After all the hype and anticipation of the San Francisco Giants’ 2011 title defense, the G-Men put up a bit of a dud tonight in Los Angeles as the Dodgers took the first of a four game series by a score of 2-1. It was a pitchers duel for most of the night as Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw battled it out, with Kershaw drawing the upper hand this evening in Chavez Ravine.
Tim Lincecum (0-1) was giving up some hits, but the Dodgers weren’t getting any runs to show for it. Then in the bottom of the sixth a Matt Kemp walk, a Miguel Tejada error and a HBP on Juan Uribe loaded the bases with two outs; Buster Posey made an uncharacteristic mental mistake as he threw down to third in an attempt to pick of James Loney, but ended up throwing the ball into the outfield, scoring Loney easily. Lincecum finished the night with 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Santiago Casilla didn’t look good at all in his relief appearance tonight as he gave up the other run on a James Loney double, and had a significant decrease in velocity compared to last year. Hoping this night was a fluke for him, but you never know.
The Giants made it interesting in the ninth as Pat Burrell lined a homer run right over the left field wall off of John Broxton, and Brandon Belt got the change to be a hero in his first major league game; he fought of a number of pitches by lined out to former Giant Juan Uribe. Belt still managed to get his first major league hit tonight on a liner behind the first base in the second inning.
Clayton Kershaw (1-0) had a dominant performance tonight, pitching 7 full innings while allowing only 4 hits and an impressive 9 strikeouts with one walk. Matt Kemp had a nice night as well going 1-2 with three walks.
The Giants now start the season 0-1 and are already behind both the Dodgers and Padres. Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch and can be seen on CSN BAy Area, and heard on KNBR 680. Full box score can be found here.
For more analysis and conversation, head over to our Giants blog, McCovey Chronicles, to get your fix.