Hanley’s First Career Walk-Off Home Run Evens Series For Embattled Dodgers


The Dodgers played another marathon extra inning game on Saturday night. It took a while, but the Dodgers pulled it out as Hanley Ramirez hit a walk-off three-run home run into the Dodger bullpen in the bottom of the twelfth to give the Dodgers a 5-2 win.

The Dodgers had nearly run out of time. It was imperative they score and win before they had to use Chris Perez, who would have undoubtedly blown any tie that was accrued. Thank god Hanley was able to crush a hanging curveball as the Dodgers won a rain-soaked battle in 12 innings.

Cubs       2 13 0

Dodgers 5 11  0




12 innings

What seemed like a week ago, was originally a tight pitching duel between Japanese starter Tsuyoshi Wada and Hyun-jin Ryu. Both asian hurlers battled through seven innings, and neither were involved in the decision.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ryu made a mistake in the first frame when he gave up a double off the low wall in right to Chris Coghlan, and an RBI single to Starlin Castro to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers took the lead in the fourth when Hanley walked and Matt Kemp slugged his fourth home run in the last four games. The two-run blast gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

But they couldn’t hold it. In the top of the seventh, Junior Lake bunted for a single. Then with two outs, Alcantara (who had three hits for the Cubs) doubled off the wall to score Lake and tie the game.

The game would remain tied all the way until the bottom of the twelfth. During the rain, Blake Parker gave up a two-out single to Gordon, who stole second. Then Turner was walked, and Hanley crushed a hanging curveball into the Dodger bullpen to give the boys in blue the 5-2 win. Hey it only took five hours to beat the worst team in the National League.

How did it happen? Why not stay up a little later and read on……

So it only took the Dodgers one game for everyone to get hurt again. After Friday evening’s 8-2 thumping, the Dodgers lost several players to injury. Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez were both out of the lineup. Puig has mild hamstring soreness, and Gonzo bruised his knee on that weird slide into home plate. A.J. Ellis is still nursing his sore knees. Then there is the awful injury to Paul Maholm.

We found out today after Maholm had an MRI that he suffered a torn ACL on that awkward plat at first base. Obviously he will be out for the year. So the Dodgers announced that they placed Maholm on the DL and recalled Paco Rodriguez from Albuquerque. It only took Maholm blowing his knee out to get Paco back on the roster.

What this all means is that we’re stuck with Dan Haren. It’s unlikely the Dodgers will use any of the poor options in the minors. So prepare yourself for more of Haren’s horrendous pitching. Honestly the guy might want to think about hanging up his cleats if he can’t even beat the Cubs.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

So the Dodgers had to shuffle the lineup with Puig and Gonzo resting. Turner was put at first base and Scott Van Slyke played in center field. Carl Crawford was in left, and Drew Butera was behind the plate to replace the banged up A.J. I guess the Dodgers felt that this would be the best time to rest everyone against the last place Cubs. That’s fine, but the freeway series looms. So we need everyone healthy and in the lineup when the Angels come to town. The Dodgers can certainly fake the funk against the Cubs, but not versus the Angels.

Anyways, the Dodgers begin the game by allowing their usual first inning run once again, and fall behind before the chairs are warm. This is becoming an irritating habit for them. Hyun-jin Ryu starts by getting Arismendy Alcantara to ground out to short. Then Chis Coghlan doubles off the base of the low wall in the right field corner. After Anthony Rizzo pops out to Hanley, Starlin Castro bangs a line drive single to center to score Coughlan. The Cubs take a 1-0 lead. Justin Ruggiano’s long drive sends Crawford to the warning track for the third out.

In the bottom of the first, after Dee Gordon does his obligatory lead-off whiff to start the game, Justin Turner singles to right. Hanley battles Wada and smacks a single over Alcantara’s head. Turner thought the ball might be caught, so he hesitates and barely gets to second base. Kemp predictably whiffs for the second out. Scott Van Slyke grounds into a force out to end the inning.

In the top of the second, Gordon makes a great play to throw out Wellington Castillo on a sharp grounder. Chris Valaika singles up the middle. But Ryu whiffs Junior Lake swinging for the second out. Ryu freezes Wada on a called strike three.

Uribe bounces out to start the bottom of the second. Crawford pathetically whiffs and Butera grounds out.

The Cubs threaten again in the top of the third as Ryu continues to suck and makes too many pitches. Although he would settle in nicely. Alcantara singles to right.Coghlan lines out to Crawford. The Dodgers can’t turn a double play on Rizzo’s force out grounder to first. Turner’s throw to second is wide and the Dodgers can only get the lead runner.Uribe can’t handle Castro’s nubber up along third, putting runners at first and second for Chicago.Ryu then finally ends the inning by whiffing Ruggiano.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers continue to give up as Wada easily retires Ryu, Gordon, and Turner in the bottom of the third. Ryu finally settles down by retiring the Cubs in order in the top of the fourth. He probably remembered that he was facing the Cubs. He whiffs Valaika and Lake to end the frame.

The Dodgers finally snap out of their funk and get to Wada in the bottom of the fourth. They finally decide they would like to win. Hanley leads-off with a walk. Then Kemp blasts a two-run home run to left center. The Dodgers lead 2-1 on Kemp’s twelfth home run of the season! Van Slyke immediately follows with a double down the line in left. Uribe pops up, and Van Slyke has to hold at second. Crawford’s grounder to first moves Van Slyke to third. Chicago intentionally walks Butera to get to Ryu. Which lolz of course. Ryu whiffs and Wada now has six whiffs. But the Dodgers take the lead, thanks to Kemp’s blast.

Ryu begins the top of the fifth by whiffing Wada. Alcantara beats out an infield single. Then Ryu gets the dangerous Coghlan to ground into the inning ending 1-6-3 double play.

In the bottom of the fifth, Gordon is hit by a pitch, but Turner grounds into a double play. Gordon is ok. Then Hanley doubles to the gap. Kemp’s one-hopper to short ends the inning.

Ryu gets a second double play in the top of the sixth. Rizzo singles over Gordon’s head, but Castro GIDPs. After a walk to Ruggiano, Castillo pops out. The Dodgers get a one-out double from Uribe in the bottom of the sixth. After Crawford’s grounder moves him to third, that spells the end for Wada. Chicago hooks the Japanese left hander and brings in right hander Carlos Villanueva. He gets Butera to pop out. Dodgers lead 2-1 after six.

Ryu stays out for the top of the seventh. Valaika grounds out. Lake bunts for a hit. Pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney flies to left. With two outs, Alcantara predictably doubles off the wall in center to score Lake. The Cubs tie it at 2-2. Ryu gets the last out but the damage is done.

Brian Schlitter, a right hander is called in to pitch the bottom of the seventh.YasielPuig comes off the bench to pinch-hit for Ryu’s spot, and singles up the middle. Then of coursePuig is immediately picked off. They initially ruled him safe, but Chicago challenges. Unsurprisingly the Dodgers lose the review andPuig is called out. This was a crucial play in the game. Then Gordon singles up the middle. The pick-off looms larger. Turner whiffs for the second out. Hanley grounds out and the Dodgers can’t score.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon League takes the mound for the top of the eighth. Rizzo singles to right. Castro flies to Kemp. Another fly ball out from Ruggiano. League walks Castillo, and Mattingly is forced to pull him. He brings in J.P. Howell to get out of the inning. Thank god Howell gets Luis Valbuena to whiff on a check-swing to get the Dodgers out of the inning.

With the score tied 2-2, right hander Pedro Strop takes the mound for the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth. Kemp flies to right. Andre Ethier pinch-hits for Van Slyke’s spot. He whiffs of course. Uribe whiffs as well.

Kenley Jansen takes the mound in the top of the ninth. Lake singles to right. Nate Schierholtz is unable to get the bunt down and pops out. Alcantara lines out to Crawford, who barely makes the play because of the lights. Coghlan grounds to first, and the Dodgers escape.

Move to the bottom of the ninth. Left hander Wesley Wright will pitch. He easily retires Uribe, Miguel Rojas, and Butera. We go to extras. Enter Brian Wilson for the top of the tenth. The beard whiffs Rizzo for the first out. Then he whiffs Castro. It stars to rain at Dodger Stadium. Then Ruggiano whiffs and Wilson whiffs the side.

In the bottom of the tenth, the rain really starts to come down. Wright remains on the mound for Chicago. Gordon grounds out, and Chicago makes a pitching change. The Cubs bring in right hander Justin Grimm. Turner reaches base on an opposite field single. Hanley whiffs and the ball gets away from Castillo as Turner advances to second. But there is two outs now. With first base open Chicago pitches to Kemp. Predictably Kemp grounds out to short. We go to the eleventh.

Jamey Wright is in to pitch the eleventh. He walks Castillo, but Valbuena flies out to left. Lake fouls out. John Baker flies out to left. Move to the bottom of the eleventh. Blake Parker a right hander is the new pitcher. Ethier whiffs. Uribe fouls out as Coghlan falls over the fence in foul ground. Crawford strikes out like a statue as usual.

Wright whiffs Alcantara in the top of the twelfth. Coghlan singles under Uribe’s glove. Rizzo fouls to Uribe who is now covered in mud. Castro singles to left and the Cubs have first and second. Wright whiffs Ruggiano. We go to the bottom of the twelfth.

Parker stays on for the bottom of the twelfth. Butera taps back to the box. Gonzo pinch-hits for Wright and whiffs. Gordon grounds a single up the middle. Gordon steals second, his 51st steal of the season. Turner draws a walk, and it’s up to Hanley. Hanram smokes a hanging curveball into the Dodger bullpen for a walk-off three-run home run! The Dodgers win! Final score 5-2!

With the Giants loss in New York the Dodgers (63-48) gain back the game they lost last night. Their lead goes back to 3.5 in the NL West.

No rest for the weary as the Dodgers play an afternoon game on Sunday. Former Dodger Edwin Jackson counters Josh Beckett as 1:05 PM in the rubber game. Now everyone get some sleep!

Go Blue!