Friday, April 27, 2018

Dodgers GAG

The Giants bullpen was stellar, not allowing a run in five plus innings. Not so the Dodgers pen, per the SF Chron ---

Pedro Baez fell off the mound. There was no gust of wind that made him tumble. Nobody pushed him. He didn’t faint. He simply got his spike caught as he delivered a seventh-inning pitch.
And that’s essentially how the Giants beat the Dodgers 6-4 in the opener of a four-game series.
Because a runner was on third base during Baez’s mishap, a balk was called. Gorkys Hernandez scored, breaking a 4-4 tie. Moments later, Joe Panik’s sacrifice fly scored Kelby Tomlinson, and another chapter of Giants-Dodgers lore, this one goofier than most, was in the books.
The Giants trailed 4-2 before their unusual game-deciding rally that began with Brandon Belt’s bunt single, included run-scoring hits from, of all people, Hernandez and Tomlinson and featured the mother of all balks.
The Baez moment reminded old-timers of the tale of Stu Miller, the Giants reliever who supposedly was blown off the mound in the 1961 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park. That didn’t happen exactly like that, but it remains a heck of a story.
Baez didn’t need a nudge from Mother Nature. His fall was all on him, and it proved costly. Tony Watson pitched into and out of an eighth-inning jam, stranding two runners when retiring Austin Barnes in a 12-pitch at-bat. Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth and earned his sixth save.

The Giants opened the scoring with solo home runs in the second inning by Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford. Longoria’s traveled 425 feet and barely reached the MacBleachers, the section in right-center that Mac Williamson reached with ease the other day. Crawford’s landed in the right-field arcade.
The Giants have 27 homers this season, tied for fourth most in the National League. Quite a change from last year when they homered just 128 times, by far the fewest in the majors.
On the flip side, the Giants have had major issues manufacturing runs and hitting with runners in scoring position, Hernandez’s RBI single and Tomlinson’s RBI double notwithstanding.

Handed a 2-0 lead, Derek Holland gave it back and then some. The Dodgers rallied for four runs in the fourth inning on RBI doubles by Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig, and when pitcher Hyu-Jin Ryu also doubled to drive in a pair, Bruce Bochy had seen enough and pulled Holland.
As Holland struggles -- one quality start among five and a 5.76 ERA - another lefty is dominating in the minors and could pitch his way into a long-term rotation spot. That would be Andrew Suarez, who’s expected to be called up Tuesday to start against the Padres.
The Giants need a sixth starter because of the double-header, but Suarez could force the issue if he pitches anywhere close to how he’s pitching in the minors: 1.93 ERA and 1.157 WHIP with 23 strikeouts and nine walks, though four of those walks came in a chilly and wet season opener in Tacoma following a 1½-hour rain delay.
After facing three batters over the minimum in seven innings Thursday at Raley Field, where he struck out nine and walked one and 63 of his 85 pitches were strikes, Suarez said, “I haven’t had my command this good in a while.”


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