In an effort to keep pace with the Atlanta Braves for the top seed in the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled against the Giants on Thursday night with a 7-2 victory, all thanks to San Francisco shooting themselves in the foot.
The Giants' star-less roster surely played like one, too. Emmet Sheehan struck out nine over 4.2 innings of one-run ball (zero hits, four walks), San Francisco made two errors, and the Giants finished with just three hits against six different Dodgers pitchers.
But it was the errors and mental lapses that did them in. Both incidents opened the run scoring affairs for the Dodgers, the first of which occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning with the game tied at 2-2.
With one out, Will Smith sent a shot to the gap that looked as if center fielder Tyler Fitzgerald could track down with a diving play. He laid out and snagged the ball in the webbing of his glove, but as he came to the ground, it popped out and shot into right field. Smith ended up with a triple.
The next batter was JD Martinez, who popped a lazy fly ball into right field. Mike Yastrzemski looked like he lost it in the lights, but he got under it and made the catch. Unfortunately, he forgot about the runner on third. Smith probably wasn't going to tag up, but Yastrzemski's laziness or lack of awareness that there was one out forced him to rush the throw when Smith took off.
Giants' embarrassing errors open floodgates for Dodgers in series-opening win
Still, though, a 3-2 deficit was manageable, especially after the Giants threatened with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh. They didn't cash in, but they were putting pressure on LA's bullpen.
But then came the bottom half of the inning with another one-out blunder. JD Davis botched a routine grounder off the bat of Chris Taylor, who made it to first base safely. Then James Outman doubled. Then Taylor scored on a wild pitch. Then Outman scored on a wild pitch, and just like that it was 5-2.
The Dodgers tacked on two more with RBI singles from Martinez and Taylor before Evan Phillips pitched a stress-free ninth. With an opportunity to play some variation of spoiler, the Giants laid down for the Dodgers and are now below .500 on the season as they endure their worst road stretch in 120 years.
Say it with us again: the Giants' 2021 division title was nothing but a burdensome fluke that only briefly took the Dodgers off course.