*I am sorry guys, I did not mention that today marked Aaron Harang’s 100th carrer win. Congratulations to the big guy!*)
For the first time since 1946 the Dodgers have swept a four game series in Philadelphia against the Phillies. Almost improbable considering the Phillies have been a thorn in our side for the last few years now. They dashed our dreams two years in a row in the NLCS from 2008-2009, and we only won one game against them last season. All of that was erased today as the Dodgers came from three runs behind to beat Philly and Cole Hamels by a score of 8-3. The Dodgers scored one run in the fourth, three runs in the sixth, and four runs in the top of the ninth. It was a true team effort today, as everyone contributed. Rivera, Loney, Hairston, and Treanor all had two hits. Despite some sloppy defense early in the game, the Dodgers rallied to tie the game and then took the lead, with three runs in the top of the sixth, after falling behind 3-0. This was vengeance Philly. Revenge for 2008-2009. With all of the rumors of Hamels signing with the Dodgers for next year, we may not want him if he pitches like this.
Of course the Phillie’s defense helped by making four errors, and Aaron Harang turned in another quality start. Let;s not forget the bullpen pitched three scoreless frames in relief of Harang. The big guy pitched six solid innings, and whiffed three, to pick up his fifth win. We did see the debut of Shawn Tolleson in the ninth, but he was nervous walked the first two batters, then was hooked for Belisario, who recorded the final outs to finish the sweep. Let’s relive this game inning by inning. Here is how it went.
Top of the first. Dee Gordon leads off and whiffs swinging. Herrera grounds out to Wigginton. Juan Rivera singles to left. Hairston bloops out to center. Bottom of the first. Jimmy Rollins leads off with a single up the middle. Juan Pierre tries to bunt him over to second, but Herrera makes a nice play to throw out the lead runner. Pierre steals second base while Hunter Pence is batting, and is called safe even though Matt Treanor’s throw, and Herrera’s tag was close. Pence grounds out to first, as Pierre moves to third. Harang whiffs Ty Wigginton, and gets out of it unscathed.
Top of the second. James Loney a weak grounder back to the box. Alex Castellanos flies out to center. Tony Gwynn flies out. Bottom of the second. Shane Victorino also known to us as Rat Face, reaches base on an infield single to Hairston. Jerry took too long when making his throw to first and rat face beat it by a step. Mike Fontento singles again past Hairston, and rat face goes to third. Harang whiffs John Mayberry for the first out. Then Harang whiffs Brian Schneider swinging and Matt Treanor throws out Fontenot trying to steal second for a strike em’ out throw em’ out double play! That was awesome!
Top of the third. Treanor lines to Fontenot. Harang and Dee both whiff to end the frame. Bottom of the third. Opposing starter bird man Cole Hamels, singles to lead off. Then Rollins single to right, and Hamels tries to go to third. Of course a good throw would have got him. Any throw reasonably in the vicinity of third base would have gotten him. Castellanos throw lands somewhere in Pittsburgh, and Rollins advances to second. With runners at second and third, Pierre grounds back to the box. Harang looks the runners back. Can Harang escape again? If he does I’m placing a call to David Copperfield. More sloppy fielding makes that not possible. Pence reaches on a fielder’s choice grounder. The potential double play ball cant be turned, and Hamels scores. 1-0 Philly. Wigginton’s sac fly scores Rollins to bring in the second run of the inning. Victorino walks, and Fontenot, a thorn in our side, singles into left field to score another run and make it 3-0 Philly. Mayberry’s fly out ends the inning.
Top of the fourth. The Dodgers score a run in this frame, thanks to help from Two Ty Wigginton fielding errors. Wigginton Ole’s Herrera’s sharp grounder to third. Another grounder goes right over his glove for his second straight error. The bumbles put Dodgers on first and third with none out. Hairston’s sac fly into the left field corner scores Herrera to make it 3-1 Philly. Loney singles to center sending Rivera to second. However Castellanos force out, and Gwynn’s whiff end the frame.
Both pitchers exchange scoreless frames the following innings. Bottom of the fifth. Harang has to do another David Copperfield act to escape trouble in the fifth. After Pierre flies out, Pence singles off of Gordon’s glove. Wigginton singles. Victorino’s force play puts runners at the corners. Fontenot fouls out to Gordon who cuts in front of Rivera to make the catch. We have seen Dee do this before, and Rivera was not happy about it and gives Dee an earful.
Top of the sixth. The Dodgers capture the lead in this frame with an amazing three run rally. Herrera walks, Rivera singles. After a mound meeting, Hairston pops out. Loney singles into center to score Herrera and cut the lead to 3-2. Tony Gwynn’s bloop single into left field, falls just in front of Pierre, as he tries to dive for it but the ball bounces into his glove. Rivera scores and the Dodgers have tied the game at 3-3! Treanor’s broken bat bloop single to left again falling just in front of Pierre scores Loney and the Dodgers take the lead. With Harang at the plate, Gwynn is picked off of third base and the Tootblan ends the frame.
Harang pitches a 123 inning in his final inning of work in the bottom of the sixth. Harang goes six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, one walk, and three whiffs. He made 92 pitches. Hamels is hooked and Joe Savory is called in to pitch the seventh for the Phils, with the score 4-3 Dodgers. Hamels goes six innings allowing four runs on six hits, (three earned) one walk and six whiffs. He made 107 pitches.
Lefty Joe Savery pitches the top of the seventh. He pitches a scoreless frame, working around a Herrera walk. Jamey Wright comes on for the bottom of the seventh. Rollins and Pierre ground out. Pence singles. Wigginton’s force out ends the frame. The Dodger bullpen has been excellent of late.
Top of the eighth. Savory still in the game. Hairston singles. Loney’s line drive is speared off of Savory’s glove. The lefty can only go to first, and throws out Loney. On the play Hairston advances to second. Castellanos’s deep fly ball to center is deep enough for Hairston to tag up to third. Gwynn flies out and the inning is over. Jamey Wright stays in for the bottom of the eighth. Victorino flies out. Fontenot singles again and is 3 for 3 on the day. Mayberry whiffs.
Chad Qualls enters for the top of the ninth. Treanor reaches on an infield single. Abreu a bloop single to right. Gordon’s single to left loads the bases. Herrera’s ground ball to second is bumbled by Fontenot and everyone is safe. The error scores Treanor, and the Dodgers go up 5-3. Andre Ethier hits one down the right field line, past Mayberry scoring two runs. Elian Herrera would have been the third run but is thrown out at the plate. Originally they ruled it an error, but later changed it to an two-run double. Hairston singles home Ethier to make it 8-3 Dodgers. The brooms are coming out! Valdes has to come in to get the last two outs and does, retiring Loney and Castelanos
With a five run lead seemingly safe, the Dodgers call in rookie Shawn Tolleson to make his MLB debut. His first major league hitter walks. Hector Luna draws the base on balls. Then Rollins walks. Donnie has seen enough and hooks the kid. Tolleson looked nervous and threw eight consecutive balls. Ronald Belisario is called in. Pierre hits into a force out. Hunter Pence grounds into a double play and the Dodgers win 8-3, and sweep the Phillies in four games for the first time since 1946.
This is nothing but pure unfiltered joy. No matter what happens in the Giants/Padres game we still remain four games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. The streaking Dodgers will now fly to Seattle to end the road trip, and begin interleague play. Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound tomorrow night in the Emerald city. Seattle will counter with Kevin Millwood. Please Join us tomorrow again as we guide you through another Dodger adventure, as this magical season goes on. Go Blue.
Topics: Aaron Harang, Alex Castellanos, Andre Ethier, Cole Hamels, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, James Loney, Jamey Wright, Jerry Hairston Jr., Matt Treanor, Ronald Belisario, Scott Elbert, Shawn Tolleson, Tony Gwynn Jr.