May 18, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Justin Sellers (12) run on to the field as Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Elian Herrera (37) walks in for the winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Win in Typical A.J. Ellis Style With Walk-Off Walk

Dodgers 6 13 2

Cardinals 5 6 1

WP- Jansen (3-0)

LP- Salas (0-2)

HR- Holliday (9), Berkman (1)

While I was screaming with delight as I rode on Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, the Dodgers were busy losing to the D-backs and the Padres. I missed the lineup debate, but I’m always a proponent of putting forth your best lineup every game. Sure, Don Mattingly has little wiggle room with the slew of hamstring injuries that have befallen our guys. There still is no logic in batting Adam Kennedy fifth behind Ethier or burying A.J. Ellis behind Kennedy and Loney. Although logic would be suspended tonight as Adam Kennedy’s FOUR base hits make us eat our words. Luckily Andre Ethier continues to produce, and Tony Gwynn Jr. has been playing very well especially in the outfield. Our starting pitching has been excellent, and our rotation has really been the backbone of our team. The important thing is to maintain our lead until May 29th which is Bison’s return date.

The Dodgers will host the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals for the first time this season for a tough three-game weekend set. The Cards have a potent lineup. Our pitching will need to keep their bats at bay while our lineup will probably need to score more than their usual three runs per game. The Cardinals are undefeated against left-handers on the road this year.

Leading off for the Cardinals is our old friend Rafael Furcal. Furcal has had a stupendous start to the season, and he is hitting .367 going into tonight’s game. Furcal hits a hopper to Dee Gordon at short who retires his predecessor. Matt Carpenter pops out to shallow left field where Dee Gordon almost collides with Bobby Abreu to make the catch. Dee needs to stay in his zone. Matt Holliday strikes out, and Lilly sends the Cards down in order in the first inning.

Lance Lynn goes to work for the Cardinals in the bottom half of the first inning. Dee Gordon swings at the first pitch and grounds out to first. Mark Ellis pops out to shallow center. Abreu flies out, and the Dodgers go down 1-2-3.

Carlos Beltran lines out to Adam Kennedy, and the World Series MVP David Freese lines out to Andre Ethier for the first two outs in the second inning. Yadier Molina pops out to Mark Ellis in shallow left field for the last out, and the game is still without a hit.

Andre Ethier leads off the third inning with a deep fly ball which is caught on the warning track right in front of the 395 mark by Shane Robinson. Adam Kennedy doubles to the gap between Robinson and Beltran. That lucky blooper essentially cements his fifth spot on in the lineup for the next couple of weeks. James Loney then doubles in the exact same spot that Kennedy found, and the Dodgers are up 1-0. A.J. Ellis flares a single into left field, and the throw to the plate was offline. James Loney avoids the tag and gets his hand over to the plate and around Molina, 2-0. The Red Birds are flustering, and Tony Gwynn triples down the right field line! Ellis scores, and it’s 3-0 Dodgers. Ted Lilly strikes out, and Dee Gordon grounds out to end the inning.

 

Mattingly is tossed for arguing about a check swing call from the dugout. Photo:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Once the third inning arrives, it gets wild. Tyler Greene gets a bunt single to lead off the third for St. Louis. Greene goes to second on a throwing error by A.J. Ellis on a attempted pickoff move. Greene had stumbled as he tried to go to second which spurred the wide throw by Ellis. Shane Robinson strikes out, but a wild pitch allows him to reach first base safely when Ellis drops the third strike. Should have been a passed ball, but they score it a wild pitch. Lance Lynn sacrifices the runners to second and third. One run scores on a deep fly ball to center by Furcal, 3-1. Gwynn had to go back to get the ball since Hit Machine still has some pop in his bat. Then Don Mattingly is ejected from the game by home plate umpire Tom Hallion, because he is hollering from the dugout. He was angry about a check swing call by third base umpire Chad Fairchild on Carpenter. Carpenter then proceeds to single to right field, and Robinson scores. Then Matt Holliday homers to left, and the Cardinals take the lead 4-3. Beltran grounds out to finally end the inning but not before the Cards score 4 runs.

The furious third continues in the bottom part for the Dodgers. Mark Ellis singles, and Abreu walks. Ellis advances to third on a fly ball by Ethier. Adam Kennedy comes up with his second hit of the night, and his single cashes in the tying run, 4-4. This is definitely Kennedy’s best game as a Dodger to date. After a coaching visit to the mound for St. Louis, Loney follow with a single. A.J. Ellis unfortunately grounds into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

In the fourth Lilly has a very nice inning as he retires the side in order and strikes out both Freese and Greene.

Tony Gwynn leads off the bottom of the fourth with a single up the middle. Gwynn moves over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ted Lilly (his fourth sacrifice of the season). Dee Gordon pops out in foul territory. Mark Ellis flies out.

In the fifth, Lilly strikes out Robinson to start it off. The pitcher, Lynn, grounds out. Furcal grounds out, and the game is still tied at four.

Tyler Greene makes a good diving stop to rob Abreu of a sure base hit in the bottom of the fifth. They pitch around Ethier, and he walks on four pitches. Adam Kennedy then singles for his third, yes that is not a typo, third base hit of the night. He now has two singles and a double. Ethier makes it over to third. Loney strikes out trying to hold up. A.J. Ellis also whiffs, and the Dodgers are unable to cash in.

Ted Lilly pitches a scoreless inning in the sixth, and he only allows a Carlos Beltran single. Adam Kennedy snares a laser line drive by David Freese to save an extra base hit.

Tony Gwynn starts the bottom of the sixth by whiffing with Ted Lilly following suit with a strikeout of his own. Dee Gordon grounds out on a little roller, and he is now 0 for 4 on the night.

Adam Kennedy back hands and drops a ball hit by Tyler Greene, and he draws the error with one-out in the

Mark Ellis comes out of the game after hitting his knee on the sliding Greene's knee. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

seventh. Robinson hits a double play ball, but Greene breaks it up with a hard slide into Mark Ellis. Ellis’ knee is hit by Greene’s knee on the play, but he is okay to continue. Skip Schumaker, pinch-hitting for Lynn, strikes out to end the inning.

Lance Lynn pitches 6 innings, allowing 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts on 103 pitches.

 

Rafael Furcal's cannon for an arm can be hard to control. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Bobby Abreu singles to short on a bad play by Furcal. Ethier grounds into a force, but Dre advances to second base on a throwing error by Furcal. It could have easily been scored as back-to-back Furcal errors there. Adam Kennedy draws a walk to preserve his perfect evening. James Loney flares a single the other way, and the Furcal error is cashed in, 5-4 Dodgers.

Ted Lilly pitches 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 runs (all unearned), no walks, and 6 strikeouts on 101 pitches

Josh Lindblom comes in to pitch the eighth inning out of the pen for the Dodgers, and he strikes out Furcal to start off.  Carpenter draws a one-out walk. Holliday strikes out, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Beltran singles, and he goes 2 for 4 on the night. Lindblom strikes out David Freese, and he ends up striking out the side after making 31 pitches in the inning.

Victor Marte, a righty, comes in to pitch relief for the Cards in the bottom of the eighth.  With one out. Justin Sellers doubles on a fly ball which drops between Adron Chambers  and Robinson. Dee Gordon strikes out, and he goes 0 for 5 on the night. Scott Van Slyke strikes out on a slider to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen comes in to try to close it up in the ninth. Yadier Molina chases a high ball, and he goes down on strikes for out number one. Jansen completely blows away Greene, and the Cards are down to their last out. Lance Berkman then lets one fly into the pavilion for a solo shot to tie up the game. Why always with two outs in the ninth? Daniel Descalso strikes out, and we’re headed to the bottom of the ninth.

Fernando Salas comes in to pitch for St. Louis. Elian Herrera draws a pinch-hit walk to lead off. Ethier strikes out swinging for the first out. Adam Kennedy slaps a single into right, and Herrera flies over to third. Kennedy goes 4 for 4 on the night with three singles, a double, and a walk! They intentionally walk Loney to load the bases for A.J. Ellis. Ellis does what he does best. He doesn’t swing, and Salas walks in the winning run on four pitches! The Dodgers win in typical A.J. style!

The Dodgers are now 26-13 with a healthy 6 game lead in the NL West. What a night! It was like being on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride complete with four Kennedy hits, three Loney hits, a Mattingly ejection, a blown Jansen save, Furcal error, A.J. defensive blunders, then a redeeming A.J. walk-off walk to return full circle. The Dodgers ARE LEGIT.

Tomorrow evening Clayton Kershaw will take the mound at 7:10 pm in game two. He will face Jake Westbrook. Join us!

 

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adam Kennedy Lance Lynn Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals Ted Lilly