Giants Give Dodgers More Trouble
It was a heated four-game series battle between the Dodgers and Giants this past weekend at Dodger Stadium -- one of the best rivalries in sports history. The Giants put forth a “Giant” effort as they managed to win three out of four games, culminating in a 7-4 victory on Mother’s Day.
Even Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez and his heroic two-run, game-tying homer off closer Sergio Romo with two outs in the bottom of the ninth wasn’t enough on Sunday.
The Dodgers’ usually-solid closer Kenley Jansen broke down in the tenth, walking the first batter, which led to the winning three-run rally after Jensen threw two wild pitches that got through the legs of catcher Miguel Olivo and then clutch RBI singles by Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez.
“I messed up,” Jansen said. “Right now there ain’t no panic in me. Nothing. I never panic. I’m just going to go out there and keep competing. I know who I am, and I know what kind of stuff I have. It’s really frustrating when guys get back in that game, and three runs scored in the tenth – that cannot happen. I’ll take it on me, and hopefully these guys come back tomorrow and I get back in there and close the game out.”
That loss on Sunday left them trailing the Giants by 4 ½ games in the National League West. The Dodgers are 3-7 against the Giants this season, have lost their last five series, are 3-7 in extra-inning games and have a 7-12 record at home.
Even so, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly doesn’t seem too worried.
“We’re ok,” said Mattingly. “We know we can play. We’ve just got to get it together.”
Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers pitching ace and two-time NL Cy Young Award winner making his home debut after starting the season on the disabled list - had a solid outing, striking out nine Giants without a walk over seven innings. He entered the game with a 1.38 career ERA against them. Although Kershaw did seem invulnerable, he did hang a 0-2 curveball to Brandon Hicks for a two-run homer right after the Dodgers had given him a one-run lead. It’s the first curve ball ever hit out delivered by him.
“We played really good,” said Kershaw (2-1). “Guys made plays, got clutch hits, played the game the right way. For me to give up the home run after we got the lead, I kind of gave it up there. For me, personally, I’ve got to shut it down right there.”
One guy that made a spectacular play was Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp. He showed us why he is a Gold Glove winner when he went perpendicular, diving and catching a ball off the bat of Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson that was heading towards the left-center gap.
And Yasiel Puig continues to play the game the right way, crushing his sixth home run into the left-field bullpen and extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He gave his customary bat flip after the ball sailed out but Hudson didn’t seem too upset.
“He hit the [bleep] out of it,” said Hudson. “I probably would have flipped [the bat], too.”
The Dodgers seem to be heading down the right path and it’s just a matter of time before things start clicking, but Kershaw showed concern.
“You hate to say it’s a matter of time,” Kershaw said. “We don’t have time. We have to play with a sense of urgency.”
And it seems that he would be right, considering how well the Giants are playing and also the Colorado Rockies, who also lead the Dodgers in the standings..