Giants stunned by bizarre play in win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Jakob Junis was drafted a dozen years ago and has made nearly 300 professional appearances in the minor and major leagues. Until Friday, he had no saves, and the box score indicates the first was easy.

Junis faced three batters in the bottom of the 11th inning at Dodger Stadium and allowed no hits or runs. He knocked out Freddie Freeman to clinch a 7-5 win for the Giants.

“That’s how you spell it,” he laughs.


Junis’ second out came on one of the most bizarre plays in recent Giants history. A seemingly harmless pop-up to the infield turned into a 29-second debacle for both sides. The Giants had notable errors from rookie Casey Schmitt, who dropped the ball, and Junis, who shot it down the right field line when he had no hope of getting out.

The Dodgers responded by fumbling for what could have been a golden opportunity to tie the game again. Instead of taking advantage of mistakes and having two in scoring position for Freddie Freeman, they ended up with just one runner and two outs.

The game still rattled the Giants long after a wild victory at Dodger Stadium was official. Manager Gabe Kapler watched it several times before speaking to reporters and still wasn’t quite sure how to explain.

“I don’t know what to say about it,” he said. “It was so weird.”

Brandon Crawford called it one of the weirdest plays he’s seen in his 13-year career. With over 1,600 games under his belt, he is clearly the best choice to try to sum up.

“At the start, I was covering the third. When I saw Mookie coming in, I knew we had to get one,” he explained. “It was kind of a priority when I saw Mookie come back to second. That’s when Yaz threw the ball to me and I thought it would be the easiest to get out, that’s why I pushed him back.

“But I mean, he was obviously the most important baserunner. We had to get one of the baserunners out, and then obviously Thairo made the right decision by throwing home. And Junis – a big part of the game was that he was covering the third, so we were able to get through it.”

Kapler picked Estrada and Yastrzemski for staying in control amid the chaos. Yastrzemski, the right fielder, returned the ball to the infield, which may have caused some confusion on the other side. Estrada made a solid throw at home plate to cut off rookie Michael Busch when it looked like he might have an opening to score.

“I felt like once the ball was in Craw’s hands, something good was going to happen,” Kapler said.

It took a while, but the Giants finally took control and got a big takedown. In the other clubhouse, Betts took full responsibility.

“I saw the game badly,” he told Dodgers reporters.

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Lots of people did it, including Junis, who recovered after an early mistake. He looked up at one point and saw that “there was no one within 100 feet of third”, so he covered the bag, which proved vital. He ended up making the tag for the takedown, but it didn’t bring much clarity afterwards as he tried to digest it all.

“I literally threw it and I was so shocked that I threw the ball, let alone into right field. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before,” he said with a laugh. . “I was so shocked that I did it and stunned by what was going on that I didn’t even know what was going on behind me.”

Junis said he was “super grateful” the mistake didn’t cost the Giants. He recovered to throw a nasty slider past Freeman, pumping his fists as the game ended. It made it much easier to laugh a few minutes later, including how the play ended.

“I think I threw him third after that (out), too,” Junis said (he did). “I don’t know. I just couldn’t keep the ball in my hands on that play.”

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