On August 27, 2011, the Dodgers were playing Colorado at home in the second game of a three game set. This late in the season we had long since given up on actually making the playoffs, and at this point we’re just hoping for a .500 finish. This game was like many of the Dodger-Rockie games of the 2011 season. It was a back and forth game with a lot of scoring. On a 100 degree day at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers who were down by four runs, rally to take the lead, by scoring five runs in the 6th inning. The Dodgers tied it in the 9th, on a Loney home run, and won it in the bottom of the 11th, on Matt Kemp’s third walk-off blast of the year…….Here is how it all happened…….
The game started very poorly for the Dodgers. They fell behind by four runs, and were being shut out by the reanimated corpse of Kevin Millwood. Yes THAT Kevin Millwood. The pitching match-up had Millwood countering Chad Billingsley for the Dodgers. Bills was having a completely inconsistent year, and we never knew which Bills to expect from start to start.
The game saw Colorado take an early lead. In the top of the third inning, Mark Ellis, who is now a Dodger, leads off and hits a pop fly to shallow left field. Unfortunately Juan Rivera is out there and cant get to it in time. The range-less Rivera tries to dive and backhand the ball, but it bounces past his glove, and Ellis has a double. Next up Cargo singles home Ellis giving the Rockies the 1-0 lead. Mullet man, A.K.A. Troy Tulowitzki, slams a monster home run halfway up the right field bleachers, and it’s a 3-0 Colorado lead.
The Dodgers collect a single, and put another runner on from an error, but are unable to score. Top of the fourth, Colorado scores another run on an error, and two singles. The pitcher Millwood reaches when Carroll’s poor throw pulls him off the bag. Mark Ellis singles him to second, and he scores, on another run scoring single for Cargo. That’s Cargo’s second RBI hit of the afternoon. The lead is now 4-0 Colorado.
Both pitchers allow a double in their respective fifth innings, but the score remains the same. Bills is able to get through the top of the 6th, which was his last inning of work. Bills made 123 pitches, allowing four runs through six innings. With the Dodgers still down by four runs, they would deploy a strategy they seemed to use with a lot of success in the second half of the season. They kind of hung in there, and waited out the opposing starting pitcher, in order to get into the other team’s bullpen. That’s exactly what they did, they just waited out Kevin Millwood.
Move to the bottom of the 6th. With 1 out, Miles reaches on a bloop single. Loney singles Miles over to third. Matt Belisle is called in to relieve Kevin Millwood. Bison chops a grounder to third, and Miles breaks for home. Kouzmanoff’s throw to home is too late, Miles sliding in safely. The Dodgers are on the board, 4-1. Rivera’s base knock into right field, scores Loney, and Kemp advances to third. The Dodgers have closed the gap to 4-2. Ethier is intentionally walked, and the bases are loaded with Casey Blake at-bat. Blake doubles into the gap, scoring Kemp and Rivera, but Ethier is thrown out at the plate. Ethier was the go-ahead run, and it’s a tie game at 4-4. Colorado continues to meltdown. A.J. Ellis is hit by a pitch, and Carroll immediately singles to right, scoring Blake, and the Dodgers have come from behind to take a 5-4 lead!
The Rockies would come right back and retake the lead in the top of the 7th. With Hong-Chih Kuo on the mound for the Dodgers, Cargo bunts for a base hit. Mullet Man hits his second home run of the game, a line drive bullet over the low wall in left field. Colorado re-takes the lead 6-5. Kuo redeems himself by whiffing Todd Helton, and Seth Smith.
Rex Brothers and Huston Street combine to pitch the 7th inning, and Matt Guerrier pitches the top of the 8th inning without issue for the Dodgers. The Dodgers put runners on in the bottom of the 8th inning, but failed to score. Ethier singled, and Blake was asked to sacrifice Ethier to second. Big Rod is walked, but Carroll and Gwynn make out.
Scott Elbert pitches a scoreless top of the 9th inning, and we move to the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out, and Rafael Betancourt on the mound for Colorado, James Loney bombs one into the bleachers. I’m serious. This was a blast. We have a tie game again, at 6-6.
Javy Guerra comes from the Dodger Bullpen and throws smoke in the top of the 10th. He whiffs Giambi and Iannetta, and we move to the bottom of the 10th.
The Rockies run out of pitchers, and are forced to bring in starting pitcher Jason Hammel, also known as “Hammeltime”. The Dodgers end up loading the bases but fail to score again. With 1 out, Blake walks. Big Rod singles. Carroll flies out. Sellers walks, but Hammel whiffs Miles to send it to the 11th inning. Mike MacDougal, also known as “Dougie” pitches a 1-2-3 11th inning. We go to the bottom of the 11th inning with the game still tied at 6-6.
With Hammel still pitching, Matt Kemp had enough. He decided that he was going to end things right then and there. Bison blasts a home run over the right field wall, to give the Dodgers the win 7-6. This was Kemp’s 31st home run of the season, and 100th RBI. It was also Kemp’s third walk-off home run of the season, his first two came back in April. This was the Dodgers second come from behind win in as many days. Dougie gets credit for the win, and Hammel takes the loss in a relief appearance. This was one of the great games of 2011. This game had everything….A 123 pitch effort from Bills, a five run Dodger rally, A great combined effort from the Dodger bullpen, and a Bison walk-off blast. All in all a good day was had.
Rockies 6 13 2
Dodgers 7 13 1
I must say watching a Colorado meltdown was very enjoyable, but seeing a Bison walk-off blast…..PRICELESS. To the victors go the spoils, right Dodger fans? Go Blue!
Tags: A.J. Ellis Andre Ethier Carlos Gonzalez Casey Blake Chad Billingsley Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo James Loney Jamey Carroll Jason Hammel Javy Guerra Juan Rivera Kevin Millwood Matt Guerrier Matt Kemp Mike MacDougal Rod Barajas Scott Elbert Tony Gwynn Jr. Troy Tulowitzki