Dodgers Outduel Giants
After two games which featured offensive theatrics, the rubber game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants featured a classic NL West pitching duel between the Giants’ Barry Zito and Clayton Kershaw marred by only two home runs including Manny Ramirez’s pinch hit two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Dodgers the 2-1 victory.
History said Giants’ starter Barry Zito would give way first given his 4.46 ERA against the Dodgers, but as the game wore on he was the one who seemed to have the control of his curveball giving up only three singles in the first six innings while not giving up a free pass.
“Zito does a great job of making you hit the ball and making you hit the ball on the part of the bat that you don’t want to hit it on,” Torre said. “From the second half of last year to this year, just the way his game has evolved he has a lot of confidence right now.”
Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw seemed to be atoning for his first two starts of the season by striking out the first two batters of the game - left fielder Eugenio Velez and shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Kershaw gave up the first extra-base hit in the top of the fourth inning to Giants’ first baseman Aubrey Huff who grounded a double to right field, however he got out of the jam on a line out by catcher Bengie Molina and strikeouts to second baseman Juan Uribe and center fielder Andres Torres. Kershaw thereafter steadied himself retiring the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
“I was getting ahead of hitters,” Kershaw said. “My fastball command was better today than it had been. Overall a better day.”