After the first two batters reached base in the seventh, Juan Uribe attempted to sacrifice the runners over. In turn, his bunt dribbled in front of the plate and Giants catcher Buster Posey started a 2-5-3 double play. A.J. Ellis would pop out to end the inning.
In the eighth, the Dodgers once again got both of the first two batters aboard. Mark Ellis then successfully bunted both runners over to second and third, leaving first base open with one out. Seems like a logical baseball play, right?
Sacrificing to leave first base open essentially took the bat out of the hands of the next batter, the best player in baseball. Matt Kemp was given the free pass — a 100 percent no-brainer decision for Bruce Bochy — and that brought up Andre Ethier with the bases loaded and a lefty on the mound. Ethier promptly grounded into a double play to end the threat and the inning.
These wasted opportunities wasted Clayton Kershaw‘s strong performance on the mound for the Dodgers. Kershaw gave up two earned runs in the second, but steadied the ship to retire 20 of the final 22 batters he faced. Kershaw struck out seven and allowed just five hits over eight innings of work.
One Up: Clayton Kershaw, SP: L, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7 K
Clayton Kershaw provided the Dodgers with yet another impressive outing against their biggest rival, but the Dodger bats couldn’t get the job done for him. Kershaw continued his dominance over the Giants, but continued to receive poor support from the rest of his teammates. One night it’s a blown save, another it’s a one-run scoring output.
One Down: Don Mattingly
The Dodgers may have grounded into four double plays, but Don Mattingly had just as big a hand in the loss as any player. Mattingly’s decision to continually bunt guys over ended up coming back to haunt the team. The glaring misstep, however, was the decision to sacrifice with Mark Ellis and take the bat out of Matt Kemp’s hands. Sure, Andre Ethier is having himself a great season, but do you want Kemp or Ethier at the plate with the winning runs on? Take your pick.
W: Ryan Vogelsong (1-2)
L: Clayton Kershaw (2-1)
S: Santiago Casilla (6)
HR: SF: Brett Pill (2)