Hah! That's my one and only April Fool's joke today. Hey--it ain't midnight yet, it is still April 1st. Jonathan Sanchez failed to field a dink-ball by Hector Gimenez in the 6th inning and things went rapidly downhill. The Dodgers tied the game on the play and took the lead when Rafael Furcal roped a single off reliever Guillermo Mota. The Giants had a late rally fizzle when Buster Posey struck out swinging and sent his bat flying into the stands. I don't recall seeing that happen much until the last few years. I'm sure that the flying bat thing is far more frequent now than before. I don't like it. I think players should hold onto their bats and not toss them--even inadvertently--at spectators or even the other fellows on the field.
Jonathan Sanchez was both brilliant (8 K) and maddening (3 BB including the pitcher who later scored) in his 5-2/3, facing 27 hitters. Things looked fine with a 3-1 lead in the 6th, but came apart when Matt Kemp raced from 1st to 3rd on a ground ball to Pablo Sandoval with no outs. The Panda made the play and got the out at 1st, but Kemp, running on the pitch, turned on the jets instead of rounding 2nd and easily beat the high throw from Brandon Belt. Perhaps Sandoval had time to look and freeze the runner, I couldn't really tell from the replay, or perhaps it was just a great bit of hustle by one of the bad guys. Nonetheless, LA got a run closer when James Loney sacrificed him home. After a hit by Rod Barajas, Sandoval appeared to rush a play on a dinky grounder by Aaron Miles and he threw the ball away. Then came the Gimenez dink and that was it for JSanchez and the Giants.
Brandon Belt was the story until that point, blasting a long drive to straightaway center in the 4th inning off Chad Billingsley for a 3-run homer--his first. It was another display of beautiful baseball by the youngster. It should have been a winner, but things didn't quite work out. Dan Runzler looked strong in his two innings. I know it is only two games, but a couple of things struck me tonight. One, I like Aubrey Huff in LF a lot more than RF. Come back soon, Cody Ross. And two, maybe this infield just needs to play together a little more. After all, both 1B and SS are brand new, and the newer, slimmer, more hyper-active Panda hasn't yet found his groove. He's moving brilliantly (terrific play on a long Loney foul pop in the 8th), and looks quicker and more nimble, but methinks he might be trying too hard. Relax, lad. Don't try to impress the bosses, OK? Just play. And strictly rocksteady in the iPod from now on.