- Mark Saxon, ESPN Staff Writer
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LOS ANGELES -- At some point, the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have to prove they can beat somebody other than the sub-par teams in their own division.
They got blown out by the San Francisco Giants, 9-5, Friday night at Dodger Stadium, which was bad enough, but even more troublesome is this: The Dodgers are 5-16 against teams that currently have a winning record. They’re 33-14 against everybody else. Some of their most embarrassing moments this season have come while facing their archrivals and that's never fun.
How it happened: It’s trite, but sometimes baseball really is a game of inches. Mike Bolsinger threw a belt-high fastball on a 1-and-2 count to the Giants’ most dangerous hitter, Buster Posey. That’s not uncommon for Bolsinger, who tends to work backwards, which means he throws fastballs in breaking ball counts and vice versa. Posey took the pitch and umpire Laz Diaz called it a ball. Replays indicated the pitch was about an inch outside. Two pitches later, Bolsinger hung a curveball and Posey pummeled it to the back of the Dodgers’ bullpen for a grand slam. From that point on, the Dodgers were playing catch-up and they never could. They managed to get it to 4-3 thanks to a couple of doubles from Joc Pederson and Justin Turner and an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single, but they would get no closer. And, after a while, it got ugly. Rookie reliever Josh Ravin walked in a run in the seventh inning and gave up a couple of RBI singles, one of which went off Jimmy Rollins’ glove, as San Francisco added four more runs.
What it means: The Dodgers are 2-8 against the Giants. They have nine more games against them, which means they’re going to have to reverse tide in a serious way to win the season series for a second straight year.
Notable: The game would have turned into a blowout sooner if not for a diving catch by Pederson in the sixth inning. Pederson, who had been in a bit of a hitting slump, has remained productive while playing center field. With two runners on, Gregor Blanco hit a line drive toward the gap in right-center, but Pederson dove and caught it while fully extended. He also got the ultimate stamp of approval. “This kid, defensively, is as good as anybody I've seen,” Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said. … One of the Dodgers’ top prospects, Hector Olivera, is tearing up Triple-A, batting .444 after a 4-for-5 night with a double and a home run. It is similar to what he did at Double-A. He appears close to getting a call-up, but where will the Dodgers play him? He has played mostly third base in the minors and Justin Turner, batting .329, is one of the Dodgers’ most productive hitters amidst this team-wide slump. He had a home run and two doubles and reached base via a hit by pitch. … Meanwhile, Rollins can’t get it going offensively. The shortstop got his batting average up to .215 on June 2, but since then he is 6-for-47 (.128) and is hitting .197 on the year. Only three qualified hitters have a lower batting average.