That's 18 scoreless innings in San Francisco for the first-place Dodgers. Ten runs in two nights for the Good Guys, zero for the Evil Ones. Melky Cabrera stroked a home run to left-center against the still-almost-unbeatable Clayton Kershaw in the 4th to open the scoring, and the Giants scratched out another with stolen base by Angel Pagan and single from Pablo Sandoval. The 2-0 lead would be the final score as Ryan Vogelsong once again pitched seven strong and relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla got the final six outs without too much drama. The running game giveth and it taketh away--Ryan Theriot got a little too excited and tried to score from third on an infield squibber in the 5th. The play is in front of the runner there, I don't get the "go on contact" mentality. Make the damn pitcher or catcher field the ball and throw to first, that might make an opening to go home. Or stay at third, fer chrissakes, and give the next guy a chance to drive you in. It turned out that the blown scoring chance didn't change the outcome. Kershaw was tough (8K in 6 IP) like always, and would not give up the big hit and kept it a nail-biter.
Not much more we can say about Vogie that we haven't already said. He pitched another great game, this one with the biggest stakes of the season so far, especially when you consider he was matched up with their no. 1 and the reigning Cy Young Award winner. The Voge-ster gives up his share of hits and walks, but he makes big pitches when he needs them, and he keeps the ball in the yard. The Dodgers got mostly ground ball hits and couldn't muster a killer blow. And you have to love Buster Posey nailing Dee Gordon (NL leader in SB and CS) trying to steal in the 5th inning: "I'm not havin' it!" I bitch and moan about stolen bases a lot, and it's not like I don't like them, it's just that I hate that CS in the box score. Nothing kills rallies like outs on the bases. (It was that classic "run" situation, leadoff hitter on first with two outs.) I note, however, that Pagan is 14 for 16 on the basepaths, Gregor Blanco is 13 for 16, and Melky Cabrera is 10 for 14 (the team is 59 for 78, or 77%). I like to see guys be 4 for 5 when they run--that's the break-even for my taste. If you are going to steal, make it count. And get extra-base hits while you're at it, that's even more my taste. But I'm quibbling. It was great win and the Giants flashed both power and dash to up end the Mighty Clayton.
Giants are once again in position to sweep a series. This time it is Tim Lincecum who has to follow a couple of dandy opening acts. Hey Timmy Jim, this is why they call you "Big Time."