Bullpen implodes in rubber loss to Dodgers

What we learned as bullpen implodes late in series loss to Dodgers appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea

LOS ANGELES — Wednesday’s final out at Dodger Stadium was a good day for a player who hopes to be a big part of the 2023 Giants. It was another bad day for the 2022 Giants.

Rookie infielder David Villar homered twice but the Giants lost 7-3. They dropped the streak and have now lost 10 of their last 11 against the Dodgers. They finished 1-8 at Dodger Stadium this year, matching the lowest winning percentage here in franchise history.

With 100-degree weather this week, Dodger Stadium turned into Coors Field and was once again the launching pad for the finale. All six runs through eight close innings came on homers, with Villar driving in the first three runs for the Giants and Justin Turner hitting a triple for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers got back on top in the bottom of the eighth. Austin Barnes found a hole for a leadoff single and Trea Turner drove in a rocket to left that sailed over Joc Pederson’s head for a double. Minutes later, Max Muncy — who else — opened the game.

In a doubleheader Thursday, Gabe Kapler let Zack Littell stay for a second inning and face Freddie Freeman and Muncy after giving up a run.

That was an error, as Freeman walked and Muncy blasted a three-run shot to right. The homer was his 21st against the Giants, including 13 in the last two seasons.

Villar has hit it off so far

No matter how Villar’s career goes, he will always have Clayton Kershaw in his book. Villar got the Giants on the board in the fifth, smoking a reverse slider for a two-run shot, and it wasn’t over. He later singled out lefty Justin Bruihl to center to tie the game in the seventh.

Villar had a career big hit in that series, but struck out three in three starts at Dodger Stadium. After a rough first month in the big leagues, his OPS is up to .777.

The Giants have been clear this month is an audition for Villar, who showed plenty of power in Double-A last year and Triple-A this season. It’s early, but he looks like someone they can count on for 2023.

Under pressure

Alex Cobb worked in traffic all day, and for a while, he did a great job. He loaded the bases with no outs in the second and went up 3-0 to Austin Barnes, but he escaped that jam unscathed.

After four innings, the Dodgers had left eight runners on base and Cobb was given a two-run lead in the fifth. He gave it right back.

Freeman led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and Muncy drove a bunt down an open third base line, winning the inning. Turner eventually brought the runners home, golfing a splitter over the wall in left-center.

Cobb lasted just one more hit and left with three earned in his streak in 4 1/3 innings. Half of the 24 batters he faced reached base.

Part of the Solution

One of the biggest issues for the Giants in June and July was left-handed relief, but Alex Young helped solidify that side of the bullpen. Young faced two batters with a runner on first in the sixth inning, scoring Freeman and getting Muncy to bounce to second.

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Young now has a 2.45 ERA in 16 appearances for the Giants. Not bad for someone the Giants picked up from the Cleveland Guardians in July just for cash.

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