Adrian Gonzalez lined a base hit to center on the seventh pitch of the at-bat against Giants lefty Jeremy Affeldt with one out in the 10th inning, bringing home Carl Crawford with the winning run and shaving the Dodgers’ magic number for clinching the division title to five..
Kenley Jansen suffered his first blow save since June 15, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. There were two pitches that got past catcher Tim Federowicz, who had entered the game in the eighth inning after Dee Gordon had been sent in to pinch run for A.J. Ellis and wound up scoring what would’ve been the winning run on a two-out double by Yasiel Puig — Federowicz was charged with a passed ball on one of them, and the other, which would’ve been a wild pitch because Jansen bounced it, was instead a stolen base because Giants pinch runner Juan Perez was running on the pitch. Also, Jansen and Federowicz seemed out of sync the entire inning, resulting in multiple mound visits by Federowicz as the two of them apparently had to keep going over signs or something.
Ultimately, though, it was Jansen who gave up the game-tying single to Gregor Blanco. And Federowicz subsequently redeemed himself by throwing out Blanco trying to steal second.
Now, as for all that confusion at the beginning of the seventh inning …
Without having had the chance yet to get downstairs and ask him about it directly, it appears Don Mattingly just made a Freudian slip when he gave plate umpire Gerry Davis his changes at the start of the seventh inning, telling Davis he was bringing in J.P. Howell when in fact he had every intention of bringing in Paco Rodriguez. Ultimately, it didn’t matter much, and the best part was that Donnie was able to bring Paco back in the eighth inning, even though he had jogged to the mound and warmed up to start the seventh.
Why do these things always seem to happen when Donnie is managing against Bruce Bochy?
Anyway, as a footnote to all that craziness, the reason Hanley Ramirez was leaving the game at the start of the seventh inning was that he experienced tightness in his left hamstring. We were told the move was precautionary. I’m assuming it was the type of “precautionary” that happens when you have a really big lead in September and you’re trying not to get anybody hurt before the playoffs. If this were a pressure-packed game, Hanley might have played through it.
All in all, in spite of the apparent and unspeakably embarrassing brain lapse, this was a well-managed game by Mattingly. When led off the seventh inning with a base hit against Matt Cain, who had basically dominated the Dodgers to that point, Mattingly didn’t waste any time sending Gordon in to run for his catcher, and Gordon didn’t waste any time stealing second. After Mark Ellis sacrificed Gordon to third and pinch hitter Jerry Hairston struck out, Puig brought Gordon home with a double to the wall in left-center — a double that would’ve scored him just as easily from second as it did from third, thus negating the benefit of wasting an out on the sac bunt, but I digress.
Zack Greinke was gutty but not great. The Giants’ only run off him was Hunter Pence‘s solo homer that barely got over the low wall in the rightfield corner to start the second inning, and Greinke gave up just four hits, but the Giants worked him. I mean WORKED him, right from the start. Their first two batters, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, made him throw 16 pitches in the first inning just to them. He wound up at 107 through six, which is why Mattingly yanked him.