SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants headed to Los Angeles with their National League Division Series against the Dodgers tied for one game after capturing a 9-2 loss to Oracle Park on Saturday night.
One night after everything was right for the Giants in Game 1, it was a very different story in Game 2. The Giants didn’t get the big hit when they needed one-when Brandon Crawford delivered in the sixth inning, right Dodgers fielder Mookie Betts threw Wilmer Flores in the third to end the inning – and the Dodgers broke the game against the Giants’ usual rock steady bullpen.
The game’s best-of-five series continues Monday night at Chavez Ravine for Games 3 and 4. Game 5, if necessary, is Thursday night at Oracle Park.
Here are some highlights from Saturday night’s post-game media session with manager Gabe Kapler and players Kevin Gausman and Flores.
Kay Kapler: First of all, what are your thoughts on going to Los Angeles today with the series tied 2-2?
Kapler: Clearly expected to open the game page tonight and get ready for Los Angeles. This is not our best effort tonight. The Dodgers just put up bats better than us, made more pitches than us, more plays than us. So we finished the whole season we would turn the page and get ready for an off-day, an off-day preparation, and get ready for Game 3.
To Flores: Gabe is just saying that if we’re here right to ask can you say that it might be a decision that you come back, you’re trying to stretch (and from first to third in Crawford’s two-out single in the sixth inning)?
Flowers: Yeah, 100 percent.
Kay Flores: What do you see there that makes you think maybe you can get a third?
Flowers: I just thought the ball was over the corner.
To Flores: Are you looking at the third base coach or was that your decision there?
Flowers: No, that was my decision.
To Kapler: Gausman I think had recorded 10 consecutively in a row when his turn came to reach 5th. Have you at all considered the potential pinch of hitting for him there with a one-run difference?
Kapler: I think that’s probably the biggest decision point in the game, from my perspective. There are a couple of things to play with there. Basically, as you mentioned, he’s starting to find his rhythm and his groove, so we see that with our eyes. He reports that. Buster confirms this. Swings are kind of confirmation of this. However, at that point, you can choose to use a pinch hitter and see if you can get a base runner for the top of the lineup. One thing that’s kind of unfortunate in that situation is you have all the lefties to run there against (Dodgers pitcher Julio) Urías. But this is an important deciding point and maybe you said in a clean (6th) entry for Dom Leone, maybe things are a little different.
We feel very good about Gausman’s release of the next three hitters. Obviously sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t and tonight it didn’t.
Kay Kapler: We think it’s Alex Wood (as the Giants ’starter for Game 3), but can you go over what the thinking is to put him in the Game 3 slot?
Kapler: First and foremost, he just pitched well for us and in particular he pitched well for us late. So that’s the main consideration. He’s one of our best three pitchers so far.
To Gausman: You saw what Alex Wood meant to you the whole season, especially after the team’s defeat, what was your attitude to him starting Game 3?
Gausman: Yeah, especially if you look at Woody’s numbers in the posteason, which means he’s not credible, either starting or coming out of the bullpen, and obviously the Dodgers know that too, because they’ve had him for a long time. So it’s going to be a great fight and I’m excited to watch Woody work.
To Kapler: Below 6th after they score their four runs you get some people at base and then obviously TreaTurner to stop diving. Throwing Betts to end the inning. I know you kind of ride, you’re one of the teams defending those plays. How much are you deflating from the other side when a team does that?
Kapler: Clearly Trea’s play was great and then an extra great Mookie throw, and we tend to expect those. See, I mean, I think if Wilmer was sitting here he would tell you that it’s really hard to make that kind of outside bases and take this kind of risk when you have a little bit of momentum. Wilmer was as professional as their arrival, as experienced as their arrival. I think he probably understands it that that’s the one he wants back. And as for the defensive plays the Dodgers have made, they’re both great, and you have to give them credit for that.
To the Betts: Can you take us to that throw and especially the curiosity about the decision to spin, like it helped you get the most out of the ball or what?
Betts: Like I said earlier, sometimes you just do things you don’t know why or just kind of do it, and that’s just one of those things. I peeked a bit and saw him coming in third and, I don’t know, whatever. It all kind of happened very quickly, and luckily, I was able to throw and stop the momentum there.
To the Betts: Coming out of your hand, was a throw that you thought had a decent chance of taking Flores to third?
Betts: Once I threw it pretty much I knew he was at that point in what I got to throw, and it was on target, so I knew I had a chance at it once I released it.