Unlikely Heroes Help Dodgers to 12 Inning Win, First Sweep in New York in Ten Years
By Scott Andes
The Dodgers are one tough team I tell you that, and Don Mattingly has balls of steel. The Dodgers won another 12 inning marathon affair this time with the New York Mets, completing their first sweep of the Mets in New York in ten years. It was a group of unlikely heroes that helped propel the Dodgers to victory in a game they nearly blew, despite the umpiring crew trying their best to Ocean Eleven the game to the Mets, with several blown calls, that led to three phantom runs. Robot Umps please.
Anyways, the Dodgers jumped out in front to stake starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to a 3-1 lead. The team battled to score three runs off effective opposing starter Jonathon Niese, who pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, and whiffing three Dodger batters, but left with a no-decision. The Dodgers scored two runs in the fourth, and one run in the top of the sixth. Juan Rivera belted a two-run home run, his fifth of the season, and Andre Ethier singled in a run in the sixth to put the Dodgers up by two. However the Mets would capitalize on several blown Umpire calls, and a blown save from Javy Guerra, to tie the game and send it to extra innings. There was a blown call ojn a base hit down the line that looked foul, but was ruled a hit, and on another play where Ike Davis appeared to have struck out, but the umpire ruled it a foul tip. Both of those times, the Mets would take advantage and score. Eventually the Mets would tie it up with a run in the bottom of the ninth, off of Javy Guerra, who was fill in for the resting Kenley Jansen. However the Dodgers would rally back in typical scratch and claw style that has defined their season. The Dodgers scored five runs in the top of the twelfth inning, highlighted by a pinch-hit two run single from Matt Treanor, and a two-run double from Adam Kennedy. Rookie Josh Wall picked up his first MLB win, pitching a scoreless inning of relief, even though he will likely be sent back down to triple-A when Chad Billingsley is activated off of the DL tomorrow night. Former Giant Ramon Ramirez takes the loss in relief. The game lasted 12 innings, and four hours and forty-three minutes. A new season record. This was a true team effort today. The Dodgers were 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position, and the Mets left 14 runners on base. here is how the marathon played out.
Top of the first. Jerry Hairston, playing in left field today, singles to start the game. Jonathon Niese whiffs Mark Ellis looking on a called strike three. Matt Kemp flies out to deep center for the second out. Andre Ethier flies out to end the inning.
Nathan Eovaldi begins the bottom of the first, getting Ruben Tejada to ground out to third. Eovaldi whiffs Jordany Valdespin. David Wright flies to Jhair, and the Mets go down 123.
Niese works a quick top of the second. Juan Rivera grounds out. Cruz whiffs like a statue, and Juan Uribe grounds out. Eovaldi gets into trouble in the bottom of the second, but works out of it. Ike Davis walks. Daniel Murphy singles Davis to second. Lucas Duda whiffs. Kirk Nieuwenhuis pops out. Josh Tole loops out to Kemp. The Dodgers get out of it.
A.J. Ellis leads off the top of the third inning with an infield single to the hole at short. Eovaldi sacrifices him to second. Hairston pops out. Mark Ellis pathetically whiffs, and the inning is over.
Opposing starter Jon Niese whiffs to start the bottom of the third. Tejada grounds out. Valdespin singles past Rivera. Eovaldi gets out of it, with a check swing called third strike on David Wright. Nice work kid! Kemp leads off with a single to center, in the top of the fourth. Ethier’s grounder advances Kemp to second. Rivera blasts a two-run shot to left center, to put the Dodgers up 2-0! Luis Cruz flies out, and Uribe grounds out to end the frame.
Bottom of the fourth. Davis whiffs. Murphy doubles just fair inside the right field line. However the replays showed the ball was foul by inches. Don Mattingly tries to argue, but we know it’s for not. Duda singles to left, but Murphy stops at third. Eovaldi whiffs Nieuwenhuis swinging on a nice breaking ball. But we know, Eovaldi young, and inexperienced. Case in point, the next pitch he hangs a meatball right over the plate, and Thole sings to center, Murphy scores, to cut the lead to 2-1. Niese flies out to left, to end the inning, cheaply enough for the Dodgers.
Niese retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the fifth. Eovaldi whiffs Tejada to start the bottom of the fifth. Valdespin reaches on a bunt single to third. Wright hits a piddly grounder up the middle, that the pathetic infield can’t even stop from going into center field. First and third with one out. Eovaldi is removed after making 96 pitches through 4.1 innings, with seven whiffs. Scott Elbert is called in because the Mets have back to back lefties coming up. Elbert whiffs Davis swinging for the second out. While Elbert and Murphy are battling, Wright steals second. That’s his tenth steal of the year. Elbert gets Murphy to fly out to left, and the Dodgers get out of it. Elbert saves our bacon, stranding two runners.
Mark Ellis reaches in the top of the sixth, on a grounder that bounces off Wright’s glove. Ruled a single for M.Ellis. Kemp hits a long fly ball to deep center. Nieuwenhuis makes the catch right up against the wall, but it is deep enough for M.Ellis to tag and advance to second. Ethier comes through with a base hit to left, M.Ellis scores from second, to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. A poor throw from Left made the play easier than it should have been. Rivera and Cruz fly out, but the Dodgers are back up by two runs.
The Dodgers leave Elbert in to pitch the bottom of the sixth. Duda flies out to center. Nieuwenhuis singles. Thole grounds out into what looks like a double play, but M. Ellis misses the tag on Nieuwenhuis, but gets the out at first. The inning continues. Elbert then turns around and walks Niese, who is curiously allowed to bat. Mattingly hooks Elbert and brings in Shawn Tolleson to pitch to Tejada with first and second and two outs. Tolleson after falling behind early, battles back, and retires tejada on a fly ball to left. Nice work Shawn!
Niese is still in for the top of the seventh. After Uribe flies out, AJ reaches on a fielding error by Murphy. James Loney, who was double switched into the game with Tolleson, grounds out. Hairston’s force out ends the frame. Wright made a great play to save an extra base-hit. Shawn Tolleson starts his second inning of work in the bottom of the seventh. Valdespin fouls out. Tolleson whiffs Wright on a called third strike. Two outs. Davis appears to have struck out, but home plate umpire Jim Joyce rules that he fouled the ball and it hit the ground. So with the extra chance gifted to him, Davis doubles down the line in the right field corner. What the hell is wrong with these umpires? Murphy’s RBI bloop single to left, scores Davis, to cut the Dodger’s lead to 3-2. Tolleson finally gets out of the inning by getting Duda to ground out.
Mark Ellis, and Matt Kemp lead off the top of the eighth with consecutive singles. Niese is finally removed, after making 97 pitches, seven innings plus, three runs, on eight hits, three whiffs, and no walks. Eovaldi had seven whiffs and one walk. Lefty Tim Byrdak is called in, and immediately retires Ethier on a fly ball to center. Bobby Abreu pinch-hitting for Tolleson whiffs on a full count. Two outs. Byrdak is lifted. Big Jon Rauch comes in and retires Cruz, and the Mets get out of it.
Jamey Wright comes in to pitch the bottom of the eighth, with the Dodgers clinging to a 3-2 lead. Nieuwenhuis tries to bunt for a hit, but Wright throws him out. Thole singles to left. Andre Torres pinch-runs for Thole. Justin Turner comes off the bench to pinch-hit. Wright, does his job, getting Turner to ground into an inning ending double play!
Bobby Parnell comes in to pitch the top of the ninth for the Mets. Uribe grounds out. He goes 0 for 4. He is back to normal. AJ singles to right. But of course, Loney gonna Loney, and grounds into an inning ending double play. Javy Guerra is called upon to close in the bottom of the ninth. The bullpen has been a bit overworked, and Kenley Jansen, and Ronald Belisario both have the day off. Of course Tejada singles. Valdespin sacrifices Tejada to second. Wright should have been walked, because first base was open, but no, Mattingly had to push his luck and pitch to him. Wright reaches on an infield single to second. Ellis is able to knock the ball down and Tejada has to stay at third. Davis’s grounder scores Tejada to tie the game at 3-3. Thanks a lot Javy. The Dodgers intentionally walk Muprhy, and retire Duda to end the frame, and go to extra innings.
Tony Gwynn leads off the top of the tenth, by flying out. Ellis flies out, and Kemp grounds out to end the top of the tenth. Javy is left out to pitch the bottom of the tenth, because we are running out of pitchers available. Nieuwenhuis doubles to right. Scott Hairston walks. Mike Nickeas bunts to sacrifice the runners to second and third. Javy gets the lead runner, and Uribe’s throw to first, looks in time, but the first base ump says safe. Javy battles, and gets Tejada to ground into a double play to end the frame.
The former Giant Ramon Ramirez comes in to pitch the top of the eleventh. Ethier walks. With Guerra’s spot in the lineup due up, Mattingly has Clayton Kershaw come up to bunt sacrifice Ethier to second, which he does. Cruz whiffs like a statue for the second out. Terrible at-bat. The Mets intentionally walk Adam Kennedy to get to AJ. Ramirez gets AJ to pop out, and we go to the bottom of the eleventh.
The Dodgers call upon rookie Josh Wall, who is still with the team, because Bills won’t be activated off the DL, until tomorrow. Valdespin flies out. Wright singles. AJ throws out Wright trying to steal second for the second out. Davis flies out to right to end the frame, and send the game to the top of the twelfth inning.
Ramirez stays in for the top of the twelfth. Loney leads off and singles to center. Gwynn, bunts to sacrifice Loney to second, and beats the throw to first. First and second none out. Now Mark Ellis is asked to sacrifice bunt the runners to second and third, even though that would probably mean Matt Kemp is intentionally walked. Ellis is unable to do it, and bunt pops out. Kemp now comes up with runners at first and second and one out. I think we have all had enough of bunting for a while, geez. Bison hits into a sharp force out at second. Runners at first and third with two outs. The Mets intentionally walk Ethier to load the bases. Up comes Josh Wall’s spot. The Dodgers use their last position player off the bench, backup catcher Matt Treanor. He comes through, with a Pinch-hit two-run single up the middle. Loney, and Kemp both score, and the Dodgers retake the lead 5-3! Cruz immediately follows with a run scoring single to score Ethier, and the Dodgers now lead 6-3. Adam Kennedy doubles over the head of Nieuwenhuis, to score two more runs, and it is 8-3 Blue. The Mets make their twelfth pitching change of the game, and remove Ramirez, and brings in another Ramirez, Elvin Ramirez. AJ walks. Loney pops out to end the inning.
Bottom of the twelfth. Josh Lindblom comes on to finish the game. Of course Daniel Murphy leads off with a double. Duda flies out. Nieuwenhuis whiffs for out number two. Bay whiffs swinging for the final out, and the Dodgers win 8-3, and sweep the Mets for the first time since 2002.
The Dodgers will now fly to the smoldering heat of St.Louis to take on the Cardinals in a four game series. Chad Billingsley will be make the start tomorrow for the Dodgers. The Redbirds will counter with rookie right hander Joe Kelly, who is a local boy from Southern California. The Giants lost in Philadelphia in another extra inning affair, so the Dodgers pick up a game in the standings and are now only a game and a half back of first place, with a 52-44 record. The Dodgers have a lot of fight in them. We will not go down gently National League. Join us tomorrow Dodger fans at 5PM, as the Boys in Blue go for their fifth win in a row. Same Dodger Station, Same Dodger Web site, Same Dodger time. Go Blue.