History was made at AT&T Park today as the San Francisco Giants shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the third consecutive game in a row to move into a tie for first place in the NL West.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum (3-8/5.60) , whose rocky 2012 season has been a concern for the team, was in total command this afternoon as he threw seven scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits with 1 BB, and 8 SO in 108 pitches.
The 123 year history of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry officially began in 1890, when the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (they became the “Dodgers” in 1911) left the American League and joined the rival New York Giants in the National League. In that entire time the Giants have never taken a series from the Dodgers in a three game shutout sweep until today.
On Monday, starter Barry Zito (6-5/1.37WHIP) threw seven shutout innings as the Giants won 8-0, and on Tuesday Ryan Vogelsong (7-3/1.15WHIP) was scoreless through seven as San Francisco topped LA 2-0.
Lincecum made the most dramatic play of the game in the third inning when Dodger pitcher Chad Billingsley tried to score from third base on a wild pitch.
Giants’ catcher Hector Sanchez pounced on the ball when it bounced off the backstop and side-armed a throw to Lincecum who was covering home. Billingsley, a large hurler, slammed into Lincecum who was blocking the plate with his right leg. Lincecum caught Sanchez’s throw but Billingsley knocked the glove off his left hand.
Lincecum held onto the glove and showed it to umpire Fieldin Culbreth who made the out call.
San Francisco completed the sweep without using either of their two top starters this season, Matt Cain (9-2/2.27/0.90WHIP ) and Madison Bumgarner 9-4/3.10/1.12WHIP). The Dodgers and Giants are both at 43-33 as co-leaders in the National League West, tied with the third best record in the Majors (after the 46-29 Rangers, and the 46-28 Yankees).
The Dodgers had held first place in the NL West since April 11th, but are 2-8 in their last ten games. The surging Giants added a hitting attack in the off-season with the additions of Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, and back-up catcher Hector Sanchez to compliment the Majors’ most dominant starting and bullpen pitching.