The Dodgers entered Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Giants in desperate need of a win. After Saturday night’s 14-inning loss and another Wilmer Font failure the Dodgers were in danger of finishing with a win-less road trip. The Dodgers were 0-4 on the current trip after the one rain out and the boys in blue were 2-6 overall with an 0-4 record on the road. So you know a win would do wonders for the club’s confidence. And what do you know? The perfect man was on the mound to do that job for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw. The Giants countered with Ty Blach, who somehow pitches like Juan Marichal every time he faces the Dodgers. The Dodgers were without Cody Bellinger who had a massive case of the poops (food poisoning) after eating some bad room service food on Saturday. However he would get into the game later.
The Dodgers had the lead through most of the game until they wasted a beautifully dominant Kershaw start by giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth that tied the game. The two teams once again battled into extra innings. But this time the Dodgers finally prevailed, thanks to a pinch-hit RBI double from Kyle Farmer, defeating the Giants by a 2-1 score. Kershaw and the Dodgers were also helped by several great defensive plays from the Dodger defense.
Dodgers 2 10 0
Giants 1 8 0
The Kershaw vs. Blach re-match did not disappoint. The two hurlers exchanged zeroes through the first few innings. Kershaw got a few defensive gems behind him. It started out with Austin Barnes, (who was playing second base) making this all-out diving stop. The Giants went tit for tat, making their own diving stop at second base as Joe Panik robbed Enrique Hernandez of a hit in the top of the second.
The Dodgers would break through and score in the top of the fourth. For the record I have no idea why and how they can’t hit Ty Blach. Yasiel Puig singles to center and Hernandez walks, which setup a Matt Kemp run scoring single to score Puig and put the Dodgers ahead 1-0. They could have scored more but Logan Forsythe grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Kershaw was cruising right along. He didn’t allow anything except for an Evan Longoria double in the second after the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth the Giants put two runners on after consecutive singles from Gorkys Hernandez and Austin Jackson. Panik’s sinking liner into right looked like trouble but Puig makes a great reaching diving catch and then throws to second to double up Hernandez to get the Dodgers out of the inning.
Blach would be removed after six innings. He allowed just the one earned run on four hits and struck out one while walking three. Corey Gearrin would pitch the top of the seventh for San Francisco. Utley singled and stole second but the Dodgers stranded him there to end the seventh inning. Kershaw gave up a second double to Longoria with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but got out of it by getting Pablo Sandoval to ground out.
Move to the bottom of the eighth. Hunter Pence singles into right. Then Kelby Tomlinson’s little swinging bunt dribbler puts two on with none out. The Dodgers hook Kershaw and bring in J.T. Chargois along with Bellinger to play first base in a double switch. Buster Posey (who was not in the starting lineup) singles to plate Pence to tie the game at 1-1. But the Dodgers induce a 5-4-3 double play from Austin Jackson to squelch the rally. Tony Cingrani gets Panik to fly out to end the inning. Kershaw pitched well, but comes out with the game tied. He tossed seven innings plus allowing one earned run on six hits and struck out six. He picked up a no-decision.
The Dodgers didn’t score in the top of the ninth and Josh Fields pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth, so on we go to extra innings yet again. With Pierce Johnson on the mound, Bellinger doubles and after Chris Taylor lines out, Corey Seager is intentionally walked. Puig flies out and there are two down. Things looked bleak again for the Dodgers, until Kyle Farmer came off the bench to pinch-hit. Farmer lines a slicing double down the right field line to score Bellinger and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Enter Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the tenth to nail it down. He whiffs Sandoval, but Pence singles. Crawford strikes out as well with Pence stealing second. Finally Brandon Belt goes down on strikes to end the game. The Dodgers win!
Take note that Clayton Kershaw is one of the most dominant pitchers in San Francisco to ever take the ball. Before today’s game Kershaw was 13-4 with a 1.30 ERA in 20 career starts at At&t Park. This includes four shutouts and a WHIP below 0.8.
The Dodgers can actually have a happy flight home. The boys in blue will return home to begin a five game homestand. They’ll open the stand on Tuesday evening against the Oakland Athletics. Hyun-jin Ryu will take the mound as Oakland will counter with left hander Sean Manaea. Happy flight boys!