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Dodgers’ lack of execution against Giants has become a major issue

Giants' Buster Posey heads home for the go-ahead run as Dodgers' Justin Turner chases an errant throw by Cody Bellinger.
Giants’ Buster Posey heads home for the go-ahead run as Dodgers’ Justin Turner chases an errant throw by Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The big games are often determined by who does the little things right, and in that department, the Dodgers have come up extremely small against the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants.

First baseman Cody Bellinger made an ill-advised, across-the-diamond throw that sailed far over the head of third baseman Justin Turner on Tuesday night, allowing the Giants to score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory in Oracle Park. The winning rally started with a pair of Blake Treinen walks.

In the top of the eighth, with the score tied, runners on second and third and one out, Dodger slugger Max Muncy failed to lift a fly ball over a drawn-in infield, grounding to first baseman Darin Ruf, who threw home to nail Luke Raley. Turner then flied to right to end the inning.

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The Dodgers need pitching help, and Andrew Friedman, their president of baseball operations, says adding a starter is ‘the most front-of-mind thing.’

Last Thursday in Dodger Stadium, closer Kenley Jansen got ahead of Jason Vosler with a 1-and-2 count before walking him, allowing the Giants to load the bases in an eventual four-run ninth inning that gave San Francisco a 5-3 come-from-behind win.

The next batter, Thairo Estrada, grounded to shortstop Chris Taylor, whose throw to second for a potential game-ending force out was not in time to get Vosler, who got a great secondary lead and jump off first base and beat the throw with a hard pop-up slide.

Had second baseman Sheldon Neuse, who entered the game in the ninth inning on defense, stretched like a first baseman on the play, the Dodgers might have gotten the out.

While the Dodgers seem to be finding ways to lose, the Giants have been making the key defensive plays, running the bases aggressively and smartly, not issuing as many free passes, getting their sacrifice bunts down and delivering more clutch hits.

The Giants enter Wednesday night’s game with a three-game division lead over the Dodgers, who have committed 63 errors on the season, third-most in the league, have allowed a major league-high 57 unearned runs, are 13-18 in one-run games and 1-10 in extra innings.

“Yeah, yeah, I think you have to be honest with yourselves,” manager Dave Roberts said after Tuesday night’s game, when asked if the Giants are doing the little things better than the Dodgers.

“It’s two evenly matched clubs, and if you look at how we’ve played, whether it’s an at-bat here, or an execution on defense, a missed play, a walk in a bad spot, they’ve been better than us. So on the margin, they’ve been better.”


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