It’s not often that a Dodger payer trolls one of our writers. But it happened this afternoon honest to goodness. But that wasn’t the most interesting thing that happened in this game today. Not by a long shot.
The Dodgers played their final game of their nine game road trip, which was the last game against the Braves this season. The bubbles were flowing in the Dodger dugout Thursday afternoon at Turner Field. We had to wake up early as the start time for today’s game was at 9 AM. So we poured ourselves some coffee and enjoyed some early morning Dodger Baseball on getaway day.Dodgers 6 12 0 Braves 4 11 1 WP-Hernanez-8-7 LP-Harang-9-7 SV-Jansen-34 HR-Butera-3
The Dodgers were able to get out of town with a win, but it wasn’t easy. It was made difficult by Brian Wilson’s awful pitching. The bearded reliever nearly blew a four run lead within the blink of an eye in the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers were able to score a very crucial insurance run in the top of the ninth that helped. The game took a strange turn later, as Don Mattingly brought in Kenley Jansen for a four out save in the eighth.
Eventually the top of the ninth ended with Kenley having to bat for himself and then take the mound in the bottom of the ninth to hold off a last minute Atlanta rally to record the win. Kenley wasn’t sharp, but battled his way out of it to secure the series victory for the boys in blue. The Dodgers escaped hotlanta with a 6-4 win. With the win the Dodgers earned their 70th win of the season and 40th win on the road. They have the best road record in the majors.
Dodger starter Roberto Hernandez pitched well, despite being victimized by some control issues and too many foul balls. Hernandez allowed just one earned run on three hits. The right hander walked four and whiffed five to earn his first Dodger win.
The Dodgers beat up on big show Aaron Harang early. The former Dodger allowed five earned runs on seven hits across 4.1 innings. The Dodger offense scored one run in the first, two in the second, one in the third, and then another run in the fifth.
Puig made another fantastic catch in center field today. Seems like he makes one of these every game.
Dee Gordon got a bunt single in the first, and stole his 53rd base of the season. He would score on a Yasiel Puig RBI single. The two second inning runs came home when Rojas drew a two-out walk and then scored on a Drew Butera two-run home run. Butera had two hits and two runs driven in on a day when our own writer Adrian Garcia wrote this article, calling for Butera to be replaced by Tim Federowic. I can imagine Butera sitting in the Dodger clubhouse reading the article and getting angry. It was good motivation for the backup catcher. So this was good work by Adrian. It was also very very funny. Here’s how the clubhouse conversation might have gone…..
Butera: Who’s this Adrian Garcia guy?
A.J.: I don’t know I think he writes for that Lasorda’s Lair site.
Butera: That site? Yeesh, those guys don’t know anything about Baseball A.J.
A.J.: I know they don’t. That Scott guy might be ridiculously great looking, but he’s a doofus. And that Adrian guy looks like Wilson with that scruffy beard.
Butera:, Well I’m going to show him. I’ll show all of them at that Lair site. I’m going deep today.
A.J. LOLZ (chuckling) Ok Drew, good luck today
The Dodgers picked up their third inning run when Gordon walked, stole base number 54, and then scored on Gonzalez’s RBI single to right. Gonzalez drove in another run in the third with another RBI single after consecutive hits from Gordon and Puig. But the Dodger run in the top of the ninth was most important. Gordon got another bunt single, and Puig was hit by a pitch. Then Gonzalez’s double scored Gordon to put the Dodgers up 6-4 at that point.
Gonzo was the Dodger offensive hero of the day. The veteran was 3 for 5 with three runs driven in. Gordon, and Puig each had three hits as the Dodgers pounded out six runs on 12 hits.
The Braves made things interesting in the eighth and ninth innings however. Bonifcaio singled, and Freeman doubled him to third. Justin Upton’s two-run double cut the lead to 5-3. This was all off of Wilson. Then after Wilson got Johnson to fly out and whiffed La Stella, the Dodgers brought in Kenley to get the four out save. He gave up an RBI single to Simmons, but whiffed Gattis to get the Dodgers out of it.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kenley gave up a single to Heyward, and a two-out double to Freeman that nearly left the yard. But he whiffed Bonifacio, and B.J. Upton to end the game. The Dodgers win 6-4!
Let’s relive the insanity and go through the highlights of this crazy game……
The Dodgers jump out to an early lead in the top of the first. Dee Gordon manufactures a run with his speed. He reaches base on an infield single, and then steals second and goes to third on a throwing error from catcher Gerald Laird.
Yasiel Puig’s ground ball single to center scores Gordon to put the Dodgers up 1-0. Then Adrian Gonzalez, and Matt Kemp fly out to left. Then Puig is pathetically picked-off of first base by Harang. That’s Puig’s third pick-off in the last 12 games. I love Puig, but he’s like a Tootblan machine.
Hernandez gets through the bottom of the first painlessly enough. Jason Heyward flies out to Puig. Then it takes ten pitches to retire Bonifacio on a grounder. Annoying Freddie Freeman singles, but Hernandez whiffs B.J. Upton to end the inning. Hernandez makes 22 pitches to retire the side.
Harang whiffs Ethier to start the top of the second. Uribe flies out, but Miguel Rojas walks. Then Drew Butera slugs a two-run home run to left. That’s his third home run of the season. Dodgers lead 3-0!
The Dodgers score another run in the top of the third. Gordon walks and steals second base. The speedster tags up to third on Puig’s fly to right. Then a slicing single to right from Gonzalez scores him to put the Dodgers ahead 4-0.
Hernandez gets through the third inning with relative ease, and the Dodgers don’t score in the top of the fourth. But in the bottom of the fourth, Hernandez just loses it. Walking Freeman and Justin Upton puts two runners on and gives me agita. A Chris Johnson fly out to center helps. Then of course there’s a wild pitch that moves the runners over to second and third. Although it seemed generous score keeping. That was a passed ball if there ever was one. La Stella’s grounder to first scores Freeman to make the score 4-1 Dodgers. Simmons lines a screamer right into Uribe’s glove which gets the Dodgers out of the inning.
The Dodgers get the run back in the top of the fifth. They could have had more, but they loaded the bases. And we all know what happens when the Dodgers load the bases. Double plays. At least they knocked Harang out of the game.
Gordon with a one-out single, and he moves to second on Puig’s infield single. Gonzalez pokea a signle to right to score Gordon. Dodgers lead 5-1! Kemp walks to load the bases. The Braves hook Harang and bring in right hander David Hale. Ethier smokes a sharp liner to first, but Freeman makes a backhanded stop and turns an inning ending double play.
Hernandez settles down to turn in a scoreless bottom of the fifth. Consecutive singles from Butera and Rojas can’t net the Dodgers a run in the top of the sixth.
Hernandez stays out for the bottom of the sixth. Puig makes an incredible catch on Freeman’s long drive to the wall for the first out. Puig leaps and slams into the wall to make the play. Once again, another outstanding catch in center field from Puig. Then Justin Upton walks. How much rope does Hernandez have left here? After a coaching visit, Hernandez settles down again. He whiffs Johnson, and La Stella to end the sixth.
Brandon League pitches a scoreless bottom of the seventh. Simmons singles, but League gets Gerald Laird to ground into a double play. Pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena singles as well, but League gets heyeward to ground out to short.
After the Dodgers go down 123 in the top of the eighth, the Dodgers bring in Brian Wilson, who proceeds to nearly blow the game with his awful, awful pitching. Bonifacio singles to left. Freemand doubles over Ethier’s head to send Bonifacio to third. Then Justin Upton’s ground ball double past Uribe plates both runs to make the game a 5-3 score. Then Chris Johnson flies to right for the first out of the inning. Upton tags up to third on the play.
But then Justin Upton pulls up lame with a leg injury while at third and has to come out of the game. He is replaced by his brother B.J. Upton. Wilson whiffs La Stella for the second out. Then the Dodgers make a double-switch. Kenley Jansen comes in for the four-out save with Crawford in left field.
Simmons singles home Upton to make the game 5-4. After a battle, Jansen recovers to whiff Gattis to get the Dodgers out of it.
The Dodgers get an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Luis Avilan gives up a bunt single to Gordon. Puig is hit in the ankle. Gonzo doubles home Gordon, but Puig is tagged out easily at the plate. I think if he hadn’t been hit in the ankle, he may have scored. The Dodgers have the play reviewed to see if the collision rule was violated, but the New York office upholds the original call.
Kemp is intentionally walked to load the bases, and now Jansen has to bat for himself. He whiffs and the inning is over.
So Jansen goes back out for the bottom of the ninth, with the Dodgers up 6-4. He whffs Ryan Doumit for the first out. Heyward singles. Bonifacio whiffs. But Freeman doubles off the wall in right field. That puts runners at second and third. Kenley gets B.J. Upton swinging to end the game! Dodgers win!
So this win gives the Dodgers a 6-3 road trip. The Dodgers are now 70-53,a nd now increase their Nl West lead to 5.5 games over the idle Giants. The club will now come home to begin a nine game home stand on Friday night. They’ll kick it off with a three game set against the Brewers. Jimmy Nelson will counter Zack Greinke on Friday evening at 7:10 PM in the series opener.