Rewind: Giants vs. Dodgers, Game #3

The good vibes from an Opening Day win were gone by Thursday. With Alou missing his second game with a mystery calf injury, the Giant bats fell silent and San Francisco was shut out by the Dodgers.

Whether it was pitching brilliance by Dodger starter Jeff Weaver, or simply bad hitting by a Giant team without it’s two biggest hitters, the Giant offense fell silent on Thursday, putting up a lethargic showing against the rival Dodgers.

In the end, the Giants managed only five hits, not nearly enough to keep up with the Dodgers. The Dodgers only had 8 hits, but got those hits when they counted and kept driving in runs.

Giants starter Brett Tomko didn’t pitch particularly badly. His nemesis of years past. The home run ball, wasn’t an issue. Tomko only gave up one extra-base hit, a double with one out in the third by Cesar Izturis, and that didn’t affect the scoring. Instead, the Dodgers were able to string their hits together, particularly in the 6th, when they used 3 singles, a walk and a wild pitch to break open the game with 3 runs, making it a 4-0 lead.

Jim Brower fought a bout of wildness late, allowing the Dodgers to pad the lead. Brower gave up a double, hit a batter, and walked three, including once with the bases loaded to drive in a run. In all, Brower gave up 2 runs in 2/3rds of an inning.

The Dodgers only needed one run, though. Instead of stringing hits together, the Giants runners who got on base didn’t stay there long. The Giants hit into two double plays, and two more runners were taken out on fielder’s choices. With runners on, the Giants went 0 for 14 with a single walk, coming in the 9th inning.

Meanwhile, the Dodger hitters doing the damage weren’t always their biggest guns. J.D. Drew, the Dodgers’ biggest free agent signing, got on base for only the first time this season with a walk in the ninth, and he later came around to score. Jeff Kent, brought in to drive in runs, started a couple of rallies, leading off the 4th and 6th innings with singles and scoring. He also had an RBI double in the ninth.

Most disturbing was how the Giants treated the back of the Dodger order, some of the Dodgers weakest hitters. Jose Valentin, a .216 hitter in 2004, was walked 4 times. His fifth time up, he hit a sacrifice fly. The 7-8-9 hitters also managed 2 singles, a walk and 2 RBI’s in the game.

Encouragingly, the bullpen looked a little better. Jeff Fassero threw 1.2 scoreless innings with a walk a day after throwing a scoreless inning in Wednesday’s loss. Meanwhile Matt Herges, who was roughed up on Wednesday, came into the 9th inning with the bases loaded and one out, and struck out both batters he faced.

Moises Alou is scheduled to have an MRI Saturday to see the extent of his calf injury. He could be out until then, if not longer.

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