The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers keep baseball wonderfully strange – RedState
Over the decades, whether from their days in Brooklyn and Upper Manhattan or in the states of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have played a seemingly infinite number of memorable games. Some are for the right reasons (Bobby Thomson “Shot heard around the world“), Some not so much (Juan Marichal mistakes John Roseboro’s head for a baseball). Then there was last night’s game, won by the Giants in the 11th inning 3-2. when … well, we’ll get there in a minute.
Some backdrop. The two teams entered the contest, the first of a three-game series in San Francisco, tied for the lead in the National League West and for the best record in baseball. That the Dodgers were in this position was not a surprise; are the defending World Series champs, loaded down with superstars and willing to shell out big bucks for the same thing, beating all of baseball with a payroll of more than $ 267 million.
The Giants are the biggest surprise in all of baseball. Believed to be in strictly rebuild mode, the team’s mix of veterans who are mostly considered to have been past their prime, some rising youngsters, and a variety of fighters bouncing from team to team have much to astonish. of most of all continue to win behind baseball. second best defense (Dodgers are first) and slightly above-average offense.
In recent games, the Giants have been stumbling, losing two of three to the Braves in Atlanta, then coming home to drop three of four to the Milwaukee Brewers. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been on a roll, winning seven of their last nine. Thus, the stage was set.
The first hint that things would be a little different from normal came before the game started, when the Dodgers starter announced. David Price was scratched with pain in his elbow strong enough to prevent him from starting the game … but not enough to prevent him from throwing if necessary.
Therefore, Los Angeles took a committee approach, gradually emptying its bullpen as pitcher after pitcher trotted up the mound to pitch an inning or two. Or less. The approach worked for the most part, with San Francisco doing a run on a walk and a couple of singles on third. Meanwhile, Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani held the Dodgers at bay, with no runs and just two hits allowed during his six innings of work.
The top of the ninth came, the Giants brought in pitcher Jake McGee to try to close things out. It did not. A Justin Turner single, followed by a Corey Seager double, had runners on second and third with one out. At this point, the weirdness began.
Will Smith grounded out to Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada. Turner broke for the plate, with Seager heading for third. Estrada threw the ball to Giants catcher Buster Posey. Posey chased Turner into third position, but never touched him before he reached third… where Seager already was. Break the rule book. Since Turner had started the play at third, he was entitled to the bag and Seager was out. Anyway, the next batter (Chris Taylor) singled, Turner scored and the game was tied. So it remained, and in extra entries.
Since baseball in 2021 is carrying out its “let’s get this over with” rules from last year, the top of the 10th started with Albert Pujols in second place. The leadoff hitter lined up relatively deep center. Pujols, to everyone’s surprise, took off for third … and he did it.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, in a move that may well have cost him the game later on, decided to insert Walker Buehler as a pinch runner for Pujols, who was playing first base. It seemed like the right move at the time, as the next batter hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Buehler. 2-1 Dodgers.
Bottom of the tenth. With the Dodgers clearing their bench, starting catcher Will Smith moved to first. This is not his strong suit.
Back to the entrance. With Posey starting the inning at second, Brandon Crawford decided the game hadn’t been weird enough and he singled, scoring legendary sprinter Posey. (There may be a hint of joke in the last sentence.) Game tied. Again.
On the eleventh. After the Dodgers failed to score, the Giants began their part of the process by working a pair of walks, one involuntary and one intentional, to load the bases with one out. Alex Dickerson then hit hard at home. Bases still loaded, two outs and Posey the batter.
Dodgers pitcher Jarlin Garcia induced Posey to hit a routine groundout to Los Angeles second baseman Trea Turner. Turner then took an inexplicably high shot at Smith. Refer to the comment above about Smith, who is not a seasoned first baseman, replacing Pujols, a two-time Gold Glove winner at the position. Between the pitch and Smith couldn’t drag his foot through the bag properly, Posey was safe. Turner mistake, Brandon Belt crossed home, long replay, game over. The Giants win 3-2 and retake a one-game advantage in the division.
The madness resumes this afternoon, with the Giants likely repeating the pitching by committee routine, facing 15-3 Jose Urias.