After a demoralizing home-sweep, last weekend, at the hands of the shorthanded New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants bounced back with a series win against the rival-Dodgers (2-1), capped off in style by a Buster Posey walk-off RBI single.
The G-Men have been largely struggling this season, scoring runs when the pitching wavers and running into massive scoring droughts at times of pitching dominance. In their series against the Yankees, Friday through Sunday, San Francisco managed to plate 12 total runs (4 per game), up slightly from their abysmal 3.16 runs/game average. However, their eighth-ranked pitching staff (3.81 ERA) was walloped to the tune of 24 total runs (8.00 ERA). This, by the way, was made more egregious by the fact that the Bronx Bombers were without sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge (both on the injured-list).
But, that disturbing mess of a series aside, the Giants regrouped on Monday and began their three-game set with Los Angeles with a prototypical Giant-style "torture" victory. After starter Jeff Samardzija gutted-out five strong innings, allowing zero runs, two hits, one walk, and a strikeout, the bullpen immediately surrendered two runs to the visitors in blue. In the bottom of the seventh, Evan Longoria would come up with the bases loaded and a chance to get his team on the board. Boy would he: Longo proceeded to rope a double, clearing the bases and putting the Giants ahead 3-2. The rest of the way, manager Bruce Bochy's bullpen would return to form, shutting out the powerful Dodgers and securing the victory.
Tuesday's game started out competitive, with Giants pitcher Drew Pomeranz clinging to a 1-0 lead through three shutout innings. However, the Dodgers would eventually break through, hanging a three-spot in the top of the fourth on a David Freese three-run homer. Pomeranz would exit after finishing the inning. Recent call-up Ty Blach would take over the pitching duties in the sixth; From here, the wheels would really fall off. Blach would get shelled, giving up six runs in the inning, placing the game virtually out of reach for the offensively-scuffling Giants. In the end, the two explosive innings would prove too much for San Francisco to overcome, sinking the G-Men 10-3.
Now, back to Wednesday night's exciting game, longtime ace and postseason hero Madison Bumgarner toed the rubber for Bruce Bochy and the Giants. After being roughed-up in his previous start, Mad Bum had a little extra incentive to dominate a team for which he needs no further motivation. The big lefty rebounded well from his 5 earned run stinker, last Friday against the Yankees, holding LA to an earned run through six solid innings, with just four hits, two walks, and striking out eight Dodgers.
A Brandon Belt sacrifice fly in the first inning gave San Francisco a rare early lead. Bumgarner would eventually surrender that lead, allowing the Dodgers to tie it at 1-1 on a two-out, Cody Bellinger RBI single in the top of the sixth. After throwing 114 pitches, Bumgarner would give way to his bullpen, the score still knotted at one apiece. Stellar relief efforts from Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, and closer Will Smith, put the G-Men in position to take advantage of an opportunity in the bottom of the ninth: Posey stepped to the plate. With runners on first and second and two outs, the 2012 MLB MVP lined a single to left, scoring the fleet-footed Steven Duggar from second. Just like that, San Francisco sent LA packing and, perhaps, added a little confidence with their effort.