Before the game, the Dodgers got even more bad news. Matt Kemp will not play the rest of the series, and could be doubtful for the next. Apparently his shoulder is still sore stemming from his death defying crash into the Coors Field center field wall back on August 28. Bison will have an MRI on his shoulder tomorrow, and until then he is day-to-day. This could explain why he was mired in a 3 for 30 slump.
With their team captain out with injury again, the boys in blue had to battle and rally for a victory in front of another sellout frenzied crowd at Phony Book Park. That’s just what they did. This was truly a clutch win for the Dodgers. Thanks in huge part to a tremendous pitching performance from our favorite Duke University graduate Chris Capuano. Cappy matched Giants ace Matt Cain, zero for zero, with seven solid innings, only allowing two runs on five hits. Cain was impressive as well, turning in 7.1 solid innings for San Francisco before he tired out in the top of the eighth. Cappy took advantage of many worm killers, by inducing nine ground outs. Of course, the Dodgers allowed a run in the first inning, like they always do. Consecutive hits from Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, and Buster Posey, plated the first San Francisco run. The Dodgers tied it up in the top of the sixth. Cappy himself started the rally, with a single, and after M.Ellis singled him to third, he scored on Shane Victorino sac fly. The Giants retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Posey doubled, was sacrificed to third on a Hunter Pence bunt. Posey scored on Brandon Belt’s RBI ground out that deflected off of Cappy’s glove. It could have either been a double play, or a base hit up the middle.
With the Dodgers down 2-1, they would finally rally back, to tie the game with a run in the top of the eighth, and then another run in the top of the ninth, off of the Giant’s bullpen. Juan Rivera sparked the rally with a fly ball double off of Pence’s glove. An A.J. Ellis sacrifice moved pinch-runner Alex Castellanos to third. Eventually he would score on a wild pitch from Cain. The Dodgers would score the game winner in the ninth off a lead-off triple from Adrian Gonzalez, and a line drive RBI double into the right center field gap from Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers did have two base runners thrown out in the top of the ninth, and three in the game, all thrown out by Posey. Two were Tootblans, that I have recorded above.
Ronald Belisario and Brandon League combined to pitch the final two frames for the Dodgers and secure the win. Belisario picks up his fifth win in relief. League gets his eleventh save of the season. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt takes the loss for the Giants. The Dodgers had previously been 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position this series, before Hanley’s double in the top of the ninth. Of the Dodgers eight hits, four were for extra-bases (three doubles, and a triple). The Dodgers were 1 for 5 with RISP today. These are the kind of games I love to see. The Dodgers rallying back, against incredible odds to win. Although I think I have had about 12,000 heart attacks during the series, and was drenched in sweat throughout the game. The Giants play a very smart game, and are very tough to beat at home. With the win, the Dodgers even the series, and stay alive in the division race. The Boys in Blue (74-66) are now back to 4.5 back of the Giants in the NL West. They are also one game back of the Cardinals, as they await the result of the Cardinal’s game later tonight. Here are the highlights! Enjoy Dodger fans!
Mark Ellis starts the top of the first with a base hit into center off of Matt Cain. Shane Victorino predictably whiffs. Of course the inning immediately ends when Adrian Gonzalez hits into a double play. Gonzo is now officially a Dodger.
Of course, to nobody’s surprise, the Giants score a first inning run off of Chris Capuano. The inning starts out innocently enough, they always do. The red-hot Angel Pagan flies out to right. Marco Scutaro lines a double down the right field line, that one hops the wall. Pablo Sandoval singles Scutaro to third. Buster Posey lines a base hit off of Luis Cruz’s glove to score Scutaro. 1-0 Giants. Hunter Pence flies out to Rivera. Joaquin Arias grounds into a force out at second, to end the frame.
Top of the second. The Dodgers continue their suckfest. Hanley Ramirez reaches base on a little dribbler up along third. With Andrei Ethier at the plate, Hanley is thrown out trying to steal easily by Posey. Luis Cruz grounds into an inning ending double play. Have I mentioned that the Dodgers lead the universe in double plays? Well, they do. Bottom of the second, Cappy retires the side. Brandon Belt grounds out. Gregor Blanco flies out to right. Opposing starter Matt Cain whiffs. Much better frame for Cappy.
Shane Victorino gives the Dodgers a small glimmer of hope with a one out double down the right field line in the top of the fourth. Not surprisingly, Gonzalez flies out to center, and Hanley’s weak little dribbler to the box, suck the inning away. The score remains 1-0 Giants. Cappy counters Matt Cain’s scoreless frame, with one of this own in the bottom of the fourth.
The Dodgers go down again 123 in the top of the fifth. The two Ellis’s bail the Dodgers out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth. After Cappy whiffs Brandon Belt, Blanco reaches on a bunt single up along first. Gonzo underhand feeds to Cappy covering the bag, but the dam first base umpire rules safe again. Cain sacrifices Blanco to second, but Blanco gets greedy and tries to go to third, and is gunned down on a terrific throw from Mark Ellis to A.J Ellis who hustles over to cover the bag at third! Nice play AJ!
Move to the top of the sixth. The Dodgers tie it up, thanks to Cappy’s bat, instead of his arm. After AJ flies out, consecutive singles from Cappy, and M.Ellis, put runners at first and third. With Victorino at the plate, Cain uncorks a wild pitch, which allows M.Ellis to advance to second. Victorino’s sac fly to center scores Cappy to tie the game at 1-1. Gonzalez flies out to end the inning. Bottom of the sixth. Pagan flies out to right. Scutaro walks, but Sandoval grounds into a double play to end the inning. The game is still tied at 1-1.
The game takes a wild turn in the seventh frame. After the Dodgers go down 123 in their half, the Giants retake the lead in the bottom half. Posey a lead-off double. Pence sacrifices him to third. Arias is intentionally walked, to try and setup a double play I am guessing. The lefty swinging Belt, socks a liner back to the box. The liner bounces off of Cappy’s glove, allowing Posey to score, but Cappy gets the out at first. 2-1 Giants. The Dodgers intentionally walk Gregor Blanco to eventually whiff Cain, to get out of the inning.
The Dodgers battle off of a tiring Cain to plate a run and tie it up in the top of the eighth. Juan Rivera leads off with a slicing double off of Pence’s glove in the right field corner. Pence’s sliding attempt was to no avail. Mattingly does do one very smart thing, he pinch-runs for Rivera with Alex Castellanos. Then Mattingly makes us all laugh again, by forcing AJ to sacrifice Castellanos to third, when he was already in scoring position. AJ does his job. With Cain’s pitch count on the rise, Mattingly goes to the bench again, and has Bobby Abreu pinch-hit for Cappy’s spot. With Bobby at the plate, Cain uncorks a costly wild pitch, which allows Castellanos to score from third, sliding safe just ahead of the throw. The Dodgers tie it up again! Finally Matt Cain is removed, and the Giants bring in Santiago Casilla. Cain goes 7.1, allowing two runs, six hits, two walks, and whiffed five. He made 103 pitches. Casilla induces back to back ground outs from M.Ellis, and Victorino to end the frame. But the Dodgers tie it up at 2-2.
Bottom of the eighth. Cappy is out, and you can close the books on him. Cappy goes seven strong innings, allowing two runs, five hits, walking three, and whiffing three. Cappy made 84 pitches. Enter Ronald Belisario into the game for the Blue. Pagan grounds out. Scutaro walks. Sandoval hits into a force out. Posey is also walked. On a full count, Belisario whiffs Pence like a rented mule while doing the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag. The Dodgers get out of it.
The tide finally turns in the Dodgers favor in the top of the ninth, who take the lead but run themselves out of more runs with not one but two tootblans in the inning. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt is on the mound for San Francisco. Gonzo leads off with a huge triple into the gap. Finally Gonzo remembers how to hit, and just in time for the Dodgers. Hanley a line drive leg double to right center scores Gonzo. Dodgers take the lead 3-2! While Ethier is walking, Hanley tries to steal third, and is gunned down by Posey. The Giants make a pitching change and bring in resident juicer Guillermo Mota. Then while Cruz is batting Ethier is thrown out trying to steal second. Cruz pops out to end the inning.
Brandon League comes in to close up for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. Arias and Belt both ground out, and the Dodgers are an out from winning. Blanco hits a long fly to deep left field. I thought it was gone for a second, and was starting to curse under my breath. Castellanos who was inserted into the game in left field, after he scored in the eighth, leaps against the wall, and almost made a fanstastic catch. Castellanos had the ball, but it popped out of his glove as he crashes into the wall. Blanco ends up at second base with a two-out double. Hector Sanchez lines out to Cruz and the Dodgers win!
This was a must win for the Dodgers. They can’t rest now though, because they have another game tomorrow night. In what could be the most important game of the season for the Dodgers, they will give the ball to ace Clayton Kershaw. The Giants will counter with Barry Zito, in the rubber game and last game of the season at Phony Book Park. First pitch is at 5PM, and will be nationally televised. Perhaps the reports of the Dodger’s demise were exaggerated? Will the Dodgers pull out another victory to stay alive in the division race? Can the Dodger season be salvaged? Will Don Mattingly ever stop bunting? Join us tomorrow to find out. I promise you we’ll be here. Same Blue station, same Dodger channel. Go Blue! Defeat SF!
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Castellanos, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Brandon League, Chris Capuano, Don Mattingly, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Rivera, Los Angeles Dodgers, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Ronald Belisario, Shane Victorino