By: Michael Manbert
An expected pitchers' duel played out as predicted in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon in front of yet another sellout crowd at AT&T Park as Clayton Kershaw faced off against Tim Lincecum in a matchup that featured each club’s respective aces.
Kershaw has proven himself to be a Giant killer, having beaten the defending world champions twice in as many attempts on the season.
Wednesday’s matchup was no different.
Kershaw was fantastic against an again-anemic San Francisco offense that saw its far-and-away most effective hitter, Pablo Sandoval, sit on the bench as he was given the day off with a sore quadricep muscle.
The Los Angeles ace threw eight innings of three-hit ball while striking out a career-high 12 hitters and only walking one.
Tim Lincecum was also extremely effective; however, as is often the case for Giants pitchers, he had no offensive backing and was credited with a loss.
Despite again having control issues, Lincecum surrendered just one run by way of a Dioner Navarro solo home run that splashed into McCovey Cove in the seventh inning. His statline on the day was seven innings, five hits, four walks and seven strikeouts.
Lincecum’s ERA drops to a phenomenal 2.90, as his record falls to 8-8 – a .500 record the likes of which is generally unheard of for a pitcher who posts such numbers.
Although they advanced runners to third on two occasions and left four men in scoring position, the Giants just couldn’t find a way to scratch out a single run against Kershaw, who looks to be a Cy Young contender.
Young Dodgers closer Javy Guerra would close out the game, sitting down the Giants hitters in 1-2-3 fashion.
Just like that, it was over. Final score: Dodgers – 1 Giants – 0.
The Giants retain a four-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, while the Dodgers will look to claw their way back from a 13.5-game deficit over the course of 64 games remaining in their schedule.
Although they lost Wednesday afternoon, San Francisco took the series against their arch-rival Dodgers 2-1.
The defending world champions will not play tomorrow, but will resume their schedule on Friday the 22nd in San Francisco, as the Milwaukee Brewers come into town for a three-game series.
Michael Manbert is a reporter for SFGiantsInsider.com