Muncy, Gallo find their power swings in Dodgers’ win over Giants

As Joey Gallo rounded third and calmly blew a pink bubble, his Dodgers teammates in the dugout banged their heads.

It was a seasonal tradition that originated in a scene in The Wolf of Wall Street. Dustin May slapped his right hand through his red hair on his birthday. Hanser Alberto went two-handed and made a small movement with his hips. A normal celebration.

But the last time the Dodgers faced San Francisco Giants left-hander Jarlín Garcia on Aug. 4, he mimicked the head-knock gesture. Twice actually – once after a Cody Bellinger strikeout, once after he punched James Outman, after which he pointed to Mookie Betts in the circle on deck.

On Tuesday night, two hitters shrugged off tough spells to lead the Dodgers to a 6-3 win over the Giants, stalling Garcia with five early runs in a bullpen game for San Francisco. There would be no tap and point this time. Just a flinch and a blank look at the stands.

“All good, must be celebrated,” said Alberto of his dancing, “especially seeing Gallo doing good things.”

For the most part, Gallo and Max Muncy have had very different careers. Gallo, the former frontrunner who was traded from Texas and washed out with the Yankees. Muncy, the diamond in the rough and Dodger’s mainstay.

But their seasons, right down to the entire slashes, could practically be mirrors. Gallo collapsed for most of the season with the Yankees, suddenly found his stride after a move to the Dodgers in August, and has quietly slumped again for the past two weeks. Muncy struggled with Los Angeles for most of the season, suddenly finding his stride in August and quietly dipping back in for the past two weeks.

Their seasons met at a perfect moment on Tuesday – both three for their last 27.

The Dodgers' Joey Gallo hits a triple home run while the San Francisco Giants' Jarlin Garcia looks on.

The Dodgers’ Joey Gallo, left, hits a triple home run while San Francisco Giants pitcher Jarlin Garcia, right, looks on during Tuesday’s second inning at Dodger Stadium.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

And they met again in a glorious eradication of the bad mood against the Giants, both hitting long home runs.

After a dive catch of a Bryan Johnson liner in the second inning to save a run, Gallo kicked the plate against Garcia at the bottom of the frame, Muncy was in second after a double to lead the inning and Justin Turner waited as first . On a 3-and-1 count, Garcia challenged Gallo.

Gallo crushed the 95-mph bid so hard his racquet cracked near the grip, the ball landing deep in right center of the stands to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

“It’s nice to see him smile,” Roberts said of Gallo.

In the next inning, Muncy put another Garcia fastball into the right field stands, resulting in a quick hook for the Giants relief after 1 2/3 innings and five earned runs.

Mimicking the aide last month, Muncy said, did not motivate the lineup in any way. But the Dodgers pounced on him anyway.

After Brandon Crawford reduced the Dodgers’ lead to two runs with a sixth-inning homer from Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson, Muncy later scorched in the frame of his second big throw of the game.

For much of the season, the mighty Muncy was just a blemish in a near-perfect Dodger season, an elite hitter who couldn’t figure it out as his OPS hovered dangerously close to .600.

“Mechanically, my swing is identical to last year,” he said in May. “My racquet speed is identical. I swear by strikes. It’s just one of those things where the game can humble you.”

On Tuesday night, he turned and humiliated the game right back.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-09-06/max-muncy-joey-gallo-dodgers-giants-mlb-recap Muncy, Gallo find their power swings in Dodgers’ win over Giants

Emma Bowman

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