Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
April, 17, 2014
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers evaded the dreaded sweep in San Francisco with a 2-1 win over the Giants on Thursday afternoon by getting another strong start from Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is vying with Zack Greinke to be the Dodgers’ fill-in ace while Clayton Kershaw is out.
The Dodgers weathered another stormy ninth inning by closer Kenley Jansen, who had a key wild pitch, gave up a run and allowed the tying run to reach second before getting pinch hitter Brandon Crawford to fly out to end it.
The Dodgers chased San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner in the fifth inning by driving up his pitch count.
How it happened: That April 4 start -- the shortest of Ryu’s career -- is becoming more mysterious by the day because he has yet to give up a run in any of his other four starts. He had the Giants off balance all game, inducing weak contact and cruising through seven scoreless innings without swing-and-miss stuff. The Dodgers offense stayed quiet but scratched out a couple of runs to prevail. It was a low-scoring, tense series that made for good drama.
Hits: One way you survive key injuries is by getting contributions from the players who fill in. That was the case Thursday. Tim Federowicz, thrust into the primary catcher role by A.J. Ellis’ knee injury, singled home the Dodgers’ first run in the second. Justin Turner, playing shortstop in place of Hanley Ramirez, led off the fifth with a double and scored to pad the lead.
Misses: For the second game in a row, a Dodger outfielder simply missed an easy fly ball. It was Matt Kemp on Wednesday, Yasiel Puig on Thursday. In Puig’s case, he was doing his usual taunting basket catch when he took his eye off it. He made a spectacular recovery and chucked the ball to second to get a force out anyway. He also made a brilliant over-the-left shoulder grab after getting fooled on Gregor Blanco’s knuckling liner over his head and came out of nowhere to steal a bloop hit in the eighth. Overall, Puig had a major positive impact on defense.
Stat of the game: Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 12 games by sneaking a single into right field to drive in Turner and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Up next: The Dodgers have a chance to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks miserable this weekend. They’ve already beaten them in all five meetings this season, and the Diamondbacks are 4-14 overall. Friday, Greinke (3-0, 2.76 ERA) opposes Arizona lefty Wade Miley (2-2, 5.04 ERA).