What we learned as Giants stun Dodgers with wild ninth originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
LOS ANGELES -- Ball don't lie, right?
The Giants stormed all the way back against Kenley Jansen for the second straight night, scoring four runs in the ninth inning to get a 5-3 win that pushed their NL West lead to three games. The tying run came on a blown check-swing call that allowed Darin Ruf to draw a walk, but that came four pitches after a blown 2-0 call. The Dodgers were livid, but it all evened out for the Giants, who took the lead seconds later on LaMonte Wade Jr.'s single to right.
The Dodgers were still glaring and yelling at the umps in the bottom of the ninth, but they couldn't come back against Jake McGee, who clinched a second series victory at Dodger Stadium this season.
The Giants finished 6-4 in their road games against the Dodgers and will host them next week at Oracle Park.
There will likely be more fireworks, but on this night they didn't start until the ninth.
The score was tied until the fourth, when Will Smith, who has some low-key Giants-killer in him, crushed a two-run shot off Anthony DeSclafani. That was all Walker Buehler needed on another dominant night for the right-hander.
That lead was eventually turned over to Kenley Jansen, who blew the save Wednesday night and heard some boos as he emerged from the home bullpen 24 hours later. They were quickly drowned out by cheers and Jansen's thumping walk-off song, and he started his night with a quick strikeout of Mike Yastrzemski. That brought up Wilmer Flores, who was 0-for-8 against Jansen before his homer. He added a single this time, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Alex Dickerson struck out on a 96 mph fastball, but Donovan Solano kept the pressure on, smoking a double off the center field wall. Jason Vosler drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases for Estrada, who seemed to hit a game-ending grounder to short. But Chris Taylor went the short way and Vosler had gotten a great jump, reaching second on a play that was correctly overturned by replay.
Jansen then walked Ruf and gave up the single before finally being lifted. Phil Bickford, a former Giants first-round pick, got out of the inning with one pitch.
Walk In The Park
It is the opinion of this writer that Buehler is the best pitcher the Giants have seen this season, and it's not even really close. This was his fourth start against them this season and he allowed just one earned in 7 1/3 innings. Buehler has thrown 27 innings in those four starts, giving up just three earned on 17 hits while striking out 24.
The only run came with a little manufactured offense in the first. LaMonte Wade Jr. led off with a double, stole third, and scored on Mike Yastrzemski's deep fly ball. The Giants never again threatened Buehler, who struck out the side in the seventh and was allowed to come out for the eighth.
Darin Ruf got a rare right-on-right chance and lined a single up the middle that ended Buehler's night after 99 pitches, an odd move perhaps, but one that worked out. Blake Treinen got out of the inning.
DeSclafani allowed 15 earned runs and lasted just 12 1/3 innings in his first three starts against the Dodgers this year, and early on it looked like this would be another rough one. The first three Dodgers picked up hits, giving them a run and putting DeSclafani in a pickle -- but he got a strikeout and double play to end the inning.
DeSclafani was pretty locked in after that, but one more pitch cost him. With a runner on in the fourth, a low sinker caught the middle of the plate and Smith blasted it to center for his second homer in three days. That gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Smith has three homers against the Giants this year and has done a nice job behind the plate. He looks like the best National League catcher not named Buster Posey.
Feeling That Relief
There was a hiccup on Tuesday night, but for the most part the bullpen had a really strong series against the toughest opponent they'll see in the National League. That continued on Thursday.
An error and walk put two on with no outs in the seventh, and the Dodgers elected to let Buehler try to bunt. Zack Littell struck him out and then got Chris Taylor to pop up. Jose Alvarez entered and induced an inning-ending grounder from Max Muncy. That kept the deficit at two, a pretty big deal given what would happen.
Alvarez has been sneaky-good, by the way. He got through the bottom of the eighth, too, and has allowed a run in just one of his last 17 appearances.