Jerry Hairston’s Diving Stop Plays Big, as Dodgers Survive Milwaukee with a Win

Dodgers 4 9 2Brewers 3 8 0WP-Harang-1-1LP-Wolfman-0-2SV-Guerra-6HR-Kemp-7

It was a shocking turn of events at Miller Park, as the Bison led Dodgers sneak out with a win, and stop the Brewers from completing the sweep. Apparently the Brewers have never swept the Dodgers since the teams started playing each other in 1998. Thank goodness we can still say that the Brewers have never swept the Dodgers.  We also learned before the game that Juan Uribe has injured his wrist, and will see a wrist specialist while the team is in Houston. That injury would also be important as it allowed Jerry Hairston  to be penciled into the lineup against his former team. The Dodgers were just looking to get the heck out of dodge with a win, and it was a true team effort today in another nail biter.

Aaron Harang threw six effective innings, beating opposing starter and former Dodger Randy Wolf (Wolfman), and picking up his first Dodger win. Matt Kemp hit another opposite field home run, and Jerry Hairston saved the Dodgers with a spectacular superman like diving stop in the eighth preventing several runs from scoring. The most amazing was Jamey Wright, ( I cant believe I am writing this) also contributed with two scoreless innings and five consecutive whiffs. The Dodgers would go on and win by a score of 4-3, as another chapter in the Los Angeles Dodgers 2012 Baseball season was written.

The Dodgers go down quietly and pathetically to start the game in the first. Dee Gordon, who is barly hitting above the Mendoza line, flies out to left. Mark Ellis grounds out to third. Matt Kemp, just barley misses another opposite field home run, as the ball goes foul into the right field corner out of our view, but only by a few feet apparently. The Wolfman recovers to whiff Bison to end the top of the first.

Bottom of the first. Ricki Weeks leads off by fouling out to Treanor. Nyger Morgan, who scored the winning run last night on that blown call at the plate, bounces one to short, that Dee Gordon bumbles for another error. I think his eight hundredth of the season already.

The faux NL MVP Ryan Braun flies out to Bison. Harang walks Aramis Ramirez with two outs. Harang is able to get slugger Corey Hart to weakly ground out back to the box to end the threat.

Juan Rivera starts off the top of the second for the Dodgers and pops out to short. Dre finally breaks up the Wolfman’s streak of four consecutive batters retired, by doubling into the gap. Ethier’s third extra-base hit of the series. Jerry Hairston, playing third base for the injured Uribe, gets hit in the foot with a pitch, forcing runners to first and second. James Loney, also known as the ground ball specialist, surprises us  by walking to load the bases. Backup Cather Matt Treanor flies to right. The sacrifice fly scores Ethier from third, and Hairston tags up to third. The Dodgers take the lead 1-0. Eventually Aaron Harang grounds into a force out to end the frame.

Harang coughs up the lead in the top of the second quicker than you can chug your Miller. Kottaras, and Gonzalez lead off with consecutive singles. Travis Ishikawa doubles, to score Kottaras, and Gonzalez goes to third. Wolfman hits a sac fly to right, scoring Gonzalez, and the Brewers have the lead 2-1. Ricki Weeks, hits a grounder to shallow third. Hairston makes the grab, and catches Ishikawa in a rundown between third and home. Eventually Ishikawa is tagged out, but Weeks reaches on the fielder’s choice. Morgan flies out to left, to end the inning.

Gordon begins the top of third by trying to bunt for a hit, even though he clearly does not know how to. Of course he bunts right back to the box and is easily thrown out. Can Dee just start hitting the ball please? This bunting suff is starting to annoy me. Mark Ellis follows by singling up the middle. Bison pokes a single through the hole at short. We got something cookin’. First and third for Rivera, and he bangs a base knock through the hole at first to score Mark Ellis. The Dodgers have tied the game at two!

The Dodgers keep playing small ball, as Ethier singles as well, in almost the same exact spot as Rivera’s hit, through the hole at first past a diving Ishikawa. Kemp scores, Rivera goes to second, and the Dodgers have retaken the lead with a singlepalooza off the Wolfman! 3-2 Dodgers. Hairston swings at the first pitch for some lame reason and helps halt the scoring rally by popping out to left field. Loney immediately follws with his normal uselessness by popping out as well to end the inning. However damage done, as the Dodgers regain the lead.

Braun leads off the bottom of the third by lining out to Ethier. Ramirez singles. Cory Hart grounds into a 6-3 inning ending double play. Very nice!

Top of the fourth. Matt Treanor who’s walk-up song is the A-team theme, triples into the deepest part of the ball park in center field. The ball bounces off the top of the wall, and Treanor belly flops into third for his second triple of the season and series. Of course, Harang is up next and grounds out to Wolfman. Gordon follows bt softly lining to short. Mark Ellis grounds out to second. I can’t believe the Dodgers wasted Treanor’s triple. The bottom of the lineup is just pathetic. Bottom of the fourth. Kottaras flies out to left. Gonzalez pops out to Gordon. Harang whiffs Ishikawa to end the frame.

Top of the fifth. Bison leads off with another opposite field jack just over the wall in right field. This is Kemp’s seventh home run already! The Dodgers lead is now 4-2. Rivera flies out to left. Ethier grounds back to the Wolfman, who drops the ball, but recovers in time to underhand to first for the second out. Hairston grounds out to the Wolfman as well, and Wolfman throws him out for the third out.

Wolfman leads off the bottom of the fifth and pops out to Gordon. Weeks flies out to Dre. The pesky Nyger Morgan singles to bring up Ryan Braun. Harang however bares down, and whiffs the much maligned Braun swinging to end things in the fifth.

Top of the sixth. Loney a signature ground-out.  No triple for Treanor this time, as he pops out. Harang grounds out for a 123 inning for Wolfman.

Bottom of the sixth. Ramirez singles. Harang whiffs Hart for his third whiff of the game. Kottaras, who has been a thorn in the Dodgers side the entire series, flies out to Rivera. Weeks hits a hot smash to third, Hairston dives to keep the ball in the infield, but Weeks reaches on the infield hit. Of course Ishikawa singles through the hole at first, Ramirez scores, the lead is now 4-3. With runners at the corners and two outs, Milwaukee pulls the Wolfman, and Matt Gamel comes off the bench to hit for him. The Dodgers have a meeting on the mound. I fear the worst, we all pray. Harang responds by whiffing Gamel on a 2-2 pitch to end the scoring threat. Phew! However Harang is up over 100 pitches, and Jamey Wright is warming.

Cameron Loe relieves Wolfman in the sixth. Gordon grounds out. Mark Ellis follows with a walk. Loe falls behind 2-0 to Bison, but gets him to foul out to Kottaras. Rivera grounds out and that preserves the score at 4-3 Dodgers.

Don Mattingly brings in the utterly atrocious non roster Bum Jamey Wright. He starts off by going full count to Ricki Weeks. To my utter shock, he whiffs Weeks on a called third strike. Wright then whiffs Morgan swinging. Wright then turns around and whiffs Ryan Braun on a swinging breaking ball in the dirt. Holy crap! Now I have seen everything, Jamey Wright whiffs the side in the bottom of the seventh!

Loe remains in the game to pitch the top of the eighth. He whiffs Ethier to start the frame. Hairston singles up the middle. On a hit and run, Hairston goes all the way to third base, on a double down the first base line for Loney. Runners at second and third with one out, for Matt Treanor.

Then I have no idea what happens next. It was so stupid I hardly believe what I was seeing. Hairston came down the line too far on what looked like a suicide squeeze. Treanor attempts to bunt but pulls the bat back on a high pitch. Kottaras makes a snap throw to third, and Hairston is easily tagged out at third. A very costly mistake for the Dodgers. Of course Treanor whiffs, and the Dodgers don’t score at all. The Dodgers really screwed up that inning.

Jamey Wright stays out for the bottom of the eighth, and begins by whiffing Aramis Ramirez like a frozen statue, with another called third strike. That is now four consecutive whiffs for Wright. I can’t believe I am writing this, but Wright whiffs Hart on a breaking ball low swinging. Five in a row. Wright goes back to tossing lollipops as he walks Kottaras on four straight pitches. The Brewers pinch run for him with Carlos Gomez. With the count 2-2 to Gonzalez, Gomez tries to steal second, and .AJ. Ellis AGAIN ( I mean Treanor) for the second game in a row, a Dodger cacther throws the ball into center field for another costly throwing error. this sends Gonzalez to third. That almost killed us, but superman Jerry Hairston had other ideas. Alex Gonzalez smacks a hot smash headed down the third base line. Hairston super man dives to his right, with a full glove side extension grab. He throws from his knees to record the third out, and absolutely save the Dodgers Bacon!

Enter Manny Parra to pitch the top of the ninth for Milwaukee. Gwynn batting for Wright grounds out. Gordon actually draws a walk. Milwaukee makes a pitching change and brings in lefty submarine thrower Tim Dillard. Gordon tries to steal and is thrown out again. This turns out big because Mark Ellis walks, to bring up Bison. Dillard whiffs Bison, and we go to the bottom of the ninth with the Dodgers leading 4-3.

It is Javy time once again as the Dodgers ask Javy Guerra to recover from his blown save on Tuesday to preserve the win this afternoon.  Ishikawa drops a bunt up along third base, and again superman Hairston comes to the rescue, charging in and throwing out Ishikawa on the run. One out. Norichika Aoki runs the count full, before being called out on a check swing foul tip into the mitt of Matt Treanor. Thank you! One more to go. Ricki Weeks whiffs on another foul tip strike three, and the Dodgers escape Miller Park with a win, and avoid the sweep! Final score 4-3.

Aaron Harang gets his first win in a Dodger uniform, and Javy Guerra his sixth save. I don’t know about you, but I am so glad the Dodgers are getting the hell out of there. It has been a very tough series. Jerry Hairston is getting the game ball, although it was definatly a team effort. Tomorrow the Dodgers will travel to Houston for their final series at the Juice Box before the Astros move to the American League West next year. Ted Lilly will take the mound for the Dodgers, and the Astros will counter with J.A. Happ.

Enjoy your day Dodger fans, I know I will now. We made it out with a win. I am so relieved! Go Blue