Wednesday, September 2, 2015

LA 74 57 .565 - Will Winters get a playoff share?
GIANTS 69 63 .523 5.5 Season hangs in balance today.

Giants lost at LA, 2-1.

Giants finish up at LA; Mike Leake against Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers go for the sweep and possible KO. 7:10 PM at Chavez Ravine.

Last Night's Game
Well, it comes down to one game, and whether the Giants can get off the ropes and prolong this fight for a few more rounds. Having now stretched the boxing metaphors well past palatability, we are left with the faint hope that Leake, our midseason pickup, will pay off right now and give us a quality start.

Then again, we got a quality start from Madison Bumgarner last night, and it wasn't enough. Zack Greinke lived up to his advance billing and, should LA indeed win this thing, he may have just clinched the Cy Young Award. For six innings Greinke held the Giants near-helpless on two hits, and he had to be that good because LA had managed only one run off Bumgarner. In the seventh, the first chink in Greinke's armor opened up when he walked Buster Posey on several outside pitches after Brandon Belt's leadoff single. A replay-reviewed close call on Marlon Byrd's grounder moved the runners up with one out, and then the Giants' newest acquisition, Alejandro De Aza, took a 2-2 pitch in the same place Posey's ball four had landed. This time umpire Mike Winters decided it was a strike. De Aza, Bruce Bochy, and the Giants bench erupted in disbelief and fury. Winters' lazy-man's strike zone had been floating aimlessly around all night, irritating both Greinke and Bumgarner, and this was the last straw. The rally having died, in between innings Bochy, along with Jake Peavy, was tossed after reading Winters the riot act. Loudly. In the bottom of the frame, slumping Joc Pederson worked an 0-2 count to 3-2, then homered off Bumgarner to make it 2-0. Somewhat predictably, the Giants responded in the eighth with three singles-- Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, and Matt Duffy with the team's lone RBI-- but finally getting Greinke out of there was not the tonic we had hoped. Luis Avila got Belt to ground into a double play, and the Giants' last threat was snuffed out.
A loss and sweep tonight could make this the shortest "pennant race" blog on record since 2005's one-pager. We hope not. Everyone, or almost everyone, is healthy. Let's make like the Cardinals, boys, and give this Kershaw fellow some real trouble. What do you say? 

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