Perhaps the most exciting type of homerun is the walk-off homerun. A game winning homerun in the bottom of the ninth or at some other crucial ending to a game (this time it was in the bottom of the eleventh) always calls for celebrating on the field or perhaps some jersey shredding if you are Nick Punto. In September, the Dodgers were already well ahead in the division and set up for an early clinch of a playoff berth. Scott Van Slyke had been with the big club part of the season (53 games) while spending time down in Albuquerque as well. Scott Van Slyke has some occasional power with his bat, and on September 10th, at Dodger Stadium, Scott Van Stache, as he’s affectionately refereed to, hit a big walk-off homerun coming off the bench against the venomous Snakes.
5. Scott Van Slyke Hits Pinch-Hit Walk-Off Homerun vs. D-backs on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
As you’ve seen from our Top Ten Dodger Homeruns of 2013 list is that many of the exciting moments this year for the Dodgers have been against their biggest enemy of 2013- Arizona. The Diamondbacks sure moved up on the ranks of rivals, and the Dodgers seemingly cordial encounters with the Giants this season were lame in compared to the Dodgers scuffles with the D-backs. Perhaps it’s because the D-backs are skippered by none other than former Dodger (and pinch-hit game-winning homerun hitting specialist) Kirk Gibson. Well, that night in September, Gibby was the one watching from the dugout as his team was stymied by Van Slyke.
With one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Scott Van Slyke came off the Dodger bench and belted out a game-winning two-run homerun which won it 5-3 for the Dodgers against Arizona. Mark Ellis had a single preceding SVS’s at-bat. Josh Collmenter was in relief, and starters Trevor Cahill and Edinson Volquez weren’t involved in the decision. Chris Withrow had another strong relief appearance and garnered the win.
Andre Ethier tied the game at three apiece in the fifth with a RBI double. Edinson Volquez also bunted in a run in the second inning, and Puig’s force out scored Ellis.
Van Slyke’s homerun reduced the Dodger’s magic number to six, and it was extra sweet to win this one walk-off style versus the D-backs.
That was Scott’s seventh homerun of the season for the Dodgers, and he ended up hitting .240 with 7 homeruns and 19 RBIs in 152 plate appearances. Van Slyke has played in 80 total games with the Dodgers in the past two seasons and has a career batting line of .219/.303/.421 with 9 homeruns and 26 RBIs.
Scott Van Slyke had been designated for assignment with the Dodgers before the 2013 season when they added Skip Schumaker to the roster. Van Slyke ended up back in AAA-Albuquerque where he hit .348 with 12 homeruns and 48 RBIS in 61 games. SVS was chosen to be on the postseason roster for the Dodgers over veteran Jerry Hairston Jr., but Van Slyke never got an at-bat in either the NLDS or NLCS and only briefly appeared as a defensive substitute.
Scott had this to say about his homerun and playing down the stretch:
“It feels good that it was against Arizona. Those are the guys that are chasing us. Any game you can win, especially against them, to further the distance between us is good.”