As if this season couldn’t get any stranger, Thursday the Giants and Dodgers squared off in game one of a doubleheader. Each game would last seven innings, a new rule implemented for the 2020 season, and the abundance of makeup games.
The reason for the double header was not because of a Covid-19 outbreak, but rather a boycott that consumed the sports world Wednesday.
The San Francisco Giants (15-17) sent Thursday’s scheduled starter, Logan Webb (3-2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BBs, 4 Ks), to the mound to face off against Wednesday’s scheduled starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers (23-9), Clayton Kershaw who dominated the Giants offense en route to a 7-0 victory.
Mookie Betts walked to leadoff the top of the first against Webb. Corey Seager followed with a single, runners at first and second with nobody out. Both runners advanced on a Justin Turner ground out. Cody Bellinger grounded out to second, scoring Betts from third.
Webb struck out A.J. Pollock, ending the threat. Giants trailed the Dodgers 1-0.
The Dodgers defense saved Kershaw multiple times this inning. With two outs, Darin Ruf roped a pitch into left field, where Pollock made an impressive diving play for the third out.
The Giants were in a position to tie the game in the bottom of the second after Donovan Solano led off the inning with a double to right field. Brandon Belt flew out to center, advancing Solano to third.
Two quick outs for Webb in the top of the third inning. Turner was hit by a pitch, the second hitter Webb has hit this game. Bellinger flew out to center to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Flores hit a ground-rule double to left off Kershaw. Evan Longoria grounded out to end the inning. In Tuesday nights marathon win over the Dodgers, the Giants were a collective 3-for-22 with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-4 through three innings in Thursday’s game.
Pollock walked to lead off the top of the fourth inning. He stole second on what turned out to be a perfectly timed hit-and-run, sending Pollock to third after a single from Chris Taylor. One out with runners on the corners.
A ground ball in the hole at short off the bat of Pederson scored Pollock from third. Runners at first and second with just one out. It got ugly for Webb very quickly.
A double to left from Austin Barnes scored both runners, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. That was all for Webb, a disappointing outing from the Giants rookie.
After the games, Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed Webb’s short outing in game one:
“I thought Logan [Webb] pitched a really nice game, he just didn’t have much to show for it. There was some contact that we should have been able to gobble up, balls found holes against him.”
Wandy Peralta replaced Webb with two outs in the top of the fourth. A slow-rolling ground ball up the third-base line scored Barnes from third. Peralta retired Turner for the third out. Dodgers now lead 5-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Giants found themselves down 5-0 with only six outs remaining in the seven inning first game of the double header. They had no answer against Kershaw, and were running out of time.
Andrew Suarez replaced Peralta, surrendering singles to both Barnes and Betts with only one out. A double play ended the Dodgers rally.
Longoria singled in the bottom of the sixth, but a quiet inning for the Giants offense. Three outs left.
Kapler discussed the Giants offensive struggles:
““Kershaw did a nice job. I thought we swung the bats really well early in the game. They have three-plus outfielders out there, chasing down some well-hit balls, then Kershaw was able to settle in. He’s one of the better pitchers of the last ten years, and once he settles into a rhythm, it’s really hard to get him out of it. We saw him do that.”
There may not have been many offensive highlights for the Giants, but Yastrzemski showed out on defense in game one Thursday.
After the highlight-reel catch, Bellinger doubled on a low line drive off the glove of Yastrzemski. A wild pitch advanced him to third with one out. Next batter, Pollock, put the finishing touches on the Dodgers game one victory.
A two-run homer off Suarez extended the Dodgers lead to 7-0 in the seventh.
Kershaw was replaced by Dodgers reliever Josh Sborz in the bottom of the seventh.
The Giants could not have gone down more quietly than they did in the ninth inning. A 1-2-3 inning from Sborz on seven pitches. That’s the ballgame, the winning streak came to an end.