April 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) reacts after reaching second on a two run RBI double in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ethier’s Beautiful Three-Run Home Run Sparks Dodger Offense

Dbacks   6 10 2
Dodgers 8 9 2
WP-Haren-3-0
LP-Bolsinger-0-1
SV-Jansen-6
HR-Ethier-2

Defense was nearly the Dodger’s undoing once again on Saturday night against the Dbacks. Fortunately the Dodger bats finally woke up from their slumber as the boys in blue would rally from a four run deficit to score three runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth to beat the Snakes, and even the series. A huge three-run home run from Andre Ethier, and five hits in the fifth helped the Dodger bats.

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers had to overcome one nightmarish flustery frame in the third, when they allowed the Snakes to score four unanswered runs. Only one of them was earned. Arizona got five hits in the frame, and a costly Hanley error on a botched double play set the tone early on.

Trumbo and opposing rookie starter Mike Bolsinger singled, and after Parra’s fielder’s choice grounder that Hanley botched, Hill was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run single, and Miguel Montero’s RBI double put the Snakes up by four runs.

The Dodgers would rally back though, as Dan Haren would contribute not only with his arm, but with his bat as well. First the Dodgers struggled to hit rookie Mike Bolsinger who was making his first MLB start. The Dodgers had just one hit through the first three frames. Then in the fourth frame, Gonzo and Matt Kemp singled to

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

put runners at first and second. Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 14 games, with a 2 for 4 performance. Then Andre Ethier’s beautiful three-run home run got the Dodgers back in the game. The score was now 4-3. Dre’s heroics become even more magnified after we learned that he was sick before the game, and almost didn’t play.

Then in the bottom of the fifth, Haren’s single was a key spark in what would become a five run rally. After Haren’s single, Gordon singled, and Crawford’s single loaded the bases. The Dodgers got three consecutive singles that found the hole, and then Hanley’s chopper to third is muffed by Parra, and Haren scored to tie the game. Now it’s Arizona’s turn to play lousy defense.

The Snakes hook Bolsinger, and bring in lefty Oliver Perez. Gonzo singles in two, to put the Dodgers ahead 6-4. With Gonzo at second and Hanley at third, Kemp doubles both of them home to give the Dodgers an 8-4 lead.

Haren had one poor inning, but otherwise he was ok. The veteran threw 6.1 innings allowing four runs, one earned on seven hits. He didn’t walk anyone, as usual, and whiffed five. He also hit a batter, and is now 3-0 on the season.

Of course this wouldn’t be a Dodger game without the crappy bullpen giving up runs. The Snakes plated two more in the eighth off of Brian Wilson, who has been awful this year. Prado’s two-run double made the score 8-6. But crisis was averted. Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Dodgers were able to hang on and seal an 8-6 win over the Snakes.

This was just what the doctor ordered for the tired Dodgers. Here’s how the Boys in Blue rallied to even the series…..

The Dbacks go 123 in the top of the first. Last time out against Arizona, Haren made 32 pitches in the first inning. This time he makes just nine. Dan Haren gets Gerardo Parra, and Aaron Hill to ground out. Parra’s to second base, and Hill’s grounder to Uribe. Haren then whiffs Goldschmidt to end the inning.

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers go down quickly 123 in the bottom of the first. Martin Prado makes a great play on Dee Gordon’s little tapper towards third. Prado charges in to make a barehanded play. Carl Crawford grounds out, and Hanley grounds out as well.

Haren whiffs Miguel Montero, and former Dodger Cody Ross in the top of the second. Prado lines out to Kemp for the third out.

The Dodgers go down 123 in the bottom of the second. Bolsinger whiffs Gonzo and Kemp. The third inning is where the wheels fall of the bus for the Dodgers. Arizona scores four unanswered runs. Here’s how it happened. Mark Trumbo singles to center. Chris Owings sacrifices Trumbo to second. This seems odd bunting in front of the pitcher. But Bolsinger singles Trumbo to third. Then Parra hits what looks like a taylor made double play ball to short, but Hanley drops the throw at second, and everybody is safe. Give Haney an error. The flustery meltdown continues for the Dodgers.

Hill is hit by a pitch to load the bases. Then Goldschmidt singles home two runs to put the snakes up 3-0. Montero immediately doubles home the fourth run to give the Dbacks a 4-0 lead. Cody Ross’s fly out finally ends the inning, but the damage is done.

The Dodgers do nothing again in the bottom of the third. Uribe and Butera whiff, and after Haren walks, and Dee Gordon singles, Carl Crawford whiffs.

The Dbacks get a two-out double from Chris Owings, but Haren escapes without allowing anything else, as he whiffs Trumbo and Bolsinger.

The Dodgers finally get off the collective floor in the bottom of the fourth, and get back in the game. With one out, Gonzo bloops a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Kemp singles to center, and Gonzo moves to third. Then Andre Ethier strokes a three-run home run into the right field pavilion. The Dodgers are now down just 4-3. Captain clutch does it again!

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the fifth, the Dodgers get the double play they needed in the third. Parra reached on an error from Uribe. That’s his second error in as many days. Very rare for Uribe to make defensive lapses. Then after Hill pops out, Goldschmidt grounds into an inning ending double play.

The Dodgers threaten again in the bottom of the fifth. Consecutive singles from Haren, Gordon, and Crawford load the bases for Hanley. All three of the hits were of the ground ball variety, just finding their way through the infield. Hanley hits a grounder to third, that could have been a double play, but Prado bobbles, and then drops the ball. Everybody moves up 90 feet without a throw, and Haren scores to tie the game at 4-4.

Arizona hooks Bolsinger, and the Snakes will bring in veteran left hander Oliver Perez. Gonzo bangs a single to right to plate two runs to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead! Gonzo takes second and Hanley goes to third as Goldschmidt’s throw is off-line. Give an error to Goldschmidt.  Then Kemp swats a double down the third base line. Hanley and Gonzo both score, and the Dodgers now lead 8-4. Ethier whiffs, and Kemp steals third without a throw. Uribe lines out to Parra, who makes a strong throw, and Kemp has to hold at third. Butera’s whiff ends the inning. But the Dodgers score a high-five in the fifth to go up 8-4.

Montero and Ross ground out to start the top of the sixth, and then Prado singles into right. Haren gets Trumbo to foul out, and it’s 8-4 Dodgers after six frames.

Trevor Cahill is brought in to pitch the bottom of the sixth. This is strange since he’s a starter, but he’s been demoted to the bullpen to figure some stuff out. Or so we were told by the Snakes. He sets the Dodgers down 123.

Haren does the same, retiring the Snakes 123 in the top of the seventh. Cahill remains in the game to pitch the bottom of the seventh. Once again the Dodgers go down 123 as Hanley and Kemp both whiff.

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hill singles to start the top of the eighth. Haren then gets Goldschmidt to ground into a force out. Then he’s hooked, and in comes Brian Wilson. With Montero at the plate, Goldschmidt takes second on defensive indifference. Wilson then walks Montero to put runners at first and second with one out for Arizona.

Wilson catches the corner to whiff Cody Ross for the second out. But of course, the Dodger bullpen sucks so runs score. Wilson just couldn’t get out of the inning. Prado’s double into the gap scores Goldschmidt and Montero to make the score 8-6 Dodgers. Trumbo’s single puts runners at the corners, and the Dodgers are still in trouble. Thankfully Owings grounds into a force, and the Dodgers are out of the inning.

Move to the top of the ninth, with the Dodgers still up 8-6. Enter Kenley Jansen again to close up the game. Tony Campana grounds to second, and Parra grounds out to Hanley. Two down now. Then Hill flares a single into right and the Dodgers have to deal with Goldschmidt one more time. Kenley whiffs Goldy swinging, and the Dodgers win! Final score 8-6.

Boy was this sweet. We needed a win like this. Now we can all enjoy our Saturday evening without being pissed off all night.

Join us on Sunday for the rubber game, as Josh Collmenter counters Josh Beckett in a battle of the Josh’s in the series finale tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM.

Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Carl Crawford Dan Haren Dee Gordon Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Yasiel Puig

  • Ron Wise

    Notice that Jansen threw an off-speed breaking ball to get Goldschmidt out?

    • LasordasLair

      yeah I did, that’s because his cutter hasn’t been working. That’s why he was trying to blow guys away with fastballs. Remember the at-bat with Cabrera in the Detroit series? But Kenley throwing more breaking balls can’t hurt. it’s actually a good thing.Mix in some off-speed pitches and keep hitters off balance.