San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1: Take that, Clayton Kershaw
The normally cheerful pre-game notes from the Giants PR department were sort of ominous Tuesday.
The Giants were 0-5 against Clayton Kershaw last season, the first time they had lost five times to the same pitcher since 1961.
The Giants haven’t homered in six games and don’t have a homer by a guy who doesn’t currently have a broken hamate bone in their last nine games.
The Giants lead the majors with 33 errors and have 11 two-error games.
The one positive note: Giants starting pitchers have a 2.49 ERA over the past 19 games.
Of course, the theme to all of these notes were “Due for a W.”
Brett Pill belted a two-run homer, Ryan Vogelsong gave up just one run in 71/3 innings, the Giants committed no errors and turned four double plays, and a shutdown relief job by Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla added up to a 2-1 win over Kershaw and the Dodgers.
It was great news for the Giants, and great news for Pill.
Pill appeared to be first in line for a demotion to Fresno last weekend before the anticipated activation of Aubrey Huff.
Instead, the Giants opted to go with the short bullpen for the time being. The move has worked so far as the Giants have not had to use Clay Hensley or Sergio Romo in this series and Casilla only threw two pitches on Tuesday.
We’ll see how long that last.
In the meantime, the spotlight shined on Pill, who used a good memory to help him on Tuesday.
Pill went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts against Kershaw during his callup last September. But he remembered one thing about the Dodgers’ left.
“Last year, he threw me a lot of first-pitch fastballs,” Pill said. “Luckily, he left one over the plate. After that, he didn’t throw that again.”
And Pill struck out twice before being lifted for defensively purposes.
- Angel Pagan left after tweaking his already troublesome hamstring in the ninth. Manager Bruce Bochy said it wasn’t serious, but we could expect a start in CF by Gregor Blanco on Wednesday.
- Inexiplicably, Ryan Theriot continues to get starts at 2B against left. Even more confusing is that he keeps batting in the No. 2 hole. Bochy is starting Theriot based on reputation of being able to hit lefties. Yet, Theriot is down to .179 on the season, and he’s actually hitting righties better. He’s hitting .227 after RHP and .148 against LHP. Bochy has access to these stats, doesn’t he?
- Brandon Belt got a rare start against a LHP. He walked and hit two balls very hard for outs to the outfield, including one that Matt Kemp had to reel in against the wall in right-center.
Tim Lincecum returns to the mound — and glad that he’s not facing Kershaw. Instead, it’s Chad Billingsley who gets the start in the 7:10 p.m. game.
Let’s take another shot at the lineup for Wednesday.
CF Gregor Blanco
3B Conor Gillaspie
RF Melky Cabrera
C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
RF Nate Schierholtz
2B Joaquin Arias
SS Brandon Crawford
P Tim Lincecum