Giants Stymied By Kershaw, Swept By Dodgers


The Los Angeles Dodgers handed the San Francisco Giants their first sweep in Los Angeles since 2009, and the Giants’ road back to .500 only gets tougher. The Colorado Rockies await them for a weekend match. After that, the Cincinnati Reds will await them for a four-game series.

Clayton Kershaw continued his career dominance of the Giants. Buster Posey’s two-run homer in the fourth inning put the Giants ahead for the first time in 31 innings, but Kershaw scattered only three other hits over eight innings.

For a few moments–well, maybe more than a few–the Giants held a lead on Kershaw. A mere one-run lead, yes, but Tim Lincecum had allowed just one run over five innings.

Jun 26, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) leaves the game in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants’ lead was erased when the wheels rapidly came off in the sixth. Chalk it up to Hector Sanchez’s defense or Tim Lincecum’s inability to hold runners on, but the big inning–and their inability to permit further damage–came back to bite them.

Hanley Ramirez started the Dodgers’ comeback with a single. He also started Sanchez’s disastrous inning. The raw catcher dropped Lincecum’s mini-pitchout. It’s tough to presume that Ramirez would’ve been out, but it would’ve been close. Instead, Sanchez didn’t issue a throw down.

The extra 90 feet allowed Ramirez to score on Andre Ethier’s ensuing single. Ethier took advantage of a slow Lincecum and an inexperienced Sanchez as well, swiping second base off a bad throw by Sanchez. A.J. Ellis’ double made it 3-2, and to add more fuel to the fire, Sanchez let Lincecum’s wild pitch sneak to the backstop.

The blame can’t be placed on Sanchez on Lincecum’s wild pitch. It was bounced in front of the plate, and Sanchez couldn’t get to it–not many catchers could. But the Dodgers exposed him. Consider this: Ramirez and Ethier had one stolen base between them this season. The word on Sanchez’s defensive struggles is getting around.

The Giants didn’t manage a hit in the seventh or eighth. Kershaw’s breaking balls saw increased usage.

Much like Tuesday, the Giants had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, getting singles from Marco Scutaro and Posey. Kershaw was lifted after Scutaro’s single to a standing ovation.

Kelly Jansen, entering with runners on first and second, no outs, struck out Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval on high fastballs. Then Belt softly popped out to shallow left field.