If the San Francisco Giants want to hold onto their first place lead in the NL West (a lead they now share with the Los Angeles Dodgers), they better re-evaluate what they’re doing with their lineup.
When the Dodgers were last here in late June they were shut out in all three games — in part because they were missing Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier wasn’t the same without Kemp.
Sunday’s series finale, the modern day equivalent of Sandy Koufax for LA was on the mound, reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. He rebounded after allowing 8 ER in 5.2 innings on Monday against the Cardinals, pitching a 5-hit shutout as the Dodgers won 4-0.
The Giants are getting runners to second base but stranding them there. They compounded the problem after Angel Pagan reached in the second inning. He was picked off trying to steal second on the first move by Kershaw. Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt got consecutive hits but Brandon Crawford couldn’t deliver.
Gregor Blanco hit a single up the middle off Kershaw and clapped enthusiastically like he was Mike Schmidt hitting his 500th home run. Ryan Theriot lined out to second and Blanco gets thrown out trying to get back to first. Embarrassing.
It’s painfully obvious the Giants need another bat before the trade deadline, but Bruce Bochy said speculating about another trade would be a distraction to his players in the clubhouse.
Giants GM Brian Sabean says for now the best he can do is Scutaro? The last two games the Giants got a total of 10 hits and have not scored since the eighth inning on Friday night. That’s 20 scoreless innings.
For three games Giants fans were effectively silenced by the Dodgers, a team that has not only obtained the services of veteran third baseman Hanley Ramirez but also has a healthy and formidable lineup. With the return of Kemp and the consistency of Ethier, the middle of the Dodgers batting order is among the best in the National League.
Still plenty of baseball left, but let’s see and hear from Bochy and the players themselves for their reactions.