This was an assertion of dominance. The Dodgers won these two September series in nearly identical fashion, and tonight was even worse for the Giants in a few excruciatingly painful ways than the 17-0 loss a couple Saturdays ago. Brian Wilson closed out a 9-1 win, and it was impossible to watch. So CSN Bay Area did everyone a favor and kept the audience’s view of Wilson limited to the back of his head while focusing on Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers celebrated their National League West victory.
The Giants supposedly had Kershaw in trouble because he balked and gave up a run and the bases were loaded. Then a gimpy Buster Posey grounded into a double play. The rest of the game was the equivalent of Kobe Bryant shooting free throws at Staples.* Kershaw makes a no-look, behind-the-back snag on a comebacker. He hit a triple to drive in the first run. He struck out 11 and walked none, and all eight hits he allowed were singles.
There was almost no chance to make this an interesting divisional race after the Giants got swept in San Diego, a team that has a better record than the Giants since the latter team collapsed in that “when it all went bad” series against the Rockies in June. The Giants’ magic number to clinch a wild card spot is still one, and with the Pirates ahead by a game (and holding the tiebreaker), it looks like Madison Bumgarner will pitch on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Unless the Padres sweep the Giants in a four-game series at AT&T Park, and the Brewers win tomorrow afternoon (morning around these parts) and sweep the Cubs.
— Tim Hudson looked good enough to keep Tim Lincecum in the bullpen, although I’m not sure what that even means anymore.
— Gregor Blanco has made several baserunning blunders this year, but I can’t remember seeing him trot across the diamond slowly after getting tagged out while checking his forehead for blood.
“I think we’ve been thrown out by Puig enough, too,” Bruce Bochy said. “Shame on us.”
— Blanco made the last out of the game, too. But he also got two hits off Kershaw, even though Bochy moved him to No. 8 in the order.
— That being said, his inability to read Panik’s single in the third was a sorry sight. But he’s the team’s second best outfielder right now — what are you going to do?
— Hunter Pence is probably dealing with an injury that would keep 90% of the league out for 10-plus games. Just a hunch.
— Joaquin Arias and Chris Dominguez started in a game where winning could clinch a playoff spot and keep the Dodgers from clinching one. Yep.
— Giants pitchers hit six Dodgers in this series.
— I was fine with the eighth inning until Juan Gutierrez walked three in a row. Someone responded to last week’s post on the Giants playoff roster with a lot of talk about how he wouldn’t be surprised if Gutierrez got the nod. That’s funny.
— Kershaw is 18-1 since the beginning of June. The Giants are 48-53 since the beginning of June. There’s a lot more that goes into losing a 9.5-game lead, but that helps explain things a little bit.
*That’s an MVP chant reference, for those who don’t follow the NBA.