Los Angeles

Blached! Giants Rookie Shuts Out Dodgers 3-0, LA Loses Home Field Advantage

Ty Blach shut down the Dodgers in just his second career start as San Francisco clinched at least a one-game playoff for the second Wild Card spot with a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.

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Ty Blach shut down the Dodgers in just his second career start as San Francisco clinched at least a one-game playoff for the second Wild Card spot with a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, played the numbers before the game, knowing the Dodgers are last in the Major Leagues against left-handed pitching (.217 batting average).

"We're going to see a lefty in the next series and we have to do better," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about his team's struggles against left-handers. "Today wasn't good. The quality of our at-bats...we gave away a lot of them today. We have to be better."

Bochy announced he would start the young southpaw, just hours before the game and Blach delivered, shutting down the Dodgers in just the second start of his young career.

Blach (1-0) earned the first victory of his big league career, allowing just four hits to go with one walk and five strikeouts in eight scoreless innings as San Francisco stayed a game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot in the NL.

"We just couldn't figure him out," added Roberts. "He was getting ahead of guys and we couldn't put any good swings together.

Blach also helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 off three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw had a strong outing, but did not have his usual lights-out stuff, recording just four strikeouts in the game.

"They were swinging from the get go," Kershaw said of the Giants aggressiveness at the plate. "There was a few dumb pitches I threw today, a few I shouldn't have thrown."

Angel Pagan finished 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored off Kershaw, proving to be the thorn in the former MVP's side all afternoon. 

"I threw the pitch where I wanted it, I didn't think he had hit it that well, but I guess he did," Kershaw said of the homer he allowed to Pagan. "Tip your cap to him."

Kershaw (12-4) took the loss against his rivals, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits with one walk and just four punch outs in his final start before the postseason begins on Friday in Washington.

Kershaw was bitten with a bout of bad luck in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff single to Pagan, Crawford hit a comebacker to Kershaw that careened off the pitcher's leg towards third base. Justin Turner scooped up the ball and attempted to throw Crawford out at first, but the ball sailed past Adrian Gonzalez and into right field.

"Overall, it was a frustrating day," continued Kershaw. "I was just okay. The game went by fast, but it's okay, I guess."

Pagan scored on the error and Crawford advanced to third, where he scored on a sacrifice fly one batter later.

Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season, guaranteeing San Francisco would win the season series with the Dodgers as they lead the head-to-head matchup 10-8 with just one game left to play.

Meanwhile, since clinching the NL West last Sunday, the Dodgers have dropped four of their last five games and seem to just be going through the motions as they prepare for the first round of the MLB Playoffs next weekend.

"We're on a little bit of a slide here," finished Roberts. "But we're still in a good position and we expect to play well tomorrow."

With the loss, Los Angeles loses home field advantage for the first round of the National League Division Series and will travel to Washington D.C. for Game 1 against the Nationals on Friday.

Players of the Game:

Ty Blach: 8 shoutout innings, 2 hits.
Angel Pagan: Home run and two runs scored.
Brandon Crawford: Run scored. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Say Hey: The Say Hey Kid himself, Willie Mays, visited legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully in the booth before the game and posed for pictures with the soon-to-be retired sports announcer. Mays was playing with the New York Giants when Scully called his first game, and Scully has been on record calling Mays, "the greatest baseball player he's ever seen."

2. Kershaw's Kryptonite: Angel Pagan tied Rickie Weeks and Adam Dunn for the most extra-base hits off Clayton Kershaw in his career. Pagan has a total of six off Kershaw, five doubles and a home run against the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

3. K is for Kershaw: Clayton Kershaw recorded his 1,918th career strikeout in the game, tying Hideo Nomo's career mark, and tying Dazzy Vance for fourth all-time on the Dodgers franchise leaders for punch outs. Kershaw now trails Don Sutton, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax on the all-time list.

Up Next:

Dodgers (91-70): Kenta Maeda makes the final start of the season for Los Angeles at 12:05PM PST.

Giants (86-75): San Francisco will start Matt Moore in the season finale on Sunday, needing a victory to clinch the second Wild Card spot in the National League

All quotes courtesy of Spectrum SportsNetLA.

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