The stars have re-aligned. Truth has revealed itself once again.
Los Angeles (94-52) is back to that “Best Team Ever” feeling and Matt Moore — following a solid win against the White Sox — returned to mea culpa mode, he said:
“Not very much to feel good about with what went on tonight.”
What went on? The Dodgers beat Giants (57-91) 4-1 Wednesday, winning two games in a row for the first time since August 24-25. Things are looking fun again for them. The Giants, on the other hand, have just 14 more tries to win six games to avoid the big 1-0-0. It’ll be must-see TV.
Mistakes, again, rang loud in this loss.
At this point, miscommunications and mistakes are all part of a learning process as this season winds down, said a frustrated Bruce Bochy:
“It’s not an easy play, but for it to happen back-to-back nights, and against the same hitter. …We need to communicate better. It’s happening too often and it shouldn’t happen on a Major League field.”
Things got worse. Pablo Sandoval, who had two hits in his previous 51 at-bats, was not supposed to play — his time will be rolled back going forward, Bochy said before the game. But destiny called anyway, and he got the nod to fill in at third when Ryder Jones was scratched late with an illness.
Following the Pence-Tomlinson debacle, Sandoval sent his throw on a routine grounder flying past Buster Posey at first and set the Dodgers up for success even more when he flubbed a potential caught stealing at third. Moore bailed them all out, striking out Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger without a run scored. Said Bochy:
“You hate to play like this in this series against a good team like the Dodgers. I said this last night, you got to play your best ball.”
Moore was one out shy of no-hitting the Dodgers last year around this time, lest we forget.
Much like the rest of this year, that dominant stuff Moore teased his rivals with never showed up. The Dodgers knocked the snot out of whatever he dealt them in the first, scoring a pair of runs on Bellinger’s triple and Logan Forsythe‘s double.
Then Bellinger got himself acquainted with McCovey Cove, blasting a two-run shot for the dagger and his 37th home run. It wasn’t the high fastball Moore wanted this powerful lefty to see:
“It wasn’t high enough. … I put the team in a situation in the fifth inning and I feel like I let my team down.”
Bellinger is now tied with Albert Pujols for fifth-most homers in a rookie season — including Aaron Judge‘s 41 this year. One more and he’ll be tied for third with Frank Robinson, who happened to be looking on at AT&T Park after a ceremony honoring him for African-American heritage night. He’s now just 12 shy of Mark McGuire’s all-time high of 49.
Moore tends to shoulder all the blame, but the bats weren’t there to lessen the load.
Yu Darvish looked back to his normal self and not like a pitcher who’d accumulated a 9.49 ERA over his last three starts.
The Giants are never good against a pitcher they’ve never seen before — Denard Span was the only one who had — and Darvish fit right into the role. Pence and Jarrett Parker got two of the three hits Darvish would allow in 7 scoreless. Both were doubled off.
No Giant would pass third until the dynamic duo struck again: Pence scored on Parker’s RBI single when the team was one out away from a home shutout. Apparently, it was the first time the Giants lost a series to the Dodgers at home since 2014.
The Giants get a much-needed off day before the Wild Card hopeful Arizona Diamondbacks (83-62) arrive for a three-game weekend series on Friday.