Dodgers Unable Against Cain
I never thought I would ever live to see the day when the chants of “Beat L.A.” from San Francisco Giants’ fans would drown out the boos from the Dodger fans at Dodger Stadium. But in the middle of the Giants’ three-run two-out rally in the fifth inning that helped them to their 10-0 win, that’s exactly what happened.
In fact it started after Aaron Rowand singled and took second on Ted Lilly’s balk. Miguel Tejada, batting leadoff after batting sixth on Opening Night and eighth Friday night, hit a single that scored Rowand.
“Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!”
It makes one wonder how many of the announced 40,809 fans that were at Dodger Stadium were Dodger fans.
The Giants followed that up with an RBI double by Freddy Sanchez and an RBI single by Aubrey Huff for the 4-0 lead, and Lilly’s (L, 0-1) day was done.
“I was erratic in the zone,” Lilly admitted. “I was throwing strikes, but they weren’t quality strikes.”
And Lilly wasn’t going to use the balk as an excuse.
“I don’t think that that’s something,” Lilly said. “Regardless of whether guys make great plays or they make errors or whatever the case may be, you continue to focus on just making pitches.”
But looking back he didn’t really know if he actually balked or not.
“It’s hard to determine what the actual rule is,” Lilly commented. “It’s the umpire’s discretion.”
On the other side of the ledger was Giants’ starter Matt Cain (W, 1-0) who pitched six scoreless innings dazzling the Giants’ faithful giving up only five hits striking out three.
“He did a good job keeping us off balance,” Andre Ethier said who did manage to get two singles off of Cain to raise his batting average to .500 against the hurler. “He made it a long day for us.”
The only runners to get past first base off of Cain were Matt Kemp in the second inning and Xavier Paul in the fifth inning who both made it to third base. In each case Cain was able to squirm his away out of trouble.
So it really comes as no wonder why Dodger fans sat on their hands most of the game.
After Mike MacDougal cleaned up Lilly’s mess to end the fifth inning, Kenley Jansen, unable to find the strike zone, just sunk the Dodgers deeper into the hole as the Giants .
1. Brandon Belt walked.
2. Mark DeRosa doubled scoring Belt.
3. Aaron Rowand popped up to short.
4. Matt Cain walked.
5. Miguel Tejada singled.
6. Freddy Sanchez singled scoring DeRosa.
7. Aubrey Huff singled scoring Cain and Tejada.
Finally Jansen hit his spots striking out Buster Posey and Pat Burrell to end that nightmare.
“I just fell behind the count,” Jansen said. “That kind of stuff just killed me a little bit. I’ve just got to get that first hitter out.”
Despite the bad outing, Jansen is trying to move ahead.
“It’s a day to forget. I’m flipping the script, getting ready for tomorrow and hope I can face them again. I want to face them more right now than any other team.”
Sanchez added a solo homer in the eighth inning off of Lance Cormier, and Burrell scored on DeRosa’s grounder to second in the ninth inning.
Things were so lopsided even catcher A.J. Ellis was warming in the bullpen for the second time is as many seasons.
“We had this conversation last year,” Ellis said. It was a similar blowout game, and he didn’t enter the game.
“It’s not a position I want to be it, but it’s something I know I will do for team if I have to do.”
He has pitched in the minor leagues before and even notched a win. His weapon, “Strikes.”
Catcher Hector Gimenez made his first big league start and picked up his first hit on a single in the seventh innings. The last time the Giants shut out the Dodgers with at least a 10-run margin was on Oct. 3, 2004 when Jason Schmidt picked up the win against Kaz Ishii 10-0. The day before Steve Finley hit a walk-off grand slam to give the Dodgers the NL West title and knock the Giants out of playoff contention.