailing 5-3 and was pulled after only five innings.
The offense knocked Bumgarner out of the game and got to the Giants bullpen, which has been a weakness this season. Cory Gearrin was first up, and with a righty on the hill the Dodgers started working their regulars into the game. Chase Utley pinch hit and singled, and then came around to score on an Andrew Toles pinch-hit double. Hernandez hit a seeing-eye single through the left side to plate Toles, but was left at second.
Toles continued his mission to steal everyone’s job by hitting a two-run dinger in the eighth to give the Dodgers a 9-4 lead. Toles is a guy that this FO unceremoniously signed that has paid dividends of late. He’ll slow down, but he’s looking like a very quality fourth outfielder.
WIth Maeda only going five, the Dodger bullpen was called upon once again. Jesse Chavez was first out of the pen today and started his outing by taking a 105-mph chopper off his leg. It ended up as a single and Chavez remained in, Nunez stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Ehire Adrianza pinch hit for MadBum and blooped a single to right to make it 5-4.
Chavez was pulled after the single for Adam Liberatore, who needed four pitches to end the inning with a double play.
Joe Blanton got the seventh and tossed a 1-2-3, striking out Belt and Buster Posey in the process. He then got the first two outs of the eighth easily. The FO gets a lot of criticism (some deserved, mostly undeserved), but not enough people talk about how big a signing Blanton was.
Kenley Jansen was tasked with a four-out save and gave up a solo home run with two outs in the ninth. It was the third homer Jansen has given up this season, but the other two had either lost the game or tied the game.
This win ensures the Dodgers will be in first place when the Giants leave town. If the Giants win the remaining two, they’ll be tied for first, but this series is off to a great start. Beating Bumgarner is always that much more sweet, but their job doesn’t get easier tomorrow. Johnny Cueto, who many would argue should be a Dodger right now, gets the ball for the Giants. Rich Hill will finally make his Dodger debut, and what a way to start your Dodger career. No pressure.
In injury news, the Dodgers placed Brett Anderson and Scott Kazmir on the DL. Anderson with a blister, Kazmir with a neck inflammation. Kazmir’s DL trip means the Dodgers tied a record for the most players DL’d in a season, with 27. It’s only August and this team is already breaking records.
Anderson was slated to start Thursday against the Giants, but that won’t be happening. Ross Stripling seems like the safe bet there. Kazmir’s rotation spot could be taken by Hill.