Los Angeles Dodgers – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Mon, 30 Apr 2018 06:51:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Longoria, Blach lead resilient Giants past Dodgers 4-2 https://martineztribune.com/2018/04/29/longoria-blach-lead-resilient-giants-past-dodgers-4-2/ https://martineztribune.com/2018/04/29/longoria-blach-lead-resilient-giants-past-dodgers-4-2/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 02:37:23 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=8407 BY ANTHONY SOSA A clutch three-run home run by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the first inning and a solid start from Ty Blach helped the San Francisco Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2, in front of an electric, sold-out crowd Sunday at AT&T Park. The victory secured a series win for the ...

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©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Evan Longoria watches the flight of his three run first inning home run against the Dodgers Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. The blast was all San Francisco needed as the Giants won 4-2.

BY ANTHONY SOSA

A clutch three-run home run by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the first inning and a solid start from Ty Blach helped the San Francisco Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2, in front of an electric, sold-out crowd Sunday at AT&T Park. The victory secured a series win for the Giants as they took three out of four from their bitter rivals.

Despite playing a draining double-header on Saturday, the Giants wasted no time getting Ty Blach some early run support. In the bottom of the first inning, a two-out double by Buster Posey got a rally started. After Brandon Belt walked, Longoria stepped in with runners on first and second, and clobbered a 2-1 Kenta Maeda slider into the left-field bleachers. The 331-foot blast was Longoria’s sixth homer of 2018.

“What a great two-out rally,” said manager Bruce Bochy about the Giants’ first inning success. “You always want to score early, but a three-run homer, that is something that can really jump start a club. We had a long day yesterday. It’s a game that you do want to score first and get on the board. Both teams had to be tired today and you’re doing all you can to get those early runs.” Blach turned in yet another quality start against the Dodgers. The lefty provided six innings of work, allowing two earned runs on six hits along with four strikeouts while walking only one.

“We were able to execute a lot of pitches, move the ball in-and-out and the defense made some awesome plays,” Blach said. “It’s just a matter of seeing what they (opposing hitters) are trying to do in the box. Buster does a great job, Nick’s the same way, seeing what those guys are doing in the box, what they are trying to do each at-bat and their approach. So, you just learn to mix in-and-out, change speeds, try to throw them some different looks and try to stay away from some of the similar sequences you’ve thrown them in the past.”

In seven career starts against the Dodgers, Blach now owns a 1.64 ERA having given up eight earned runs in 44 innings. His 1.64 ERA is the second-lowest by any Giants’ starter against the Dodgers since 1958 (minimum four starts). By earning the win, Blach improves to 2-3 on the year with an ERA of 4.10.

“I’m sure he (Blach) gets caught in the added attention,” Bochy said about Blach’s performances against the Dodgers. “The fans are into it, whether here or down in L.A. I think he realizes he’s got to focus every pitch. He just does a great job of that. He seems to just pick it up against them.”

In the bottom of the third, the Giants added another run to their 3-0 lead. After a two-out walk by Posey, Belt delivered a scorching line drive off the brick wall in right-center field.

Despite giving up three runs early-on, Maeda settled in on the mound and allowed just one run in his following five innings of work. He finished with six innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits with three punch outs to go along with four walks. With the loss, Maeda now carries a 2-2 record with a 3.76 ERA.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Gregor Blanco hustles around second base on the way to a triple in the fifth inning of the Giants 4-2 win over the Dodgers Sunday afternoon.

The Dodgers’ offense scuffled in the first four innings of the game, managing to get just one hit. However, in the fifth inning, they finally plated their first run of the game. A pinch-hit RBI single by Joc Pederson scored Max Muncy. They added another run in the sixth inning when Kike Hernandez knocked in Chris Taylor.

Both bullpens provided three shutout innings of relief. Hunter Strickland was called upon again in the ninth inning. He pitched an easy 1-2-3 final frame, earning his seventh save of the season. He closed out all three of the Giants wins this series, converting two saves in the process. After the game, Bochy commended Strickland for working on his secondary pitches during the offseason, crediting that as a part of his early season success.

“I think that confidence is the biggest thing,” Strickland said. “Working hard on those (secondary pitches). Realizing they are a little bit different and a little bit better, so just trusting it. I think you want to get better every year, every game, whatever it is. I think there is always something to learn in this game.”

With Sunday’s win, the Giants improved to .500 for the first time since April 12 when they were 6-6. They’ve now won three straight series (Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals and the Dodgers). Their 14-14 record has them standing right in the middle of the NL West. They find themselves six games back of the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Giants now hold a 6-4 record against the Dodgers in 2018. “We have to win games in our division, simple as that,” Longoria said. “We got off to a bit of a slow start and it’s now starting to come together. Top to bottom I think we are feeling much more confident as a group. The mindset just has to be, it doesn’t matter what jersey we are playing against, go out there and try to win.”

With one final series left during their homestand, the Giants welcome the San Diego Padres into town for a three-game series starting Monday. Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 6.23) toes the rubber in his third start of the season. In his last start, Samardzija struggled against the Nationals. He pitched just 3.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits to go along with three walks and three strikeouts. Left-hander Eric Lauer (0-1, 18.00) will take the hill for the Padres in his second career big league start. In his Major League debut, Lauer pitched three innings, where he surrendered seven runs (six earned) on six hits along with four walks and three strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies. First pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m. at AT&T Park.

Game Notes:

After being placed on the DL on Saturday, Joe Panik will head to LA and see a hand specialist for his thumb. He’s likely to have surgery, and if that’s the case, the timetable for his return would range from six to eight weeks.

Before the game, the Dodgers placed Yasiel Puig on the 10-day DL. He suffered both a hip and ankle injury after colliding into a wall in right-field territory and fouling a ball off his foot in Game 1 of Saturday’s double-header.

After today’s matchup, the Giants and Dodgers have now faced each other 10 times in April alone. It’s only the second time in MLB history that two teams have played against one another 10 times before April ended. However, these two teams aren’t the only clubs to do it this season. The Padres and Rockies, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox also had 10 matchups against one another in April.

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Giants show signs of life, but Kershaw ends five game streak https://martineztribune.com/2017/05/17/giants-show-signs-of-life-but-kershaw-ends-five-game-winning-streak/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/05/17/giants-show-signs-of-life-but-kershaw-ends-five-game-winning-streak/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 04:13:02 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7329 BY RYAN LEONG As good as the Giants home stand was, it wouldn’t be remembered as great unless they could find a way to knock out Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The Giants had their rotation set up with their current ace on the mound as Johnny Cueto was on the hill in search of his ...

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©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Clayton Kershaw was his usual dominating self on Wednesday, throwing seven scoreless innings as the Dodgers shut down the Giants 6-1.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Clayton Kershaw was his usual dominating self on Wednesday, throwing seven scoreless innings as the Dodgers shut down the Giants 6-1.

BY RYAN LEONG

As good as the Giants home stand was, it wouldn’t be remembered as great unless they could find a way to knock out Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The Giants had their rotation set up with their current ace on the mound as Johnny Cueto was on the hill in search of his fifth win. But it wasn’t to be as the boys in blue beat the orange and black by the score of 6-1.

Kershaw (W,7-2) was his usual dominating self as he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up only three hits, and striking out five to pick up the win as the Dodgers ended a three game losing streak and the Giants five game winning streak.

When asked if he got any added satisfaction of being the stopper to end the losing streak Kershaw replied, “You know it doesn’t change my mindset as far as starting. I feel like we need to win every time, but I guess when it’s all said and done it definitely feels good to win and after three (losses) in a row maybe it feels a little bit better for sure.”

On the other side, it was a mediocre outing for Cueto (L,4-3) who lasted only six frames, allowing eight hits and five runs, but he did fan six batters.

The Dodgers got on the board with a two-run double from catcher Yasmani Grandal in the first inning. Two innings later, Cueto uncorked a wild-pitch allowing Chase Utley to score from third. Yasiel Puig hit a two-run single in the 6th, and rookie Cody Bellinger doubled in Corey Seager in the 7th to finish the Dodgers scoring.

“I think what really set him back today was a couple of two strike two-run hits,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cueto’s outing. “And then it happened to him again (with Puig) he gave up a base hit there to knock in a couple of runs. It’s a fine line between winning and losing and they get the key hits. You’re a pitch away from getting out of the inning a couple of times and it didn’t happen. But the bats were quiet. Kershaw was his usual good self and we just couldn’t muster any offense today.”

The Giants did nothing until the 9th inning. They avoided being shut out thanks to Eduardo Nunez who took former teammate Sergio Romo deep to left for his first home run of 2017.

Afterwards in the San Francisco clubhouse, the talk was about a near benches clearing incident between Cueto and Grandal in the third inning after Cueto threw up and in after Grandal’s two-run double in the first.

“It was just the game within the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “With guys on second base he thought we were relaying signs and so he obviously let us know and Corey early on about that. He let Yasmani know and…we took care of it. I think it’s done and Cueto and Yasmani exchanged ‘pleasantries’ the next time Johnny came to the plate so I think it’s all cleaned up.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Jeff Samardzija's strong outing on Mother's Day earned him his first win of the year and helped the Giants put together a five game winning streak.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Jeff Samardzija’s strong outing on Mother’s Day earned him his first win of the year and helped the Giants put together a five game winning streak.

Giants catcher Buster Posey, batting .429 (9-for-21) over the last seven home games with five runs, two homers and three RBI’s, offered his thoughts on the recent win streak and the 5-2 homestand.

“Well it was a big win in New York and then we’re able to win that marathon game against the Reds. I think those two games were confidence boosters for us. After that it’s just playing solid baseball and getting some timely hitting and pitching and playing defense well.”

The Giants now go on the road for three in St. Louis this weekend before heading to Wrigley for a four game series against the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

Ryan Leong is a San Francisco native and covers all Bay Area sports teams as a correspondent for ESPN radio and wire services. He is a former sports anchor for KCBS and has reported on over 3,600 live games since 1998.

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Banged-Up Giants fight to stay afloat with split against Dodgers https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/27/7175/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/27/7175/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:36:37 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7175 BY RYAN LEONG The Dodgers and Giants are arguably the best rivalry on the west coast but it pales in comparison to the heated feud between the Yankees and Red Sox. Although many might argue that New York and Boston isn’t exactly the Hatfields vs. the McCoys anymore either given how sports have changed into ...

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BY RYAN LEONG

The Dodgers and Giants are arguably the best rivalry on the west coast but it pales in comparison to the heated feud between the Yankees and Red Sox. Although many might argue that New York and Boston isn’t exactly the Hatfields vs. the McCoys anymore either given how sports have changed into popular entertainment.

Years ago, the Northern vs. Southern California debate was much more prominent. Perhaps because in the days when the Giants played at Candlestick Park, they were always the underdogs. From the time Dodger Stadium opened in 1962 until the new wave of ballparks arrived, it was one of the crown jewels of baseball.

As for Candlestick, former Giant Jack Clark once said it best. When he was asked what could be done to improve the old concrete bowl, Clark replied, “dynamite!” As it turns out, Candlestick eventually was finally given its official date of expiration but with bulldozers and not TNT.

©RYAN LEONG Giants ace Madison Bumgarner appears in the dugout prior to Monday's 2-1 loss to the Dodgers. Bumgarner's injuries in a dirt-bike riding accident on an off day last week in Denver are expected to keep him off the mound until after the All-Star Game.
©RYAN LEONG
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner appears in the dugout prior to Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Dodgers. Bumgarner’s injuries in a dirt-bike riding accident on an off day last week in Denver are expected to keep him off the mound until after the All-Star Game.

It’s barely a month into the 2017 season and after 23 games, the Giants are 8-15. Back in 1980 and 1984, they got off to 8-17 starts and both those teams were not Michael Jackson Bad as in not to be messed with, but simply awful. The 1980 squad, managed by Dave Bristol was a mediocre 75-86 but the 1984 team was 66-96. The next year, the 1985 group became the only team in franchise history to lose 100 games limping to a 62-100 mark.

So it’s safe to say the Giants better get their you know what together soon if they want to avoid being remembered like those lousy teams. The two games the Giants won in this series were good, particularly the Wednesday night game which saw the return of fan favorite Michael Morse who endeared himself to everyone with his contagious enthusiasm and a lot of “little boy” in him as Vin Scully used to say.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Giants rookie Third Baseman Christian Arroyo had a solid Major League debut, getting his first hit off Clayton Kershaw Tuesday before blasting a two-run home run off former Giant Sergio Romo the following night.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Giants rookie Third Baseman Christian Arroyo had a solid Major League debut, getting his first hit off Clayton Kershaw Tuesday before blasting a two-run home run off former Giant Sergio Romo the following night.

Wednesday was only the third career game for prized rookie Christian Arroyo and he hit his first career homer, a two-run blast off former Giant Sergio Romo. The night before in a 2-1 loss, he collected his first career hit off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. For the series, Arroyo was 4-for-16 (.250 average) with one home run and three RBIs. He certainly impressed the man he needs to the most, his manager Bruce Bochy.

“This kid, in the early go here, he’s already shown he’s not in awe of anything or overwhelmed by being in the big leagues or who’s he’s facing,” Bochy said. “The upper decks, the bright lights, all those things. He comes to play.”

Everyone sang the praises of the baby faced rookie who looks like he hasn’t even shaved.

“It’s very impressive that at 21 years old he’s not far removed from high school and the way he carries himself I wouldn’t have guessed he’s 21 years old,” said Giants starting pitcher Matt Moore who got a no-decision despite pitching seven innings of two hit ball and giving up only one run with eight strikeouts. “You’ve got to tip your cap to someone like that because you can tell he’s been focused while he’s been in the minor leagues and getting himself ready.”

Unfortunately the Giants bullpen blew it again, this time coughing up four runs in the 10th inning eventually losing by the score of 5-1.

In the clubhouse afterwards, Arroyo continues to sound like a grizzled veteran, recounting how he was given his number 22, once worn by both Jack Clark, and more famously by Will Clark.

“When I first got to spring (training) and I found out I was wearing 22, Will Clark texted me and said, ‘hey man congratuations again on the spring invite. I see you’re wearing # 22. Good thing there’s a lot of hits left in it.’ So when he told me that I chuckled. It’s an honor to be able to put that number on my back.”

Without question the highlight of the series had to be the pinch-hit homer by Morse in the bottom of the eighth with the Dodgers leading 3-2. Morse faced hard throwing right hander Pedro Baez and all he does is bring the heat. In an epic four pitch sequence, Morse took ball one, then swung and missed on two consecutive 96.5 mph four seam fastballs. Baez tried to sneak a third strike past him and Morse connected with the 97.2 heater and launched it to the bleachers in left-center.

When reporters gathered around Morse in the clubhouse, Morse was so giddy he said aloud, “so cool.” Then he said, “That was pretty awesome, you know just what this team needed, a little excitement and the biggest part was the way we came back and won, that’s a shot in the arm which is good so I just hope we can carry this on, and continue going.”

Tied 3-3, in the 10th with the bases loaded, Hunter Pence eventually won it with a sac-fly.

“It definitely felt very deja-vu,” Pence said. “I know it’s a regular season game but it’s Giants-Dodgers, and a huge clutch homer like that in his first at-bat back it’s like fairy tale stuff right there. So it was pretty cool. It was the most memorable moment of the season by far.”

NOTE: Thursday’s game was the 500th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park, the longest active streak in Major League Baseball.

Ryan Leong is a San Francisco native and covers all Bay Area sports teams as a correspondent for ESPN radio and wire services. He is a former sports anchor for KCBS and has reported on over 3,600 live games since 1998.

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