San Francisco, CA – Before the first pitch Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Brandon Crawford received Silver Slugger awards for best hitter in their position. Crawford also won his first Golden Glove award on Tuesday and that was enough inspiration to lift the Giants past the Dodgers 3-2 last night with a walk-off home run.Rookie catcher Trevor Brown broke up the Dodgers’ no-hit bid with his first career home run in the eighth inning. Ross Stripling was a pitching “gem” on he mound. He walked four and allowed no hits through seven frames. But it was the move by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts that left many baffled.
“I mean, I hadn’t even fouled a ball off him,” said Brown, who struck out twice against Stripling earlier. “I know it was his debut, but honestly, I was surprised. It was a sigh of relief, honestly, to get a different pitcher out there.”
Stripling issued his fourth free pass to Angel Pagan and Roberts quickly replaced his ace with Chris Hatcher with five outs away from possibly throwing a no-hitter in his Major League debut. San Francisco was down 0-2 at this point and the rain started to come down heavy at AT&T Park.
“We made that decision before the game. The most he threw in spring was 78 pitches. He’s coming off Tommy John. He threw 70 innings last year,” Roberts said. “At 100 pitches, that was our number. I wanted to keep his future and health in mind. I made that decision if somebody gets on base, we’re going to go to with Hatcher.”
“I thought it was the right choice,” said Stripling. “I was tired. I think I had walked a couple late in those innings, and it was the right call. I feel terrible for Hatcher the way it went. In a rivalry game, anything can happen, and it’s just another crazy game to throw down in the books.”
After Hatcher replaced Stripling he gave up a two-run homer to Brown that erupted the sellout crowd and tied the game. The Giants had been scoreless through seven innings and now had a chance to get back in the game. With the next batter up, Hatcher argued a pitching call.
That led to Roberts running out of the dugout to argue the same call with plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. Roberts was ejected for the first time in his managerial career. The Dodgers scored two-runs in the fifth off Matt Cain. Joc Pederson had a leadoff double and was singled home by A.J. Ellis. Cain then gave up two back-to-back singles to Chase Utley and Corey Seager who drove in Ellis making it a 2-0 game.
Cain pitched six strong innings and looked the best since being harbored by injuries last year. He allowed two runs on six hits, one walk and struck out three. Cain also pitched a shutout for five frames. He looks healthy and that’s what’s most important of the No. 5 starter.
San Francisco’s roster is probably the deepest over the last five years despite winning three World Series. In five games, they’ve scored 12 runs twice and managed to comeback for the win late in games. The resilience of this team is leads to one gaol, another World Series. The game is tied 2-2 in the eighth, and goes to extra innings. Crawford leadoff the tenth and recorded his second career walk-off homer to secure their victory.
“That was awesome,” Crawford said. “We’re only five games in, but obviously that’s the most fired up we’ve had our dugout. First of all, to break up the no-hitter and then tie the game in the same swing was a huge momentum shift for us.”
“It’s hard to get a bigger hit than what [Brown] did there for us,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.