Baggs' Instant Replay: Dodgers 10, Giants 0


Baggs' Instant Replay: Dodgers 10, Giants 0


SAN FRANCISCO Just over a month ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers didnt score a run in three games at AT&T Park. And comically, their equipment truck broke down on the way to SFO.

That truck is up and running again, and the Giants zombie-walked into its path.

Matt Kemp, who has video-game numbers against Barry Zito, pinged him pretty good for a two-run home run in the first inning. But the Giants unplugged offense was the most disturbing part of Saturdays 10-0 hide-tanning at the hands of their archrivals at AT&T Park.

The Giants only had two hits in the first seven innings and they shouldve been gimmes: leadoff doubles in the second and fifth. They let both chances pass and the Dodgers kept accelerating, cutting the Giants lead to one game in the NL West and positioning themselves for a chance at a three-game sweep at China Basin.

The difference between this series and the last one? Simply put: injuries.

The Dodgers didnt have Kemp last time. The Giants are without Pablo Sandoval now. And although Marco Scutaro made his Giants debut Saturday, hes not intended to be a response to the Dodgers cash-absorbing addition of Hanley Ramirez.

Already, Ramirez is making an impact in this division race. He collected two RBI hits and scored another run. And of course, his two-run home run won Friday nights game.

Starting pitching report
Zito had been 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season, but Kemp was on the disabled list for one of those assignments and was 3 for 3 against him in the other.

A .449 career hitter in 49 at-bats, Kemp improved that average while doing damage with a two-run home run in the first inning.

Zito (8-7) didnt pay for another mistake until the fifth, when the Dodgers 7-8 hitters went single-double to start the inning and pitcher Chad Billingsley hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

The Giants tried to squeeze one more inning out of Zito, but Kemp led off with a single (he ended the day as a .462 hitter against the lefty). After Hanley Ramirez hit into a fielders choice, Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a double to right field that wasnt easily corralled. The relay arrived at the plate ahead of Ramirez, but catcher Buster Posey was positioned so far in front of the dish that his swipe tag had no chance to prevent the run.

Zito ended up allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5 13 innings. For the third consecutive start, he issued just one walk. Overall, it was the kind of strike-throwing effort that the Giants hoped Zito could provide as the de facto No.5 starter.

The Giants are 10-10 in Zitos starts this season.

Bullpen report
The Giants found a more experienced upgrade to Emmanuel Burriss in Marco Scutaro. The club is seeking to do the same for right-hander George Kontos, who gave up a solo homer to A.J. Ellis along with consecutive doubles to Kemp and Ramirez in a three-run seventh inning.

Kemps fourth hit of the afternoon was a double off Brad Penny in a three-run ninth inning. Ramirez added another lo viste RBI single.

At the plate
Buster Posey doubled to start the second inning but the Giants couldnt even advance him with a productive out. The same thing happened when Angel Pagan took a risk with a three-run deficit and hustled a double to start the fifth. Brandon Belt took a called third strike and the next two batters grounded out.

The next inning, Aubrey Huff replaced Belt as part of a double-switch. In his first at-bats since June 10, he grounded out and struck out.

The Giants loaded the bases with three singles in the eighth, but Ryan Theriot grounded out.

They were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and are now hitting .188 with two outs and RISP for the season the second-worst mark in the major leagues, better than only the San Diego Padres.

Scutaro popped to short, grounded out to third and singled in his Giants debut.

In field
Shortstop Brandon Crawfords errorless streak ended at 30 games. He made his first miscue since June 17 at Seattle, dropping Ethiers spinning, one-hopper for what shouldve been the third out in the seventh inning. Kemp and Ramirez followed with doubles that put the game away.

Ethier made the highlight play of the game, racing back and crashing into the bricks while catching Melky Cabreras deep drive in the seventh inning.

Scutaro, playing third base for the first time since 2008, handled all his chances without incident.

The Giants announced 42,030 paid. Give em time to pick up the old Scutaro chant that used to echo through the Coliseum.

Up next
The Giants and Dodgers complete their three-game series in Sunday as Ryan Vogelsong (8-4, 2.26) tries to outpitch left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-6, 3.14) for the third time this season. After Sunday, the two clubs still have nine more games remaining in their season series: Aug. 20-22 at LA, Sept. 7-9 at SF and Oct. 1-3 at LA in the final three games of the year.

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres


Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

CHICAGO — As they packed up at AT&T Park eight days ago, the Giants talked of taking their momentum on the road. It sounded pie-in-the-sky given the way they had played in April and on the previous trip, but when they took the first two in St. Louis, players started to believe they had finally turned the corner. 

And then came a Sunday loss, and three of four at Wrigley Field. There was no happy flight Thursday. The Giants lost 5-1, again looking flat against a less-than-elite pitcher, and ended up with a 3-4 trip. They’ll finish the first two months of the season without a winning road trip. They're 9-19 away from AT&T Park. 

“It’s disappointing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Once you win the first one here, you’re hoping you get greedy and take the series, but we didn’t. That’s disappointing.”

The Giants entered the road trip with a 6.62 starters’ ERA on the road, but pitching wasn’t the issue. Sure there were too many meatballs — most of the 10 Cubs homers in this series came on pitches left right over the fat part of the plate — but the starters did their job. The lineup couldn’t keep up. The Giants had just five hits Thursday and finished the trip with 24 runs in seven games. They started the trip nine games out in the West and finished 11 back of the Rockies, their largest deficit since 2013. 

“You come here and take the first game with our (top) guys throwing after that and you’re hoping for a better result,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We started out good and that St. Louis series puts you in a good spot to salvage the trip. We’ll go home now with six solid games on our home turf and they’re six big games for us.”

The Braves and Nationals come to town. The Giants will see Jaime Garcia on Friday, followed by Mike Foltynewicz and R.A. Dickey. 

--- Samardzija’s run without a walk ended at 154 batters when Ian Happ drew a free pass in the seventh. The streak was the best of Samardzija’s career. 

--- Eduardo Nuñez said he got treatment on a tight hamstring throughout the game and he’ll go in early Friday to continue treatment. He hopes to start Friday. 

--- Christian Arroyo was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .191. Before the game, Bochy talked at length about Arroyo’s recent struggles and the plan with him going forward. 

--- If you missed it earlier, I took a tour of the visiting bullpen here. After going in there, I talked to some more pitchers about what they don’t like. It seems to mostly be the fact that you’re separated from the game. One said some of the relievers who pitched Monday had no idea it was raining because they had been getting loose inside for several innings. Seems like there’s a pretty easy fix here: The Cubs can just turn part of that Under Armour wall into a chain-link fence, or have some sort of window that opens up to the outside but doesn’t interfere with outfielders. Maybe next year …