Friday, April 8, 2016

Game Wrap 4/8/2016: Giants 3 Dodgers 2

I have now been an obsessed Giants fan for 50 years.  I started listening to their games on the radio in 1966.  I've seen quite a few amazing things go down between them and the Dodgers over the years, Mike Ivie's grand slam home run, Brian Johnson's home run, Joe Morgan's blast the Donnie Two-Times game.  I could go on.  I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like what happened tonight.  In fact, I am quite sure I have not!

I know you already know the story, but for the record and for posterity, relatively unheralded Dodgers rookie, Ross Stripling, making his first major league start only because of numerous injuries to the Dodgers starting rotation, took a no-hitter into the 8'th inning.  He got Brandon Crawford to fly out to RF, but then walked Angel Pagan on his 100'th pitch of the night.  Without any hesitation or discussion, Dodger Manager Dave Roberts came out and took Stripling out of the game and brought in reliever Chris Hatcher.  Then, incredibly enough, the first batter Hatcher faced, Trevor Brown, perhaps the guy you least expected to tie the game with one swing, did just that with a long drive into the left-CF stands.  Stripling, who was standing in the Dodgers dugout, didn't have to move his head to see the whole thing.  I am not sure I have ever seen a ballplayer that stunned.  It was brutal!  The video did not show Dave Roberts.  Right then, you knew who was going to win the game.  It was just a matter of time.

OK, on to Key Lines:

Trevor Brown- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .250.  Brown grew up a Dodger fan in Santa Clarita, but he is quickly building a reputation for being a Dodger Killer.  He drove in both runs of a 2-1 win over Zack Greinke last year.  Oh, and he and Brandon Crawford both went to school at UCLA.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .333.  Brandon Crawford strikes again.  He jumped on a high, outside pitch and drove it the opposite way into the straightaway left field seats for the walk-off HR.  Crawford has turned himself into quite the hitter with almost perfect balance at the plate and a short, powerful swing with loft on the ball with power to all parts of the field.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.00.  I said this was going to be a big test for Cain, and he passed it.  He even got Cained in the process, but it had a happy ending after all.  Yeah, the Dodgers are a good hitting team and Cain did not allow a hit with the fastball until the 5'th inning.  He pitched a perfect 6'th inning after giving up the 2 runs in the 5'th.  I think Matt Cain is back!

Bullpen- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  The relief pitchers were the unsung heroes of this game.  Kontos, Gearrin, Osich, Lopez and Casilla shut the Dodgers down over the last 4 innings, no easy task, and that is what allowed Brown and Crawford the chance to work their heroics.


The Win give the Giants sole possession of first place in the NL West with a 4-1 record, 1 game ahead of the Dodgers at 3-2.  The Padres outslugged the Rockies 13-6 in Coors Field so the Rocks are in 3'rd place at 2-2.  The D'Backs came from behind to edge the Cubs 3-2 in Arizona to improve to 2-3 in 4'th place while the Padres bring up the rear at 1-3.


Madison Bumgarner makes his second start of the season tomorrow facing Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw in an afternoon game.


Alex Pavlovic of CSNBA reports the Giants have reached an agreement with Brandon Belt on a 5 year contract extension beyond this season.  No numbers, but Pavs reports the deal is similar to Brandon Crawford's but for more money. 5/90?


The Cubs got very bad news today as Kyle Schwarber's MRI showed a torn UCL and LCL in his knee.  He will undergo surgery and is out for the rest of the season.


One last thought:  The Dodgers deserve to continue losing games like this as long as they continue to deprive both Giants and Dodgers fans in Southern California of the games on TV, even when they are playing in San Francisco.  Well, they deserve to lose like this just because they are the Dodgers, but they doubly deserve it with that evil TV deal.


  1. I got to say I feel sorry for Stripling. As an individual, not as a Dodger. And, yes, that was the saddest 'big boy' face I've seen in a long time. You know Stripling was upset and had to choke it back.

    I'm glad Cain pulled it out. I turned the game on in the 5th. The first run scored on Cain. I couldn't bear to to watch, assuming the melt-down-worst, and turned it off. Couldn't handle it. But I had to know and the not-knowing woke me up at 1:30. It was so nice to see the picture of Pence, et. al., screaming like a maniac on the Giants website. Even before I saw the score or read about it, I knew it'd be a dramatic win.

    And Trevor Brown... What a way to take advantage of an opportunity and not let go. He's yet another 'who would have thought' kind of guys.

  2. I was wondering if you got to watch the game or if you were listening to Flemming and Kuip on the radio (via The Dodgers tv deal is really robbing the fans especially considering its Scully's last year.

    It sounded like Cain had good command of his pitches. Velocity wasn't exactly where you want it. 4 seamer was sitting 90, but it did touch 92 once. Very encouraging start. His start was a win by itself. Brown and Crawford pulling it out behind him was incredible though. The game feels like the Zimmermann playoff game in 2014.

    Belt's extension may be as surprising as the come back. Guess we know what the infield will look like for the next 5 years.

    1. I listened off and on on the car radio while running errands(KNBR comes in loud and clear at night in SoCal), and I followed the end of the game on Gameday on my computer. The Dodgers TV deal is a disgrace in so many ways!

  3. Maybe it's a phenomenon that neuroscience can explain or Higgs-Boson, I dunno. What I do know is the Giants just won a game, and I don't believe it. Had to watch it again and again - just two plays, two hits, two HRs, three runs!

    F'Yeah, because (even tho Timmy's not in the house), this was an F'Yeah game.

    I said it before the season, the Giants win 104.This game is why. Their compete level is off the charts...(see Warriors 70-8)

    Trevor Brown, welcome to the Bigs. You just earned lifetime membership in the Giants Hall of Fame.

    Beat Kershaw today and I'm jumping in the Cove.

  4. I was happy for Trevor Brown when he told Amy G during the post game interview that this was his coolest moment in Baseball. I was just hoping that the Giants wouldn't get no hit and never expected that! This will be another memorable game between the Giants and Dodgers. Look a like the Belt signing will block Chris Shaw's road to the Big leagues.


  5. Hey Doc, I read an opinion on Twitter last night that the decision to yank Stripling was a front office decision and not a coaching decision. Again, it was just someone's opinion, but I would be curious to know your thoughts about how much the FO would weigh in on that kind of decision. He was right at, if not a bit beyond, 100 pitches, so you can understand the decision regardless of who made the call. Really sucks for the kid though.

    On another note, the golden boy, Arroyo, went 4-4. He did have two fielding errors though. We had 13 hits and only scored 3 runs. God I hope this is not another start like last year!

    1. I think Stripling was probably on a hard pitch count of 100. It was probably an organizational decision. I don't have a problem with it, but it's always going to be controversial to take out a pitcher who has a no-no going. Even if he made it through the 8'th inning, it is highly unlikely he would have made it through the 9'th without running up an unconscionably high pitch count. I know Bochy has a different philosophy, but Stripling has a chance to earn a whole lot of money in this game. Why blow that chance for an unlikely no-hitter, which isn't really all that big a deal in the big picture anyway? A Perfect Game? Maybe, but not just a no-hitter. How many no-hitters have been pitched by pitchers you wouldn't recognize if you saw their name in print?

  6. We were sitting in the rain high above 3rd base in nosebleed territory, when my wife gave me the "Lets go" look. We can't leave a no hitter, even if we hate it, you don't get to sit there for many of them at this level. I shook my head no.
    "Brownie" had looked terrible in his previous AB and I was thinking, hurry, Susac, we're going to need you. Then after getting to 3-0, taking a strike which didn't look so good from 300 feet away, the improbable happened, and the place went totally bonkers. Strangers in the night were hugging each other furiously!
    As for pulling Stripling, if there was a hard limit of 100 pitches, then he should have been pulled after 7 because he was unlikely to get through the 8th and certainly wouldn't finish the game. Maybe Roberts was hoping for a hit which would have eased pulling him after he walked Pagan. But with a shakey bullpen (not like ours!), why would you want inherited runners, require pitching from the stretch (yeah, relievers routinely do that), and put pressure on the guy coming in, especially a guy who might not even make the Giants' team?
    Craw's HR was as improbable carrying through the steady but light rain into the stands in left. Amazing, after the roar, everyone just stood there. No one moved. No one left. Well, we did, but I guess people stayed for the fireworks, but that was so anti-climatic. The real fireworks had already happened.
    The last thing, I don't know what Rags said to Matt after the 4th hit of the 5th inning, but he lit a torch and Our Good Guy came through. I was thinking, why didn't he come out sooner!
    I'm 76 years old, played a little, coached a lot of kids' ball, been to many, uncountable games, but that was, emotionally, the best ever. The swing from Aha! a rookie we'll beat up, to the D's going ahead, to will we even get a hit, to the unlikely tying HR, to the walkoff, whew, my heart got a workout!
    This was One for the books.

    1. Sounds like it was a lot of fun, at least from the bottom of the 8'th inning on. There was a reasonable chance that Stripling could get through the 8'th and then hand the ball directly to Kenley Jansen for the 9'th, so I think letting him start the 8'th was the right decision.