The Dodgers are supposed to be the flashy, glitzy team that slugs you to death. The Giants? If you forget about their $150 million-plus payroll, they’re supposed to be the scrappy team that wins with attention to detail.
Then you see Dan Uggla let a Dee Gordon liner get past him to open up the game. Hey, there’s Uggla letting a routine grounder through his legs. Hey Michael Morse, you better get a little something extra on that throw to the plate … alright, have it your way.
Then there was one of the strangest innings we’ve seen this year. It started when Dee Gordon struck out on a wild pitch and made it to first. Then this happened:
That one was probably Jake Peavy’s fault, as he looked away — possibly to keep from staring too long at home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.
“I thought the pitch was a good pitch. I wasn’t ready for the ball to be thrown back. (Buster Posey) saw that. He was already throwing it,” said Peavy, who made a pretty impressive dive to keep the ball from rolling past the mound.
“I’m going to give you all I’ve got. I can’t let my emotions get the best of me.”
Yasiel Puig would later strike out, which brought up Adrian Gonzalez. Peavy struck him out as well, but once again the ball was in the dirt and got away from Posey. Posey glanced over at Gordon, who was about a third of the way home from third base. Once Posey turned his head toward first, Gordon made the Giants look bad once again.
“You have Gonzalez running there, so (Posey) had time to check him. He threw to first without looking. Gordon’s got that kind of speed. It’s a tough inning for us, a tough inning for Jake. You make a few mistakes, sometimes they come back to get you. In that inning, it did,” Bruce Bochy said.
“I glanced right as the ball bounced away,” Posey said. “If you pump fake it, I don’t know. Hindsight’s always 20/20 on those.”
In looking back at this series, it’s not all that surprising that the Dodgers were able to sweep the Giants to take a 1.5-game lead in the NL West — in the process thrilling a sizable contingent of Dodgers fans who congregated near the visiting dugout.
However, Sunday’s game was one that Bochy called “critical” and “huge” in his pregame interview. After getting smashed by two of the best starters in the game on Friday and Saturday, the Giants were at least able to score a few runs and mount a few threats along the way on Sunday night. Three runs isn’t enough, not even in this low-octane age of offense. But the Giants could’ve salvaged a whole lot of things with a well-played game.
“I was comfortable tonight. Just hate the way it turned out,” said Peavy after his Giants debut, one where he pitched … well, like the fourth starter the Giants’ scouts said they’d be getting.
“I can get much better and I expect to be much better. I’ve got to pick up the boys out there in the fifth, make some better pitches and get out of it.”
The Giants brought Peavy here to provide a jolt of energy and some quality innings, not cover up mistakes made by a team that doesn’t seem to hit or field all that well at home.
— At least we won’t have Uggla to kick around (baseballs) tomorrow.
“I’ll probably give him a day tomorrow. I think Panik’s ready to go tomorrow, so kind of give him a break,” Bochy said.
“I think (Uggla’s defense is) going to get better. Again, he’s probably a little rusty. It’s a tough game sometimes. He feels worse than anybody. He’s out there giving it all he has and made a couple errors. That’s always tough for the players, and I told him, ‘Hey, let’s wash this off.'”
— Maybe the Giants could use a real infielder, one who might keep them from having to worry about whether Joe Panik’s ankle is OK. They pretty much have to acquire somebody now, since they gave up two prospects to rent Peavy for the rest of the year.
— Brian Wilson walks almost a batter an inning these days. I understand that baseball players, particularly above average hitters like Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval, are well within their rights to jump on a pitch they like, regardless of the count. But when you’re leading off an inning against this version of Wilson and you swing at a 2-0 pitch like Pence did, and pop it up to the catcher, that’s not a good look. Posey then walked, and Pablo Sandoval swung at the first pitch and fouled it away. If Sandoval crushes that first-pitch slider (which wasn’t all that great) into the Cove, I’m probably not writing this. I fully admit that, and the fact that I’m admitting it probably means I shouldn’t be writing it. But that entire inning I was thinking “don’t swing, don’t swing, don’t swing” and the Giants — besides Posey — kept swinging.
— The Giants are 6-19 in their last 25 home games. The pitching was the main culprit for the first part of that awful home stretch, but this is just a bad defensive team right now. Sandoval is this team’s best defensive player, which is great for his future earning potential. But the Giants need others to follow his lead, or the flashy Dodgers are going to run away with this thing.