Sep 30, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Mike Leake (13) fields a ground ball against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night. Their motivations to win Wednesday night’s game were: to add on to their win total‒they have the most wins lifetime of any team in the MLB; simply for the love of the game; and maybe a little to throw a monkey wrench in the Dodgers bid for home field advantage when the Dodgers face the Mets in the playoffs.
Given the make-up of manager Bruce Bochy’s lineup, it also looked like an audition for the minor leaguers who are vying for an invite to the big team’s camp this spring.
Regardless of their reasons, they played a great game and they were a lot of fun to watch. They showed off their rookie pop. Like Nick Noonan, who knocked in his first big league home run. Not only was it his first, but it was a big home run–it was close to a Barry Bonds-like home run–just inches from going into McCovey Cove.
Speaking of firsts, Mike Leake was on the mound and he had an amazing outing‒his first complete game shut-out. He pitched nine solid innings, allowed only two hits and three walks. He struck out one. He accepted the accolades with Giants class, sharing credit for a good game with rookie catcher Trevor Brown.
Kelby Tomlinson showed off his patience at the plate when he drew a walk in the bottom of the first. Matt Duffy–who needs no audition, followed with a home run‒his twelfth on the year. In the third, Angel Pagan got a base hit and scored when Kelby followed up with a double. The Giants didn’t score again until Noonan’s dinger in the seventh.
Duffy led-off the eighth with a base hit, after being buzzed by the Dodgers closer, stole second and made it home on Jarrett Parker’s single. Duffy showed the Dodgers closer what happens when you try to buzz his tower. We know Parker has power, he gave us a good demonstration of it in the Battle of the Bay. Wednesday he showed off his base hitting chops, moving the runner over or like he did Wednesday, bringing the base runner home. The final score was: Giants 5, Dodgers 0
The Giants did what they set out to do Wednesday night‒they certainly added to their win total, they looked like they were having a good time out there‒they were relaxed, calm and at the end, Leake looked happy with the outcome and they put a little kink in the Dodgers quest for home field advantage.
The rookies gave a good show‒as I keep saying, they’re giving the big shots a lot to think about.
But the best part of Wednesday night’s game was watching the Giants play and win, with absolutely no agenda other than to #BeatLA.