The outcome may have been the same, but at least the opener at AT&T Park provided something a little different on Monday night, and well into Tuesday morning. In a game that was delayed at the start by 3½ hours by rain, the Dodgers lost to the Giants 8-6 in San Francisco.
The game didn’t end until after 2 a.m., and weird baseball gave us 15 different pitchers and 39 total players used. But the result was the same — another loss for the Dodgers, their 11th consecutive defeat.
It’s the longest losing streak since the team moved to Los Angeles, and the longest in club history since 1944, when Brooklyn set the franchise mark of 16 straight losses.
After a 42-minute rain delay, Curtis Granderson struck out to start the game, but the rains came immediately afterward, stopping the game after just five pitches. This delay was much longer, and though it looked at various times Monday’s game would just be postponed.
Instead, the game resumed around 10:50 p.m. PT, after a two-hour, 52-minute delay, and the Dodgers started off by playing the kind of baseball they did over the previous two weeks.
Denard Span, who entering Monday made 1,121 of his 1,160 career starts batting leadoff, was inserted as the third hitter for the Giants lineup, just the second time in his career batting third (he also did so on June 6, 2011 with the Twins).
Span hit a two-run home run in the first inning, naturally. The Dodgers have allowed at least one run in the first inning in 10 of their last 17 games.
Kenta Maeda also allowed a solo home run in the second inning to Jarrett Parker, then a triple in the third inning to Hunter Pence, who scored to give the Giants a 4-0 lead.
After the delay, Giants manager Bruce Bochy pulled starter Chris Stratton, who threw five pitches to his one batter faced. He replaced the right-hander with southpaw Ty Blach, which made for some interesting decisions.
Chase Utley, who started at second base, was pinch hit for in the second inning in favor of Logan Forsythe, who two innings later drove home the Dodgers’ first run. That fourth inning saw the Dodgers pull even with four runs, and also saw Maeda pulled after three innings in favor of Chris Taylor, who singled home a run, and Granderson pinch-hit for with Kiké Hernandez.
Taylor this season is 6-for-9 with three home runs and four walks with the bases loaded, driving in 20 runs in 13 plate appearances.
With both starting pitchers out of the game before midnight, this game became matchup baseball by the fourth inning. The game saw a handful of lead changes and ties in the middle innings.
Yasiel Puig gave the Dodgers their first lead with this solo shot in the fifth, his 25th of the season:
A no-doubter from @YasielPuig. pic.twitter.com/bHESivUaNh— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 12, 2017
This game even featured Joc Pederson’s brother Champ, who was the bat boy in Monday night(and Tuesday morning)’s contest.
#ChampHugs pic.twitter.com/GFAHT4uJXE— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 12, 2017
The game was at one point 4-4 in the fourth inning, then 5-5 in the fifth, and also 6-6 in the sixth. The latter produced this moment:
66 in the 6th when it's 6-6 pic.twitter.com/woyirIuG9K— Hector Diaz (@iamHectorDiaz) September 12, 2017
Dodgers pitchers allowed runs in six of the first seven innings, which is no recipe for success. San Francisco reclaimed the lead after Puig’s home run with three singles off maligned reliever Pedro Baez in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The pitching staff for the Dodgers has a 5.99 ERA in their last 17 games, of which they have dropped 16.
If you want to know why this game was essentially started at 10:50 p.m., Giants owner Larry Baer was interviewed on the Giants broadcasts of the game to shed some light:
The other options were doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday. "I don't think anybody was happy to start at 10:30," Baer said. But here we are.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) September 12, 2017
Giants' TV reporter said Baer told her rain's in the forecast tomorrow and Wednesday, making a doubleheader tough to pull off.— Daniel M. Jimenez (@DMJreports) September 12, 2017
Clayton Kershaw gets the start in the middle game of the series on Tuesday night, another 7:15 p.m. PT start. Yu Darvish starts the finale on Wednesday, in case you missed the news earlier Monday. The Giants counter on Tuesday with Johnny Cueto.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (25); Denard Span (12), Jarrett Parker (4)
WP - Derek Law (4-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
LP - Pedro Baez (3-5): 1 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 strikeout
Sv - Sam Dyson (13): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout