On a beautiful sunny Southern California afternoon, the Dodgers were hoping to garner a series split with the Arizona Dbacks. The Dodgers had a golden opportunity to pick up ground in the wild card race, after both the Cardinals, and Pirates lost. For eight and a half innings, things looked bleak again. The Dbacks jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, and it seemed as if the Dodgers were going to blow another chance to gain ground in the standings. Things looked sad for the Boys in Blue on Sunday. The game featured more bowls of Ohfers on the Dodger side, and more squandered scoring chances. Both starting pitchers Left handers, Wade Miley, and Chris Capuano pitched decent, but neither were involved in the decision. Cappy lasted five innings, allowing three runs, before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Snakes starter Miley pitched into the seventh inning before he was replaced by the Arizona bullpen.
The Dodgers fielded the normal lineup, except Treanor was in for AJ, and I couldn’t understand that thinking. (Why are we resting AJ during these crucial games?)The game went back and forth. Things looked bleak for the Dodgers, but they would battle back, in their typical scratch and claw style that has defined their season. Matt Kemp blasted a solo home run to right field, just bouncing over Justin Upton’s glove, and the top of the wall, for his first home run since August 8. The snakes would battle for three runs. A two-run home run from hated Miguel Montero, and a solo home run from John McDonald. The Dodgers would scratch for a run in the bottom of the sixth to climb back to within a run, on a Kemp walk, a Hanley Ramirez bloop double, and an RBI ground out by Andre Ethier. The Snakes scratched over another run themselves off of rookie Shawn Tolleson in the seventh. Consecutive singles from Goldschmidt, and Montero, and an infield dribbler single from Mcdonald. The Dodgers battled back again, to score another run in the bottom half of the seventh, on a pinch-hit double from A.J. Ellis, and an RBI single from Shane Victorino.
With the Dodgers down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, all seemed lost again. I love the Dodgers more than anyone, but I have been having my doubts about whether this team is going to make it or not. When the Dodgers lose, I get very frustrated, and have been over the last week. When the Dodgers lose, it hurts me, more than anything, because I love them so much, and hate to see them lose. Thank god, I was wrong today. The Dodgers would finally show some heart, and gumption, coming from behind with a rousing two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Ellis would single. Victorino walked, and Adrian Gonzalez, finally broke his slump with a huge two-run walk-off double to right, off of Arizona closer J.J. Putz, to win it for the Dodgers 5-4.
The Dodgers picked up 11 hits today, with Gonzo, Hanley, and M.Ellis all collecting two hits apiece. Matt Kemp scored two runs, and Ronald Belisario picked up his fourth win in relief. Miguel Montero, and Paul Goldschmidt each drove in two runs, and had two hits for the Dbacks in a losing cause.
Chris Young leads off the game with a double into the gap. Aaron Hill’s sacrifice moves Young over to third. With the Dodger infield up, Justin Upton hits a grounder to short. Hanley Ramirez bare hands, and quickly throws home to catch Young in a rundown. The put-out is recorded, 6-2-5, as Upton reaches second base on the play. Nice play Hanley! Jason Kubel flies out to right. Arizona is denied scorage. Mark Ellis leads off the bottom of the first, with a shallow pop to right. Shane Victorino pops out. Adrian Gonzalez whiffs as usual. No score after one.
Chris Capuano has a much easier inning in the top of the second, retiring the Snakes in order. Paul Goldschmidt’s little dribbler up along third, is played very well, as Luis Cruz throws him out by a step. Miguel Montero flies out to right. Chris Johnson flies out to left.
Matt Kemp leads off the bottom of the second with an opposite field jack that bounces off the top of the wall in right field and goes over for a home run. Upton tried to leap to catch it, but comes up just short. That’s Bison’s 18 home run of the season, which gives the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Hanley pops out to shallow center. Consecutive singles from Andre Ethier, and Luis Cruz put runners at first and second. Matt Treanor’s line drive is deflected off of Miley’s glove. Miley picks it up to get the force out of Cruz at second base, just ahead of the sliding Cochito. Two outs, with runners at first and third. Cappy tries to lay down a bunt up along third, but Johnson races in to throw him out and end the frame. Dodgers lead 1-0.
Cappy’s pathetic meatball is slammed into the left field pavilion by John McDonald to tie the game at 1-1. Miley whiffs. Young lines out to M.Ellis. Hill pops out to end the inning. Tie game at 1-1. Bottom of the third. M.Ellis flies out. Victorino lines out to center. Gonzalez grounds out to end the frame.
Ethier starts the top of the fourth inning, making a nice running catch on a ball hit to the gap by Upton. Jason Kubel whiffs, for the second out. Of course with two outs in the inning, Cappy melts down like a Popsicle on a hot plate. Goldschmidt singles into right field. Montero immediately homers into the Arizona bullpen to give the Snakes a 3-1 lead. Cappy recovers to whiff Johnson to end the inning, but the Snakes take a two run lead.
Hanley singles with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but is quickly erased as Ethier grounds into an inning ending double play. As you know by now, hitting into double plays, is what the Dodgers do best.
Cappy retires the snakes in order in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers fail to score again in the bottom of the fifth, off of Miley. Big Shock. Matt Treanor draws a one out walk. Cappy is removed for the automatic out of pinch-hitter Juan Rivera. Rivera predictably fouls out. Honestly, I have no idea why Rivera is ever used anymore. The guy sucks. After that At-bat is wasted, M.Ellis singles to right. But of course, Victorino weakly grounds out to end the inning.
Javy Guerra is called in to pitch the top of the sixth for the Blue. Cappy comes out losing, and can only lose, or have nothing to do with it. Cappy goes five frames, allowing three runs, four hits, three walks, and whiffs four.
Move to the bottom of the sixth, with the Snakes still up 3-1. Miley begins the frame by whiffing Gonzalez for the second time in the game. Thanks Gonzo, way to earn that salary pal! Kemp walks. Hanley a bloop double into left, sends Kemp to third. Ethier’s ground out scores Kemp to cut the lead to 3-2. Cruz flies out to end the inning.
Arizona plates another run in the top of the seventh off of Shawn Tolleson. Consecutive singles from Goldschmidt, and Montero, and a sacrifice from Chris Johnson, put runners at second and third. Mcdonald’s infield single scores Goldschmidt to make it a 4-2 game. Pitcher Wade Miley tries to squeeze home a run, but fortunately, the Dodger infield was playing in, and Gonzo throws out Montero at the plate. Young’s force out ends the frame.
The Dodgers get a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a one run game again. After Treanor whiffs, AJ. Ellis gets a pinch-hit double. After M.Ellis flies out, Victorino singles home AJ to make it a 4-3 game. Gonzalez hits a pop fly double to right, that Young, and Upton both lose in the sun. Of course the Dodgers can’t capitalize. The Snakes bring in submarine pitcher Brad Ziegler to retire Kemp on a ground out.
Matt Guerrier pitches a scoreless top of the eighth inning. David Hernandez pitches a scoreless bottom of the eighth for Arizona. Hanley pops out. Ethier walks. Cruz flies out to left. Adam Kennedy comes off the bench to pinch-hit for Treanor and pops out. Ronald Belisaro allows a double to Chris Johnson in the top of the ninth, and that’s it.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. Arizona closer J.J. Putz in to close it out. Newly called up Bobby Abreu whiffs to open the frame. Mark Ellis singles. Victorino works a clutch walk. With first and secO.D. Gonzalez steps up to the plate, and smacks a line drive double to right, to score both runs. Ellis scores, Victorino races around from first to score the winning run! Dodgers win!!! 5-4
Perhaps this is just what the Dodgers need to snap them, and Gonzo out of their little funk? I hope so, because I am getting sick of the losing. With the win, the Dodgers improve to 72-63, and move to just a half game back of the Cardinals for the second wild card. The Giants won today in Chicago, so the Dodgers remain 4.5 games behind in the NL West race. The Dodgers earn a much deserved series split over Arizona. Tomorrow night is Labor Day, and the boys in blue welcome the San Diego Padres into town for a three game set. I tell you this though, I’m going to have an ulcer before this season is over. You just watch.
Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Chris Capuano Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz Mark Ellis Matt Guerrier Matt Kemp Ronald Belisario Shane Victorino Shawn Tolleson