The San Francisco Giants just won't go away. And now the Dodgers might have more of a problem on their hands than just a near dead-heat in the National League West.
The Dodgers fell to the Giants again in game one of a weekend series and might have lost a starting pitcher in doing so. Behind a strong outing from Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco topped Los Angeles 9-0. And Hyun-Jin Ryu left after just one ineffective inning with shoulder irritation.
Ryu was not sharp in his one inning of work. The lefty from South Korea coughed up five hits and four runs (all earned). He walked one and struck out one in an inning that saw the Giants knock four different RBI base hits. Ryu came back into the dugout with a funny feeling in his shoulder and Don Mattingly elected to pull his starting pitcher from the game.
Things just got worse for the Dodgers from there. Entering the game with a two-game advantage in the NL West, Los Angeles laid an egg offensively. The Dodgers mustered just three hits all evening against San Francisco pitching.
Bumgarner saves the day
Madison Bumgarner was terrific once again for his Giants. The left-handed ace went seven strong innings, allowing just the three hits and striking out nine. Bumgarner did not allow a run before handing the ball (and a rather large lead) over to Juan Gutierrez. Gutierrez handled all the relief duty on Friday with two spotless innings. He struck out two and didn't allow a batter to reach base.
San Francisco added two home runs after the initial four-run first. Brandon Crawford tagged a two-run homer in the fifth and then Travis Ishikawa broke things open with a three-run job to right field that made the score 9-0. Los Angeles burned through four relief pitchers, in addition to Ryu, to negotiate the nine innings.
But with the Giants threatening to pull even in the NL West tonight in The Bay, the Dodgers may be worrying about their starting pitcher. Hyun-Jin Ryu slots in the team's third spot in the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. With Josh Beckett hurt, LA might lean heavily on Dan Haren if Ryu can't throw effectively again this year. The veteran Haren has pitched really well as of late, but still only gives LA three starters. What seemed like a strength for the Dodgers all season has quickly become an issue for the playoffs. But Los Angeles just needs to get there first.