The Giants entered this game enduring a terrible and embarrassing two-game loss at the hands of their hated rival, "Dem Bums" from LA. I went to the game with my roommate, Ben, who is a huge Dodgers fan. Regardless of what the standings are, I always have a good time at Giants/Dodgers games at AT&T, so the past two games didn't weaken my spirits as I took the muni down to the game.
The game had a pretty good turnout, although I was bummed to see some empty seats there. I don't think it was a sellout, unless a lot of people didn't show up after the Dodgers handed us a good beating on Friday and Saturday. Regardless, the fans were pumped for the game. That is one thing I love about the Giants and Dodgers: no matter what the standings are, no matter what happened yesterday, today is always a new day. No matter what is going on in the season at large, each game seems like we are in it for the pennant.
I was seated in section 141, right behind center field in the bleachers. Despite the many times I have been out to the phone booth, this was the first time I had the opportunity to sit in the bleachers. I really enjoyed the experience: the fans out in the bleachers are much rowdier and know how to have a good time. There is a lot more heckling, which I love; it's part of the game.
In fact, I saw something today that I have never seen: a baseball player react to fan-heckling. During the 7th inning, the Giants fans had a long chant for Matt Kemp, saying things like "What's the matter with Matt Kemp? He's a bum!" to "Matt Kemp's mom takes steroids!" Eventually, Matt Kemp turned to us and cupped his ear with his hand and then laughed. He seems like a good guy, despite the fact that he wears that ugly blue uniform. I certainly got a good laugh out of it.
Brad Penny took the mound for the Giants, and he was a beast. He pitched 7 innings, and held dem Bums to a meagre 5 hits. Considering the Dodgers explosive offense, that is quite a feat. He gave up a 2-run jack, but other than that, the Dodgers were unable to get anything going against Penny all day.
Chad Billingsley started for the Dodgers. I really have no faith in Bills, but it pleases me so much that Dodgers fans have a true love for the guy. After this game, Bills has a 3.99 ERA and a 12-10 record. For a supposed ace, that is not very impressive. In fact, the Giants lackluster offense forced Torre into taking Bills out after just 4 innings. Pretty nice.
Our lineup was pretty good today, and it is something I wish we could see more of. The starting lineup for the Giants was:
F. Sanchez (2b)
R. Winn (LF)
No Rowand, no Renteria, and no Molina. It's not that I dislike Rowand, but he is far too inconsistent and it really irritates me. However, he does play a mean center-field and he is a gamer. Renteria has the mind of a great baseball player, but I don't think he has the physical strength left. Unfortunately, I know we are going to have to deal with him for at least another year; there is no way he will sit on the bench with a $9 million contract. Molina is just a piece of crap and I cannot wait for him to leave the Giants. He can't call a game, can't hit, and is the slowest man on the base paths in major league baseball. Get him out of here, fast. I cannot wait for Buster Posey to be our starter next season.
Offensively, we did amazingly well. Juan Uribe (aka the man) got a two run jack to get us started in the second inning. The ball fell fairly close to me, but far enough away that it would be impossible for me to have retrieved it. The Dodgers had a couple bizarre plays that led to some runs for us later in the game. James Loney ran into an umpire during a hit from Schierholtz, which would later result in a run for the Giants on a subsequent.
The Dodgers weren't out of the game until the sixth inning, when they completely collapsed. My homeboy Jeff Weaver came into the game, and ended up destroying any hopes the Dodgers would have had for a comeback. By the end of the sixth inning, the Giants would be up 7 to 0, thanks to a nice RBI from Freddy Sanchez, who is becoming one of my favorite players on the Giants (assuming he will remain healthy).
All in all, the game was a very fun experience. At one point, a scuffle broke out between some Giants and Dodgers fans, very close to where I was sitting. I do not know what started the fight, but it ended before anything serious could happen (except for a Giants fan spraying some dorky Dodgers fan with a beer). The best part about the whole incident was a Dodgers fan who was wearing a white turtle-neck beneath his jersey. I found it utterly bizarre that anyone would wear a turtle-neck under their jersey, even some wuss from LA who can't take a little cold weather. It was fairly ridiculous seeing him yell at Giants fans, in a futile effort to act tough, while wearing his Macy's turtle-neck.
Once again, I love Giants baseball. I love Giants baseball even more when those bums come to town. Following the game, the Giants still lead the all-time rivalry, however that deficit is shrinking. Hopefully next year we can widen it once again.