Tuesday, September 1, 2015

LA 73 57 .562 - Biggest division lead in six weeks.
GIANTS 69 62 .527 4.5 It's on Bum to prevent the sweep.

LA beat the Giants, 5-4, in fourteen innings.

Giants at LA, second game, 7:10 PDT. Madison Bumgarner against Zack Greinke, the Cy Young favorite.

Last Night's Game
Five hours and twenty-nine minutes, sixteen pitchers (nine for the Giants), LA emptying their bench in a do-or-die fourteenth... yep, it may have been August 31, but it was September baseball, Giants-Dodgers style. Jake Peavy, after giving up a quick run in the first, settled down and pitched four near-perfect innings before Doctor Longball paid a housecall to the LA side in the sixth. Adrian Gonzalez' two-run homer tied it, and Andre Ethier's following shot put the Dodgers up 4-3. In the eighth, Marlon "The RBI Machine" Byrd made it 17 in 14 games with a double that scored Matt Duffy to tie it, and then began the parade of goose eggs, five scoreless innings, two each on our side from Santiago Casilla and George Kontos. It was Mike Broadway who opened the final frame by walking A.J. Ellis. Two short singles loaded the bases with nobody out and on came Yusmeiro Petit, no stranger to long extra-inning games. He got no chance to reach the 18th this time, though; with both outfield and infield drawn in, all it took was a blooper over Nori Aoki in left, appropriately delivered by Gonzalez, who had started the LA rally eight innings previous, and that was that.

The Giants used "small ball" to give Peavy a 3-1 lead in the third; after Gregor Blanco opened with a hit and Peavy blew the sacrifice, Aoki drew a key walk off Brett Anderson. This set up RBI singles from Brandon Belt and the ubiquitous Byrd. Anderson was gone after five-- but Don Mattingly's bullpen wasn't, especially Chris Hatcher, who pitched the final three and got the win. Incidentals: Duffy stealing his eighth base without being caught once; Buster Posey, despite a 4-for-7 night, stranding five runners.    

The Giants picked up journeyman outfielder Alejandro De Aza from Boston yesterday; he bats lefty, which gives him an advantage over the DFA'd Ryan Lollis. Another indicator that Gregor Blanco will remain the starting centerfielder for awhile, at least until we see whether Angel Pagan can play regularly, or at all... The Chicago Cubs lost to Cincinnati last night; they remain five and a half games ahead of the Giants in the wild-card race... In the American League, no less than six clubs are within four games of a wild-card spot...  It's looking like both New York clubs will reach the postseason for the first time since 2006. The Mets are pulling away from the fading Nationals in the NL East, and the Yankees have a solid lead for the AL wild-card and trail Toronto by only a game and a half in the AL East.

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