SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants-Dodgers rivalry has seen decades of fights, tight games, heroes, goats, heartache and celebration. Never has it seen a night quite like this one.
With steady rain and lightning blanketing AT&T Park all evening, and more said to be on the way later in the series, the teams essentially started playing at 10:50 p.m. The result was a disjointed, historically long, back-and-forth night, but at 2:11 a.m. the Giants got the only result they actually cared about. They beat the Dodgers 8-6, handing their rivals an 11th consecutive loss.
As you pour your morning coffee and pop a bagel in the toaster, here are five things to know about the night that wouldn’t end …
—- The first pitch was originally delayed nearly an hour. Chris Stratton came out and struck out Curtis Granderson, and then the game was delayed again. Stratton couldn’t return, but Kenta Maeda never took the mound, so he did. Ty Blach took over for the Giants. Blach may have become the first pitcher in MLB history to have his warm-up music played before the second at-bat of a game.
—- The Giants jumped out to a 4-0 lead on homers by Denard Span and Jarrett Parker, but Blach was roughed up as the Dodgers tied it in the top of the fourth. The bottom of the fourth inning at AT&T Park started at midnight.
—- The Giants trailed 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but Span drove in the tying run and the go-ahead run came in on Buster Posey’s infield single at 12:41 a.m. That is a real and true sentence.
—- The game was tied 6-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Dave Roberts turned to Pedro Baez, a human rain delay, and at one point Baez took 31 seconds between pitches to Hunter Pence. Batting in the leadoff spot, Pence lined a single back up the middle. At 1:10 a.m., the Giants took a 7-6 lead into the seventh.
—- The late start did not keep the managers from playing the matchups, which gave us a reminder that September roster expansion is quite dumb. Bruce Bochy used seven relievers and three bench bats. Roberts used six relievers and six position players from his bench. There were 21 more players left, too, but thankfully extra innings were not needed.