The Dodgers' offense continued its early season trend of feast or famine when it comes to run production either coming in bunches or not at all, as the Giants took this one 5-0 on Tuesday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Both starters struggled with command, walking a combined seven batters, but only the Giants managed to capitalize on those opportunities. When the bullpens came in, it was Evan Phillips who got bit by the long ball, allowing back-to-back homers to David Villar and Brandon Crawford in the eighth, to completely put this game out of the reach.
May labors in an off night, but shows poise to limit the damage
For any starting pitcher, particularly the very good ones, the first inning is the opposition's best chance to do damage, and dictate the rhythm of the night, and with the Giants against May in his third start of the year, it wasn’t any different.
On a cold evening in San Francisco, Dustin May came out very shaky in the bottom of the first, struggling with control of his all pitches, which led to back-to-back walks to LaMonte Wade Jr. and Michael Conforto to start his night.
One can’t even credit the Giants bats that much for patience, as May tossed many a non-competitive pitches early on, making for easy takes.
May got the three-hole hitter, J.D. Davis, on a groundout, but then saw the Giants take an early lead on one of his better pitches early on, as Pederson turned on a cutter up and in, driving it down the right-field line for a two-run double.
That would be all damage the Giants caused in that inning, as May got the following two batters, and even though, the right-hander didn’t have his sharpest command tonight, as you can see by the pitch chart
May labored through five full frames, allowing no more runners to cross the plate, and only a single hit after that Joc double. San Francisco still managed a couple more walks to carry their total against May to four, but the latter two were stranded.
Overall, a line of five innings with two earned runs, and four walks isn’t the most encouraging, but when you analyze the context of tonight’s game, it is a positive sign to see May battling his way through a less-than-ideal night, and ultimately doing what you want him to do, which is keep the Dodgers in the game, keeping the damage at a mere two runs.
Old friend Alex Wood holds back the Muncy-less Dodgers
Whether it was despite or because of his career night on Monday, with seven RBI, Roberts decided to give Max Muncy a breather against the lefty Wood, and his funky delivery.
Wood ended up with a very similar night as May apart from the two runs allowed. The Giants starter also didn’t give up many hits, only one in fact, but still walked three batters and even failed to complete the fifth inning.
Nevertheless, Jakob Junis bailed out Wood, inheriting a situation with two runners on, and two outs, with Will Smith up at the dish. The Dodgers’ catcher crushed a ball into right-field with a .820 xBA according to Statcast, but Conforto tracked it down, keeping the score at 2-0, in the fifth.
The Giants bullpen as a whole was rather masterful in tonight’s game, keeping the Dodgers bats quiet through four plus innings, allowing only a couple of hits, and a walk. It was Junis, Scott Alexander, John Brebbia, Tyler Rogers, and Camilo Doval, in order, to wrap this one up.
Home runs: David Villar (3), Brandon Crawford (2)
WP — Scott Alexander (1-0): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeouts
LP — Dustin May (1-1): 5⅓ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
The Dodgers and Giants finish off the series on Wednesday night (6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA), with Clayton Kershaw facing Alex Cobb.