The Dodgers and Giants engaged in an exciting yet sloppy contest that provided all the excitement expected to come next week with playoff baseball, including one signature moment, but the ultimate result didn't go the Dodgers' way in a 5-2 loss on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
After getting 13 innings out of the bullpen in the last two days of a relief-heavy week, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly used six more relievers on Monday night before turning to starter Kevin Correia to start the 13th inning.
The game did not last beyond the 13th inning.
Correia got to two outs before succumbing to the crushing weight of inevitability, first allowing an RBI single to Andrew Susac, scoring Brandon Belt, when Carl Crawford's throw wasn't quite as strong as Yasiel Puig's two frames earlier.
Puig's throw helped stop a rally in the 11th, and just about brought the house down, with a buzz building immediately after the perfect throw home.
Correia then allowed a double to Gregor Blanco to score one more, then comically - tragically? - another run scored when the Dodgers botched Blanco running past second base into an out. There was no error charged on the play, but the Dodgers had plenty of them, three on the night.
Correia got hung with the loss - his third loss in three extra-inning appearances with the Dodgers - and certainly didn't pitch well, but he is hardly alone in the blame game.
The Dodgers had two runs and four hits for the whole game. Some well-struck fly balls that might have gone out over the weekend in Chicago found their way only to the warning track at Dodger Stadium on Monday, much to the Dodgers' chagrin.
Four Giants relievers pitched six scoreless, hitless innings with five strikeouts to keep the Dodgers at bay late. The Dodgers' final 23 batters of the game didn't get a hit.
Then again, the Giants went 27 batters without a hit, from Blanco's home run to lead off the game into the eighth inning.
Haren was magnificent, allowing just the one hit and two runs, one earned, with a hit by pitch and seven strikeouts.
The Dodgers could have, might have won 2-1 in nine innings perhaps had Matt Kemp and Puig communicated better and not let Blanco's fly out turn into a three-base error. Blanco scored the second run for San Francisco.
The Giants got eight hits off the first six, non-Correia Dodgers relievers, plus two walks, but the Dodgers wiggled out of jams in every inning from the seventh through the 12th.
Just not in the 13th.
With the loss, the Dodgers' lead over the Giants is down to 3⅓ games, and the magic number remains at three. For the Dodgers to clinch the NL West against the Giants, they need to win the final two games of the series. With their two horses on the mound.
But seriously, that throw.
Though Haren and Peavy put on a show, the expected best pitching matchup of the series is due up Tuesday night, with Zack Greinke starting for the Dodgers against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.
Home runs: Carl Crawford (8); Gregor Blanco (5)
WP - Santiago Casilla (3-3): 2 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Kevin Correia (7-17): 1 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Hunter Strickland (1): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts