The Giants pull off the sweep, stuffing the Smogsuckers behind a career night from Joaquin Arias. The 27-year old well-traveled utility man hit a two-run homer in the 1st, an RBI double in the 6th, and a two-run double in the 7th. He also made a brilliant stop at short and threw out Shane Victorino in the 3rd (aided by a nice catch from Brandon Belt). The man is on fire! With the team having undergone a painful Melkotomy recently, it is great to see guys step up. And I am also happy to see the team look much better in the field. Justin Christian made a Blancoesque diving catch in the 7th to save a run, but it isn't just the highlight-reel plays. These days the Giants are catching the ball and making the throws, something they had a lot of trouble with earlier in the season. (Hunter Pence gifted LA a run with a poor play on a fly ball by Andre Ethier, but it was 8-0 at that point. He needs to get his bat going.)
Matt Cain had a funny night, retiring nine of the first ten without breaking a sweat, then giving up leadoff hits and falling behind the big hitters for the next four innings. But he did what he always does and that's get the outs. Matty made the pitches and the guys made the plays and it was 8-1 after seven and 101 pitches. Ol' Boch let him hit in the bottom of the inning but replaced him with Clay Hensley to start the 8th. It was the right thing to do with a big lead and a superheated pennant race still ahead, but the Dodgers tacked on a three-spot to show some life and chase the next guy, Jeremy Affeldt. Fortunately, Santiago Casilla saved the 'pen from ignominy and got the final five outs, finishing with a flourish by whiffing Matt Kemp. Like I said, in the wake of MelkyGate, it's nice to see guys step up.
Hector Sanchez caught Cain for the first time this season as Superman Buster Posey sat out with a hamstring strain. Let's hope that's a minor thing--hamstrings can be kryptonite, just ask Kemp. The Giants played some great baseball in LA. I was thrilled when they took the first two, and like the rest of us got greedy for all three. Sure enough, the club delivered. Great starting pitching and early leads are a nice combination. The Dodgers scored only six runs total and played from behind from the first inning of the first game. They were owed a whuppin', don't you think?
Atlanta comes to San Francisco for four starting tomorrow.
p.s. Look for my trivia quiz (with prizes!) tomorrow.