The Los Angeles Dodgers have to keep their champagne on ice for at least another night as the Giants prevailed in 12 innings. It was 2-1 Giants in the 9th but the Dodgers put the first two men on against Josh Osich and ultimately pushed across the tying run on a groundout. Don Mattingly played for one run by sacrificing with Justin Turner, his cleanup hitter, and it paid off--they got one run. They had a real shot at a big inning, I thought, but played it safe. The Giants 'pen has been a little rocky and I was surprised they didn't go for the kill.* They continued to torture the Giants faithful by putting men on in the 10th, 11th, and 12th but could not push across the go-ahead run.
Jake Peavy pitched a fine game, matching zeroes with über-ace Zack Greinke. Rookie Trevor Brown got the big hit to give the Giants a brief 2-0 lead. Late in the game and in extras the home squad had several chances to seal the deal but kept coming up short. Ultimately it was an FNG-fest as Marlon Byrd, Kelby Tomlinson, and Alejandro De Aza conjured up the winning rally.
Marquee matchup tonight with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner.
*The "win expectancy" for the visiting team with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs in the top of the 9th in a tie game is a little under 69%. With one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd it is a little over 69%. The gain is a fraction of a percentage point. Bunting in that situation means you can score a run on an out--which they did--but it also means you are playing for one run. A team about to be eliminated might say "we have to tie before we can win" and I'd agree. But a team with a six-game lead with three more clinch-games to play? To me that move is defensible only if it is the bottom of the lineup. They took the bat out of Justin Turner's hands and he's been raking to the tune of .290/.366/.484 for them. Why not show some faith in your guys and let them have a chance to deliver a big hit? I'd like to know how you guys would have played it if you were in Donnie Baseball's cleats.