Dodgers series rewind: Don’t forget about SF ‘pen
Friday, April 24
SAN FRANCISCO — It’s easy to identify the highlights of the Giants’ three-game sweep of the Dodgers. Tim Lincecum generated career victory No. 102 in Tuesday’s series opener. That propelled the Giants to back-to-back walk-off triumphs. Brandon Crawford and Justin Maxwell excelled on offense and defense. Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Angel Pagan and Casey McGehee contributed key hits at various junctures.
Moreover, don’t forget about the performance of the bullpen, which was easy to overlook amid the late rallies, the Dodgers’ complaints over the Roberto Kelly-Gregor Blanco waltz and the Clayton Kershaw-Madison Bumgarner hype.
San Francisco’s relievers combined to allow one run in 9 2/3 innings. That’s a 0.93 ERA. Santiago Casilla collected two wins and a save. Javier Lopez stranded runners on second and third in one appearance and induced an inning-ending double-play grounder in another. Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo combined to allow one hit in 3 2/3 innings. George Kontos and Jean Machi contributed big outs.
Lopez deflected credit to Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong, who delivered quality starts. “Good starting pitching really sets us up well,” Lopez said. “When we’re getting it, that’s when we kind of get in that rhythm we’re looking for.”
Lopez added that the wavelength between the relievers and manager Bruce Bochy remained intact. “That’s why I think there’s never a panic down there for us,” Lopez said. “We always kind of have an idea when we might throw and I think that’s why we’re starting to shine a little bit.”
San Francisco’s bullpen actually shone a lot, largely accounting for Los Angeles’ .067 (1-for-15) batting average with runners in scoring position. That provides a backdrop for an intriguing three-game rematch beginning Monday at Dodger Stadium.
— Chris Haft