What a San Francisco treat last night was! The Blog likes nothing more than touching down on the Penninsula, going out to dinner with the family, and watching Giants fans try to pretend that the television isn’t on while the Dodgers make the Giants looks like a Single A team. And of course, the Blog will be on hand today. More details to come on that. But first a look at last night’s game.
Juan Uribe, who struggled through the first two years of his Dodgers contract, has finally been paying off this year. Timely hitting, steady defense, and an infectious smile. The other night I was listening to the announcers talking about how Uribe has never let his struggles get him down, how he’s always a great clubhouse guy. Great clubhouse guys don’t win games. I’ll tell you which players do win games, though. Guys who drive in seven runs against their former teams in their former stomping grounds.
Of course, Uribe has been hitting clutch singles and doubles all year. He even provided the decisive blow, a solo eighth inning home run, in the game in San Diego when Carlos Quentin and Zack Greinke tango’d and the benches cleared. Uribe was interviewed after the game, beaming. “I want to play here and I want to win.”
If the fans had any doubt about what Juan Uribe can bring to the table before today, they now know that the gregarious third baseman still carries a stick and is an integral part of the Dodger offense this season.
Of course, it seems like everyone is hitting these days.
The Giants managed to dink their way around for a run against Hyun-Jin Ryu in the bottom of the first. But the floodgates opened on Matt Cain shortly after that. A 32 pitch second inning yielded two Dodgers runs. Hanley Ramirez led off the inning with a walk. Andre Ethier then hit a sharp, low drive down the first base line (calling it a ground ball would hardly be fair, it was more like a line drive that didn’t get much air and skipped down the right field line like a stone) that Brandon Belt dove for and missed that went for a double. Matt Kemp walked. During a pitch in Kemp’s at-bat, the center fielder grabbed his left shoulder after one swing in obvious pain and let out a shout. He finished the at-bat and stayed in the game in center field. Kemp would be replaced by Carl Crawford in his next at bat and is considered day to day with what is being called irritation in his AC joint. According to USA Today, Kemp “feels better” after taking a cortisone shot and is not currently expected to wind up on the disabled list.
A.J. Ellis followed up Kemp’s walk with a pop-out to right, then Uribe delivered his first RBI hit of the night, a double that scored Ramirez and Ethier and put the Dodgers on top 2-1. Cain would manage to get Hyun-Jin Ryu to strike out, but required several pitches and worked a 3-2 count with Ryu hitting the ball hard and found several times before getting Mark Ellis to end the inning.
Things went from bad to worse for Cain in the top of the third. The pitcher threw 36 more pitches and could not get out of the inning. Yasiel Puig hit a sharp double into the left field corner to lead the inning off. Adrian Gonzalez drew a walk. Hanley Ramirez singled sharply up the middle to plate Puig and extend the lead to 3-1. Ethier flew out. Carl Crawford, pinch-hitting for Matt Kemp, drew a walk to load the bases. A.J. Ellis moved everyone up 90 feet with a single to center, scoring Gonzalez and extending the lead to 4-1. Cain was obviously struggling at this point and Giants manager Bruce Bochy looked at the mound effectively asking Cain “are you all right?” Cain nodded, then promptly gave up an RBI triple to Uribe past a diving Cole Gillespie. Cain left the game trailing 7-1 with Uribe on third. George Kontos came in and promptly gave up a single to Hyun-Jin Ryu that scored Uribe for an 8-1 Dodgers lead before getting Mark Ellis and Yasiel Puig out to end the inning.
The final line on Matt Cain: 2 1/2 innings pitched, 8 earned runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, and only one strikeout. The man that the Giants had seemingly deemed their ace coming into the season struggled mightily and saw his season ERA rise to 4.85.
The Dodgers weren’t done with their scoring, however. Juan Uribe, already with five RBIs on the night, took Kickham deep in the top of the seventh with a man on to extend the Dodgers lead to 10-1. The Giants would manage another run, but 6 2/3 brilliant innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu combined with the bullpen efforts of Jose Dominguez and Brandon League puts your final score at 10-2.
The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu should draw some consideration for the All Star team with his effort this season, and Bruce Bochy got a first-hand look at the Korean rookie sensation. He certainly took note. Ryu improves his record now to 7-3 to go with a 2.82 ERA. Matt Cain takes the loss, falling to a break-even 5-5 to go with that 4.85 ERA we were talking about earlier.
Game two of the three game series is at AT&T Park and The Blog will be there in Section 335 Row 15 Seat 13 (though without a doubt I’ll be floating around the park quite a bit.) Look for the big guy with the white-and-striped-blue Brooklyn Dodgers cap and a gray Dodgers shirt. Also check here and on Facebook in the Dodgers groups for updates as to where I might be pre-game and post-game if you’d like to come shake hands and be a part of the game day experience. You might even find your smiling face smiling back at you in some edition of the Blog next week as I talk about my experience as a Dodger fan on the Giants’ turf.
Stephen Fife (3-2, 2.83 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers against Madison Bumgarner (8-5, 3.08 ERA) today at 4:15 at AT&T Park.
Oh, and for those who are watching the standings, the Dodgers are tied with the Rockies for second place, 3 1/2 games of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Uribe knocks in 7 to spark Dodgers rout of Giants (cbssports.com)
- Dodgers 6, Padres 1. And the Blog heads to San Francisco (ericsdodgersblog.wordpress.com)