Now that’s better! A lights-out bullpen and the long ball! Steve Okert and Will Smith (two left hooks) combined to pitch a perfect 2 1/3 innings, and Sergio Romo (the right cross), pitched a perfect ninth for the save and the bullpen restored order in the Giants universe.
According to my sources from the morning yoga and meditation class (see previous post), Bochy heard about Together We’re Giants and has become lurker. In lurking he was swayed by the likes of Lefty and others clamoring for new blood in the lineup. Mac Williamson in left, Gorkys Hernandez in center and Nunez batting leadoff all contributed to a different look that injected the Giants with more arm strength and defensive upgrades in the outfield and a power-minded approach at the plate. Hernandez had a strong game hitting the ball hard four times, going 1-4. Williamson struggled however, going 0-4.
There was an interesting debate in the comment threads about sitting Span and Pagan for a game at the same time and going with the youth. I think Bochy was sending a message while also giving the veterans a breather. His message was that it’s time to rethink things. This was a very un-Bochy like game in many ways.
The starting pitchers were superb, the offenses for both teams were making mostly weak outs. The four starters of this series have allowed a grand total of one earned run, in a remarkable display of pitching. Johnny Cueto left with one out in the top of the 6th with a left groin strain. He pitched effectively, if not flawlessly. Avoiding trouble in nearly every inning, Cueto was the escape artist as he showed his veteran guile.
Brandon Crawford dislocated his pinky with a head-first slide into third base.. He did not get the memo on the U.N. Moratorium on head-first slides.
The big surprise of the game was Bochy’s handling of the relief corps. Steve Okert and Will Smith were deployed against both righties and lefties with Okert pitching 1 1/3 innings while Smith pitched a perfect 8th. Clearly going against the match-up concept, Bochy elected to let his lefties attack the Dodger hitters, whose record against left-handed pitching this year is among the worst in the National League.
The Giants went deep twice for their runs. Brandon Belt hit a heat-seeking missile in the ninth to provide an insurance run after Eduardo Nunez homered in the 5th to provide the Giants with their first RBI since May.