The Dodgers hung on to beat the Marlins 9-7 in 11 innings on Saturday night. The game was a wild heart pounding rollercoaster ride that put the Dodgers and their fans on the precipice of defeat, before the boys in blue scratched and clawed their way to barely hang on for the win.
Up by a score of 7-2, the Dodgers blew a five-run lead by allowing one run in the sixth, three runs in the seventh, and one run in the ninth which tied the game. The Dodgers at one point were one ball away from a crushing loss in the ninth inning.
But there were three Dodgers that emerged as heroes. When the ashes cleared, these three Dodgers came up clutch. And so Lasorda’s Lair salutes these three Dodgers for their clutchness.
Hero 1- Dee Gordon
It was the Dee Gordon show at Miami on Saturday. The second baseman had perhaps the game of his life in the Dodger’s 9-7 win. Gordon collected five hits, going 5 for 6 with two runs driven in, and three stolen bases. He had RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings, and scored twice. Gordon leads the league in steals, and also made a great defensive play in the field as well.
Hero 2- Brandon League
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention Brandon League. When the Dodger bullpen was in disarray, he silenced the storm. When Brian Wilson and Chris Perez were struggling, League rode to the rescue. The mouth-breathing, tattooed embattled former closer, threw two scoreless frames, in the tenth, and eleventh innings when the Dodgers needed it most. League allowed just one hit, and one walk, while whiffing two to earn his first win of the season.
He never gave up, even when most of the people watching already had, including myself. Maybe we were wrong about him? Relief pitching is volatile. But I’ve noticed League has not been falling behind in counts, and is throwing more strikes. That normally leads to better results. League has a 2.51 ERA in ten games this year. He’s allowed just four earned runs in 14.1 innings, and whiffed nine, and walked four. His 6.9 hits per nine allowed is a huge improvement over last year, when he gave up an excruciatingly bad 11.4.
I don’t want to claim that League is all of a sudden cured of the Broxton disease that haunted him in 2013. But I think we should all apologize and give him some credit this year for performing well thus far.
Hero 3- Carl Crawford
The constantly rusty and slumping Crawford didn’t start on Saturday night. The veteran outfielder was mired in a 4 for 45 slump. He was looking like he was 45 years old, and his batting average was approaching auto out territory. Crawford stepped to the plate in the eleventh inning as a pinch-hitter after Uribe had walked and did something special. He gave the Dodgers a boost, and himself a slump buster with a game winning two-run home run off of former Dodger Carlos Marmol. This was Crawford’s first home run of the year.