We were hoping Veronica Belmont would be our lucky charm tonight to break the TortureCast’s losing streak when covering Giants games. Tonight would be a tough task against the MLB leader in ERA and wonky deliveriness, Clayton Kershaw.
Veronica, Willie and I decided to make a day of it with a pre-game beverage at Mo-Mo’s to discuss the Peavy trade, when you were conceived, and the bad bar service we were facing. After we picked up our passes, we headed straight for the “in-progress” unusual pre-game presser in the interview room, avec Sabean. Of course, the Giants had finalized a trade for Jake Peavy earlier in the day, so the purpose of this unusual format was primarily to discuss this trade. I’ll sum it up with the last question that Alex Pavlovic asked, “Is Cain going to pitch again this year.” Sabean responded, “I’m not a doctor.”
The figurative salve on that open wound was in the form of talking to Hunter Pence on the field during BP. Willie is a huge Hearthstone player (it’s a game, Google it), and so is Hunter. In fact, Hunter has been streaming his Hearthstone matches on Twitch.tv, and they are terribly entertaining. Hunter usually eschews conversation during BP, but his ears perked up when Willie started talking to him about it. He even came back TWICE after BP rounds to discuss deck strategy. Veronica, the internet behemoth that she is (1.7 million Twitter followers, folks) has a bit of a crush on Hunter…and plays Hearthstone, so yeah, she was also a kid in a candy store.
After a quick sandwich, we mingled through the center-field garden in all of its kale-glory with beers in hand. Not a bad place to hang out before a game. Now, considering you can’t really WATCH the game from the garden (yes, on TV), not so sure if I’d hang out in a chaise lounge.
Vogelson started out as strong as any Giants fan could hope for, retiring the first 11 Dodgers. However, with two outs in the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez hit a ball right at Hunter Pence, and with the early 6pm start time, Hunter, who had made two fantastic running grabs in the game thus far, completely lost it in the sun just above the stadium rim shadow for a gift double. Vogey pounded Hanley Ramirez hard, but he managed to flare off a two-strike pitch down the left field line for a run-scoring double. From our vantage point, Morse appeared to jog after the play as though he thought it would drop foul.
That seemed to set an ominous tone for the Giants.
The Dodgers opened up the fifth with back-to-back-to-back singles to open up a 2-0 lead, and if it weren’t for Pence’s third great running catch, it would have been 4-0. Of course, he did lose one in the sun.
Guess you can’t catch ’em all, eh?
Well, about that 4-0 advantage. It apparated in the very next inning through a combination of dinks, blown throws to home by players named Uggla, 2-out hits, and some pixie dust. Vogelsong was done after 6 IP with two earned runs, for a non-quality-start-feeling quality start (Uggla!).
Let’s face it, the Giants have beaten Kershaw before, but it wasn’t to be tonight. Whether the Dodgers scored just one run, or their eventual five, it was all the run support he needed.
Your move, Peavy. (sorry about the run support)
P.S. – We recorded our traditional “bonusode” after the game at Zeke’s. If you click the link here, you can actually hear the confidence fade from our voices.