AT&T PARK — Any fans who thought the Dodgers were going to roll over and let the Giants take a shot at first place were sorely mistaken.
After San Francisco’s Friday night beat-down of Los Angeles, a sweep seemed more than plausible. The Giants seemed to have figured out a way to lock up the Dodgers’ bats and dictate the game for themselves.
Perhaps everyone at AT&T Park forgot who their team was messing with.
Saturday night’s game was all Dodgers, as they absolutely pummeled the Giants 17-0 to tie the series heading into Sunday’s finale. The 17 runs are the most ever scored by an opponent ever at AT&T Park.
It all happened in an almost too-familiar fashion. The top of the first inning was nearly identical to yesterday’s bottom of the first.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Giants starter Tim Hudson (L, 9-11, 3.41) faced the entire lineup — just as Hyun-Jin Ryu did yesterday — and, like Ryu, allowed four runs to leadoff the game.
Hudson left the game just a few pitches into the second inning and Tim Lincecum took his place on the mound to the odd, possibly desperate or sarcastic, satisfaction of the fans.
Hudson, not surprisingly, wasn’t pleased with his outing:
“Just a little bit of tough luck and not making good enough pitches at times. That’s what it boils down to, just have to make better pitches … It was a tough night for us, me in particular. You have to give those guys credit. I feel like they hit some pitches that were in good locations.”
Fans stayed optimistic after the first that the offense could come back and test their opposition. But a comeback never materialized, and as the game wore on, the possibility of the Giants (82-66) getting any runs at all grew slimmer and slimmer.
Instead, the Dodgers (84-64) just kept adding on, scoring or posing a serious scoring threat in every single inning. The six pitchers to take the mound couldn’t contain their vengeance, and Los Angeles tallied a total 24 hits — the most ever recorded at AT&T —including a two-run homer from starting pitcher Zack Grienke.
In his typically dominant style, Grienke (W, 15-8, 2.64 ERA) pitched six innings with five strikeouts, allowing four hits and zero runs. He’s now 10-0 against the NL West this season and has thrown 16 consecutive scoreless innings in San Francisco.
The Giants posed only one scoring threat. In the first, Angel Pagan hit a leadoff double and attempted to score on a single from Buster Posey. Pagan got the green light from third-base coach Tim Flannery to go home just as the cutoff man was turning to throw. Pagan was tagged out and the Giants never threatened again.
Bruce Bochy saw the home team’s rapid deterioration as an opportunity for newcomers, including his son, pitcher Brett Bochy, to take the field and run the game. Or maybe it just gave the starters an opportunity to rest for Sunday’s series-ender.
By the eighth inning, when orange shirts had filtered out of the stands to make way for blue ones, the Giants lineup consisted of Juan Perez, Joe Panik, Guillermo Quiroz, Adam Duvall, Gary Brown, Chris Heston, Travis Ishikawa, Matt Duffy and Chris Dominguez.
Brett Bochy and Heston made their major league debuts. But the spotlight was on Bochy.
Father Bruce handing over the game ball to son Brett in the sixth inning marked the first manager-pitcher family affair in MLB history.
The younger Bochy acknowledged the moment’s significance:
“When I was warming up I was worried about who was coming up and once I got out there and I got the ball from him and saw him, that was pretty special. But right after that I went back to trying to worry about getting the next guy out.”
He said of the inning:
“I got everything out of the way there.”
Bruce said he was nervous to see his son take the mound, especially given the circumstance:
“When he came out there I said ‘Hey, I’m sorry to put you in this situation,’ because you make your debut in the major leagues and here you have the bases loaded and a good hitter up there. … It’s kind of surreal really. Here’s your son, bringing him in the big leagues … You’re nervous, but at the same time you’re proud.”
Saturday was a tough one for the Giants, but they have a chance to rebound and cut the Dodgers’ NL West lead back to a single game Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. when Yusmiero Petit (5-3, 3.62 ERA) and the Giants take on Clayton Kershaw (18-3, 1.67 ERA) and the Dodgers.