The Dodgers hosted their division rival Giants Friday night in a game where San Francisco looked to salvage their playoff chances. The Dodger bats, after scoring seven runs the game before, were unable to provide any run support, as they fell to the Giants by a final of 5-1.
Freeman reaches 200 hits
Freddie Freeman recorded a single in the bottom of the first inning, notching his 200th hit of the season to record the feat for the first time in his career. To add to a season of firsts, Freeman became the only first baseman in Major League Baseball history to hit 20 home runs, steal 20 bases, and collect 200 hits in the same season.
A record-breaking year for Freddie. pic.twitter.com/ZnLUgdw4HS— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 23, 2023
Freeman became the second oldest player to record 200 hits in a season for the first time in their career, with the oldest being Hall of Fame infielder Paul Molitor. Freeman is also the first Dodger to record 200 hits in a season in 19 years, with the last coming from future Hall of Fame third baseman Adrian Beltre in 2004, where he finished runner-up to Barry Bonds for NL MVP.
Freeman would later collect base hit number 201 on the season, lining an RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide the only run of the night for the home team.
Stone, bullpen struggle with the long ball
Caleb Ferguson served as the opener in the second game of the series, tossing a scoreless first inning before handing the ball over to rookie Gavin Stone, who entered with a 9.45 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00.
Stone impressed early on with two perfect innings, striking out two to open his outing. He would run into trouble in the fourth, allowing the Giants’ first hit of the game to a Joc Pederson double, followed by a towering two-run home run from Mike Yazstremski.
After a shutdown fifth inning, Stone’s night came to an end after giving up a solo shot to Thairo Estrada, subsequently followed by a walk to Wilmer Flores. The right-hander did manage to strike out five Giants over 4 1⁄3 innings, despite allowing the two home runs.
Ryan Yarbrough entered in the sixth inning and was dominant through the eighth inning, notably striking out the side in the top of the seventh inning. Yarbrough could not hold the deficit to two, as Giants’ center fielder Tyler Fitzgerald connected for his first big league home run to give San Francisco a four run cushion.
Bats scuffle against Manaea
When the Dodgers faced Sean Manaea in June, the Dodgers attacked early on, limiting the southpaw to pitch just 3 2⁄3 innings allowing four earned runs in what ended up being a come-from-behind victory for the Giants.
After Freeman’s single in the first inning, the Dodgers bats could only muster two more hits against Manaea over the next six innings. It was the first time that Manaea had pitched seven scoreless innings all season, and the first time he pitched in the seventh inning since August of last season when he was with the Padres.
The Dodgers were limited by Manaea’s soft contact approach, as they struggled to put the ball out of the infield. The Dodgers couldn’t put any runners on second base, let alone collect an extra base hit.
The best shot for the Dodgers to make a move came in the eighth when they had the bases loaded and Will Smith at the plate. San Francisco brought closer Camilo Doval in and Smith grounded out weakly to end the threat. Doval cruised in the ninth to close it out for the visiting Giants.
Home Runs: Mike Yazstremski (15), Thairo Estrada (13), Tyler Fitzgerald (1)
WP- Sean Manaea (7-6): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB, 85 pitches
LP- Gavin Stone (1-1): 4 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 2 BB
SV- Camilo Doval (38)
The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound in what could possibly be his final regular season start at Dodger Stadium. The Giants still have yet to announce who will be starting the penultimate game at Dodger Stadium prior to the postseason. Saturday’s game is scheduled at 6:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on SportsNet L.A.