If you stayed up last night to watch the thrilling conclusion to the game, then you were rewarded as the SF Giants squeaked by with a 3-2 win in the first game of a key series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
SF Giants: Late error leads to crucial win against Dodgers
Perhaps, the most encouraging news of the victory was how well Anthony DeSclafani pitched against Los Angeles. Before last night’s game, the right-handed hurler struggled to the tune of a 9.43 ERA in five starts against the division rivals.
He has fared well against the rest of the league, but the Dodgers have been a thorn in his side. With them being a potential playoff opponent, you want to see one of your key arms pitch more effectively in these types of games and the 31-year-old did not disappoint. In six scoreless innings, DeSclafani allowed just two hits and three walks with five strikeouts against one of the better lineups in baseball.
He passed to baton off to a bullpen that allowed one earned run in the final five innings of the game. Of course, that one earned run was yielded by Jake McGee, who collected his fifth blown save of the year. The veteran reliever has been shaky of late, but he has been reliable for much of this season.
In the batter’s box, the Giants struggled badly with the bat, especially with runners in scoring position. The third inning epitomized those struggles as they had set up a potential rally with runners on first base and second base and no outs. Brandon Belt laced a single up the middle that did not score the runner from second base due to a poor read on the ball.
The Giants got a key hit with a runner in scoring position and could not even score the run! Nevertheless, Austin Slater stepped to the plate with one out and drilled a single to left field for an RBI hit. Unfortunately, the ball was hit so hard that only one run could cross home plate.
The SF Giants had plenty of other opportunities to score throughout the game but that was one situation where they did everything right at the plate and could not get a more favorable outcome.
The key rally began in the bottom of the 11th inning after Jarlin García did not allow a run in the top half of the inning. The Giants were in the driver’s seat as they only had to get the free runner home from second base.
Darin Ruf led off the inning with a strikeout followed by walks to both Belt and Kris Bryant, loading the bases with only one out. Alex Dickerson came up at a key moment and grounded out to Corey Seager, who got the lead runner out at home.
Buster Posey stepped in with the bases loaded and two outs. The longtime Giants catcher has come through in these situations so many times before but he is in the midst of a slump. He lined the fourth pitch of the at-bat on a hop to second baseman Trea Turner and Turner slinged the throw to first baseman Will Smith, pulling his foot off of the bag. This allowed Posey to safely reach base and the lead runner to score the winning run in walk-off fashion.
Of course, the Dodgers challenged the play so there was a tense moment of uncertainty as the umpiring crew reviewed the call. The play was confirmed and the SF Giants had a delayed celebration as they won the first game of the series. They are now in sole possession of first place in the National League West by one game with two games remaining against the Dodgers. This weekend is going to be a wild ride.