About the Carpool Lane Jason Lezak threw out the f..."/> About the Carpool Lane Jason Lezak threw out the f..."/>

Carpool Lane–Trip to Dodgers vs Giants Sweep 8-4


About the Carpool Lane

Jason Lezak threw out the first pitch. You know that guy who four years ago in Beijing who didn’t take defeat for an answer. The guy who swam from behind to catch the French dude in the 4X100M freestyle so Phelps could go “Super Saiyan” and win all 8 gold medals. Lezak, that guy who secured victory when it was sure to be defeat.

Well he threw out the first pitch, a casual but non-bounced liner to Matt Treanor. And unlike Lezak, no matter how much they kicked splashed around, the Dodgers just couldn’t muster the inertia for a single win against the Giants. The Giants got a lead in the first two games of this series, and trying to catch up to Matt Cain on the mound with a three run lead is the Dodgers equivalent of Lezak behind the French. Mattingly should have had Lezak play first.

Still before Chris Capuano’s first pitch, the scene was riddled with foreshadowing for the remainder of the series. The Dodgers ran onto the field to start the top of the first led by Matt Kemp. As usual, 9 pint sized reserves followed for autographs from the players. One of the kids was uninterested with the souvenir, but instead was much more interested in running circles on the outfield grass, looking up at the immense stands not half full yet.

He had no interest in being corralled or controlled, and efforts by the Dodger players and security to get the kid off the field proved ineffective. This was cute and amusing because he was a kid, not a teenager, and certainly not the Giants who proved neither controllable nor corral-able for 9 innings.

The stats would show that the Dodgers were in the game, other than the unimportant matter of the score. But the Giants’ hits all found holes in the Dodger defense, free and unshackled like a kid who doesn’t want an autograph but just wants to run free on the grass. Forget the security cutoff man, this kid’s going for an inside the park home run.

The Giants hung three in the first inning off of a sac fly from the Kung Fu Panda again, and then a two run shot the opposite way from Arias. Then Matt Cain was the very structured and organized person who took care of the obedient Dodgers. Cain didn’t have his sharpest stuff, but the Dodgers fell right into his hands like a kid content to do what his parents and teachers want. Almost all liners and deep flies went straight to the gloves of the fielders.

Mark Ellis was on second after a leadoff double in the bottom of the 4th. It was only the Dodgers second hit of the game, and the second by an Ellis. Kemp got ahead 3-1 in the count. “Don’t swing” the guy in front of me coached from the reserved level. Kemp obliged Cain though and not the fan by grounding out weakly on a pitch out of the zone designed to put the Dodgers best player on the vacant base. With only one out next, Ethier was up next and faced the same 3-1 count, yet he complied with Cain’s desire for a groundout again despite contradictory coaching form the stands in front of me.

The Dodgers couldn’t corral the Giants at all, meanwhile the Dodgers were in a nice little play pen, not bothering anyone. They Dodgers played well with the other kids—they made sure never to bully or even bother the other team despite hosting the play date at their home Dodger Stadium.

In the Top of the 6th it was looking worse for the Dodgers as the first two batters got aboard with a single and a ground rule double. Rick Honeycutt came out to settle down Chris Capuano. Nonetheless, Sandoval and Arias each drove in a run off of Cap and relief Shawn Tolleson. Later in the inning with first base open and two down, Mattingly opted to intentionally walk Brandon Belt to face Justin Christian. The Dodgers once again couldn’t execute, as Tolleson walked in a run.

In the final innings the Dodgers started to come to life a little, but it was kept under wraps by a full speed, tumbling into the left field wall catch by Justin Christian. He along with the other Giants didn’t want to fit into the neat little formulaic package of sign the autograph, and go back home to your mother. They hung 8 on the Dodgers, and there was the series if not the season. If that ball drops and Tolleson doesn’t walk n a run, we’d be looking at a one run game with one on the bottom of the ninth with Kemp at the plate.

Kemp couldn’t hit for anything in this series, but if the Dodgers could get out of playing the game exactly like the opposing team wanted, I’d take that down one run scenario with Kemp at the plate in the last game of the season October 3rd against the Giants. But the Dodgers have to get there first.

The Giants and Dodgers meet again for two more series. September 7-9 in SF, and the final series of the season at Dodger Stadium October 1-3.