LOS ANGELES - There's an oft-used baseball saying when a rookie pitcher comes up and dominates a team: "Wait until they see him a few times."
The Dodgers have seen Ty Blach five times over the past two seasons. They still haven't figured him out.
Blach escaped early trouble Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium and got through seven solid innings. The Giants lost 2-1, but this one wasn't on the starting pitcher. For a team grasping for positives, Blach has provided plenty, and as the Giants plan for the future they can take some comfort in the fact that Blach has shown the ability to adjust and continue to keep tough lineups off-balance.
"If you're a pitcher that can command the ball, which he does very well to both sides of the plate, and he's got good secondary pitches and good command, you can work all four quadrants and you're going to be okay," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You look at the stuff and say it's not overpowering but he gets movement on the ball and he locates it well and that usually works up here."
Blach first saw the Dodgers last Sept. 21, throwing three hitless innings out of the bullpen. He threw eight dominant innings a couple of weeks later to help the Giants reach the playoffs. In three meetings this season, Blach has thrown 19 innings and given the Giants three solid starts. Overall, he has thrown 30 innings against the Dodgers and allowed just five earned runs.
Those numbers are familiar in this rivalry. It's just that it's usually another lefty, Clayton Kershaw, putting them up against the other team.
"We've been able to mix it around and throw different pitches to different guys," he said. "We're trying to mix it up with all four of my pitches and give them a different look every time."
The Dodgers haven't figured Blach out. They are dominating the National League and running away from the division, and they're 33 1/2 games ahead of the Giants. But the young lefty continues to work his magic against them, and in this unimaginably awful season, that counts as a huge bright spot.