The beating the Dodgers took Saturday at Dodger Stadium wasn’t as bad as the one Canelo Alvarez got in Las Vegas. It was worse.
Historically bad, in fact, with the Giants setting a Dodger Stadium record for runs in a 19-3 rout. The last time the Dodgers lost by that much at home they were still in Brooklyn and they had a rookie infielder named Jackie Robinson.
The Giants also coaxed six Dodger pitchers into giving up a season-high 22 hits while the Giants’ Hunter Pence set a career high with seven runs batted in and teammate Brandon Belt added career highs of his own for hits (five) and RBIs (six). By the time it was over, 40 players had taken the field, making the game look more like a spring training exhibition than a mid-September matchup between a division leader and the reigning World Series champions.
For good measure the Dodgers made three errors, walked seven batters, committed a wild pitch and struck out 10 times in losing for the seventh time in 10 games.
Not exactly the way to peak for the postseason.
Yet as ugly as it was, the game may soon prove far costlier than a couple of lines in the record book and a game in the standings.
The Dodgers started the game without Hanley Ramirez, who needed two cortisone shots to quiet an irritated nerve in his back, and Andre Ethier, who left the stadium wearing a walking boot after hurting his left ankle Friday. Then, in less than six innings Saturday, they were joined in the trainers’ room by Yasiel Puig, who left the game after being hit by a pitch and landing awkwardly making a diving catch, and Carl Crawford, who has a stiff back.
Puig is expected to be available Sunday. Crawford’s status is unknown.
“Carl had a little back soreness or stiffness, he’s been battling off and on over the course of the year,” Dodger Manager Don Mattingly said. “It was something he went to the trainers with. Anytime a guy goes to the trainer and says he’s stiffening up and tightening up, it’s something.”
As for the game, catcher Tim Federowicz said the only thing the team can do is forget it ever happened.
“We have to turn the page,” he said. “I guarantee you it won’t happen tomorrow. The ball just found the grass for them.”
Well, the grass and the other side of the wall with Pence hitting a fifth-inning grand slam off reliever Stephen Fife and Belt adding a three-run home run off Onelki Garcia two innings later. But the game was over long before that with Dodger starter Ricky Nolasco retiring just four of the 15 batters he faced, equaling the shortest start of his career.
By the time he left with one out in the second, the Giants led 7-1 – and it just got worse from there.
“It was just a sloppy game all the way around,” said Nolasco, who hadn’t lost in two months and 10 starts. “Things like this are going to happen. It just wasn’t my day. It wasn’t the team’s day from the start.”
But it was the Giants’ game, with the 19 runs marking the most they’ve scored in a game in 23 years -- and the most they’ve scored against the Dodgers since 1962. Six Giants scored at least twice while five players had two or more hits. Starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (10-13) had two of each while holding the Dodgers to three runs and five hits in six innings, striking out six.
“This is one of those games,” Mattingly said with a sigh. “It’s probably a lot easier to wipe one of these off than it is to blow a two-run lead in the ninth. We didn’t really have a chance to win this game.”
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