Sunday had all the makings for September baseball. The Giants loaded up a righty lineup against southpaw Julio Urias, who was pulled after two innings, only for the overflowing Giants to then flip into a lefty-heavy lineup.
A never-ending Giants bullpen was flaunted yet again and came through.
And on a day the NFL season was ushered in, the Giants, whose season has reached the evaluation stage, were secondary in a lot of Bay Area minds as they were shut out, 5-0, at Dodger Stadium.
For Bruce Bochy, the finale in Los Angeles makes him a losing manager in the city, finishing his career 107-108 at Chavez Ravine. The Giants (69-74) took the series, but only a sweep would have done the trick for the manager.
Bochy is now 1,995-2,018 all time. With 19 games to play, he’s looking primed to hit the 2,000-win milestone.
As much positive was gained from the series with the Dodgers, Sunday would be marked by one young player not being able to come through for another, a Mauricio Dubon error leading to two unearned runs for Dereck Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, coming off a seven-inning, one-run performance in St. Louis, was brilliant early, striking out the side in the first and not allowing a hit until there were two outs in the fourth.
Unfortunately for the Giants, that hit was a two-run home run for Matt Beaty, who took a misplaced Rodriguez fastball and deposited it over the right-field fence with a runner on.
It came apart for the second-year pitcher in the next inning, when, after an infield single, Joc Pederson stroked a shot right at a shifted-back Dubon, who couldn’t come up with it cleanly. Two pitches later, Rodriguez left a changeup over the middle of the plate to Corey Seager, whose 415-foot, three-run long ball essentially ended the game.
Bochy’s moves following Rodriguez panned out, but his offensive ones didn’t produce much. Mike Yastrzemski was the lone lefty in his original lineup, which was overhauled – Brandon Crawford in for Donovan Solano, Brandon Belt in for Austin Slater – when Kenta Maeda entered, as Urias was just the opener. But it didn’t matter. The Giants finished with just five base runners – two of which were Buster Posey, who went 2-for-4 – and did no damage against six Dodgers pitchers.
Their best threat came in the first against Urias, putting two on with one out. But Evan Longoria struck out and Kevin Pillar lined out, and they managed three base runners (two hits) for the remaining eight innings.
For a second straight game, the new-look bullpen looked solid, Sam Selman pitching 1 1/3 innings without a baserunner, Kyle Barraclough facing two batters and striking out both and new addition Wandy Peralta getting in and out without issue. Burch Smith threw an inning while allowing just a walk.
But it’s unclear how much of that was noticed with the 49ers playing at the same time.
In other news, Tyler Austin got his first at-bat as a Brewer. And his first home run:
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) September 8, 2019