This Dodgers-Giants game was worthy of the national spotlight, on ESPN. From a surprising start to a wild back-and-forth towards the end, and all the drama you could ask for in a baseball game, ending in a 9-6 victory for the home team.
It’s not often you see a pitching matchup heading into a game at such a disadvantage for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team with the best rotation in baseball in 2022 will almost always enter a game that is at least somewhat even with their opponents in terms of starting pitch.
Still, to start things off after the All-Star break, the Dodgers sent young right-hander Mitch White, who is having a great campaign in his own right, but on a completely different level than Giants ace and batting artist Carlos. Rodon. .
A starter in baseball’s top 10 taking on the fifth clear man in the rotation, replacing the injured Andrew Heaney. This throwing match resulted in a clear difference between the two starts, but not in the way one might have expected.
It was Ródon who, on a night when he was not at his best, also fell victim to his defense’s shortcomings and allowed five earned runs for only the second time this season in five frames.
The Giants southpaw allowed a two-out bomb to the scorching Freddie Freeman, top of the first, then saw that defensive error from Luiz González turn a routine Justin Turner flyout into a two-run double.
White held the Giants without a hit for five innings and walked away after allowing a single to lead the sixth inning. Leading by five with the Giants not exactly showing signs of life, the Dodgers went to Caleb Ferguson and Phil Bickford as the first names in the bullpen, the latter of whom brawled allowing a solo shot and leaving the game with two runners and two exits.
Alex Vesia walked into a tight spot in a game that felt good in hand moments before, and he made a typical Vesia outing of the 2022 season. The Dodgers left-hander hit the first batter that he faced to load the bases, and when he felt like he was going to be okay after a strikeout from Yermin Mercedes, he gave a grand slam tie to Darin Ruf.
To say Round 8 was eventful would be an understatement. Evan Phillips came into a draw and struggled with command, allowing his first earned run in 19 appearances dating back to May 26, but Phillips fought back and managed to get out of a bases-loaded situation with a single withdrawal.
Late in the inning, just as the game was over, the Dodgers managed to rally. Gavin Lux hit a double down the left-field line, and Trayce Thompson drove it in with a triple to center right away.
Gabe Kapler brought in Jarlin Garcia to face Cody Bellinger with two outs and a runner at third, and the Giants reliever just couldn’t find the area walking Bellinger on his bobblehead night, and Mookie Betts found two outs and hit a go-in front of a three-point shot to deep left field.
A Dodgers-Giants game that had it all after a lukewarm start, it showed some of the weaknesses that need to be addressed with this team’s bullpen, as well as the resilience to stay focused after blowing a 5- 0.
The Dodgers win Game 1 of the series, but there are three more to face the Giants at Dodgers Stadium.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (14), Mookie Betts (21); Evan Longoria (9), Darin Ruf (10)
WP-Evan Phillips (4-3): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
PL – Dominic Leone (3-2): ⅔ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 strikeout
Sv—Craig Kimbrel (16): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 crossed out
Tyler Anderson takes the ball for the Dodgers against Logan Webb Friday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network).