Dodgers 2, Giants 3: Baseball is a dumb sport and we’re all dumb for watching it.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Apr 8, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA;  John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is a game of anticipation. Players eagerly watch pitchers move across the mound as they run through their pitch sequence in their heads. As the pitcher takes the mound and places his toe on the rubber, the batter runs through the possible pitches he might see, having already expertly studied his opponents repertoire. The catcher and other seven position players’ muscles twitch as the ball is released from the hurler’s hands and glides towards one of two destinations: the catcher’s glove or the batter’s bat. Meanwhile, the fans, merely observers of the sport, are left on edge wondering what the outcome of each subsequent pitch will be. On nights like tonight, as each inning’s end tacks on another zero in the hit column, the fans’ anticipation builds into anxiety.

Every baseball fan is superstitious. It is around the fifth inning when we really start to notice opponents getting blanked across the board, yet we remain silent. We never want to be the one to say, “Hey guys, Stripling has a no-hitter heading into the sixth.” And if we do say it, we brush it off as “Jinxes are fucking stupid.” I mean, jinxes really are hokie stupid crap, but again, baseball fans are superstitious. Come the seventh, we can feel the stakes of a singular, non-postseason, beginning-of-the-season, game get higher and higher. Everyone starts thinking about history. We already start thinking how our stories will start, “I was at home doing….” The sentence will end with, “when so-and-so got the no-hitter.”

But baseball, as beautiful as she is, she is not easy. She will make you work for your exhilaration. On a night like tonight, if baseball were a hussy, she would have given Stripling his no-hitter, in his major league debut, on the road, against the Dodgers historic rivals. If baseball were easy, though, every young pitcher would have that and it would mean nothing. Instead, we will forever be left with, “Why?” after a down-by-one, extra-inning loss, in rainy San Francisco.

Despite the loss, there is still hope, should you choose to continue this terrible relationship with baseball. Ross Stripling looked amazing against a healthy Giants lineup. While the offense only scored two runs, it was able to muster nine hits against Matt Cain and the Giants bullpen.

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Even better news, Clayton Kershaw will toe the rubber against Madison Bumgarner in the penultimate game of the series tomorrow. In his last start, Kershaw fanned nine batters and gave up only one hit over seven innings of work against the Padres. In his last start against the Giants, he struckout thirteen batters, gave up one hit – Oh yeah, the Dodgers also clinched the division.

Game time tomorrow is at 1:05 PM

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Dodgers Offense Stymied By Bumgarner, Lose 2-1

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The Dodgers were unable to rally an offense against Madison Bumgarner and the Giants Tuesday night. Clayton Kershaw and the Giants ace continued the pitchers’ duel that began in San Francisco. Once again, Bumgarner lead the Giants to victory.

Unfortunately, for the Dodgers ace, the narrative among baseball normies is that Kershaw is not living up to the legend nor the contract he signed in 2014. Of course, if we just look at useless things like pitcher wins, the Dodgers southpaw has one win, one loss, and one no-decision. But you are enlightened readers and know that pitcher wins are about as useful as a left handed screwdriver. While his ERA is unflattering, Kershaw’s FIP and xFIP are 2.79 and 1.95, respectively, indicating that his pitching has not been the problem nor will it be as the season progresses. In fact, after three starts, Kershaw is posting an uncharacteristic BABIP of .393 – his career BABIP is .273. With that, he is also posting a K-BB% of 27.5%! His pitches are definitely missing bats. Unfortunately, the pitches that do get hit are getting hit hard as his line drive rate is 28.1%, his career LD% is 19.6%. Likewise, his HR/FB ratio is 21.4%, the highest it has ever been in any season. Again, as it has been said many times before, this season is still really young! We’re not even through April yet!

Returning back to the recap, you knew the game was going to be absurd when the lineup showed Alex Guerrero starting in left field, a position in which he looked incredibly awkward. Also in the lineup was Enrique Hernandez, getting the start in center after getting called up from triple-A. And of course, everyone’s favorite redhead, Justin Turner at first, giving Adrian Gonzalez the night off.

Neither the regular starters nor the bench guys could get anything going on offense as Bumgarner pitched a brilliant eight innings, giving up only five hits, one run, and a walk while striking out 9. Kershaw pitched equally as amazing, going seven innings and giving up seven hits, two runs, while tallying 8 K’s. What can you say other than the Dodgers and Giants faced great pitching, however, the Giants were able to score just one more run to secure the win.

The series is now tied between the Dodgers and the Giants. Tonight, Zack Greinke will face off against Ryan Vogelsong. Game time is at 7:10.