Any time the Giants and Dodgers face off, you can expect to see hard fought and dramatic games. But Thursday night’s 9-8 Dodger win was even wilder than usual. At one point, the Dodgers had a 6-0 lead, but the Giants kept chipping away and scored 4 runs in the ninth and were just a base hit away from taking the lead.
Perhaps its because the bullpen was required to go 8 innings on Wednesday and then 6 innings on Thursday, or perhaps the reason for this nearly blown lead was because Dodger pitchers went multiple innings instead of sticking with one. Whatever the reason, a game that seemed to be uncompetitive after 4 innings turned into a game where every run scored and every pitch thrown mattered.
The ninth inning began with Josh Sborz continuing his Major League debut after having already thrown a 1-2-3 eighth inning. But a leadoff walk, a single, and an RBI double quickly ended Sborz’s debut.
But Kenley Jansen wasn’t an automatic win. Jansen gave up an RBI single, a walk, and another RBI single that made it a 9-8 game. But then with the pressure turned up to 1,000 degrees, recorded the next 3 outs and secured the win.
From the way the game began, no one would have suspected that it would end the way it did. Believe it or not, it was a 1-0 game until for the first 3 innings. The Dodgers got on the board after Madison Bumgarner hit Kiké Hernández with a pitch and Hernández stole second and third base. From there, Max Muncy drove him in with a single.
Things really come together for the Dodgers in the fourth inning, an inning in which they knocked Bumgarner out of the game. After a leadoff double, Kyle Garlick hit his second homer in two nights and gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
Two batters later, Austin Barnes hit a two-run homer.
The Dodgers are staying in LA for a 3-game series against the Rockies. Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.06 ERA) and German Márquez (7-3, 4.57 ERA) will face off in game one at 7:10 pm. The Rockies sit at 40-34, 10 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.