Sweet September: Dodgers Reach 80 Wins


Every game is so important for the Dodgers now. The Giants have heated up, and they have won nine of their last eleven. The Dodgers took advantage of the Arizona D-backs again, a team they have really beaten up this season. Kirk Gibson‘s team has absolutely no playoff hopes, but they still relish in spoiling the fun for the Dodgers. The Dodgers secured the series win with an eighth-inning comeback sparked by none other than Dee Gordon.

There’s been a lot of talk about Clayton Kershaw garnering the N.L. M.V.P. this season, but Dee Gordon has really been the spark for the Dodgers this entire year. Gordon had three hits on the night, and his nine-pitch battle against Daniel Hudson in the eighth led to his RBI single which ignited a three-run inning.

Adrian Gonzalez also had two hits on the night including a big two-run homerun in the first inning. Hyun-jin Ryu wasn’t involved in the decision, but he pitched well and fought back after making 40 pitches during the first two innings. The Dodger bullpen took over and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Dodgers 5 7 0

Diamondbacks 2 9 0

WP- Wilson (2-3)

LP- Hudson (0-1)

S- Jansen (41)

HR- Gonzalez (20)

The annoying lead-off hitter Ender Inciarte singled to begin the first inning. Hyun-jin Ryu struck out Cliff Pennington. Then Matt Kemp made a great running catch on a fly ball to right field by Chris Owings. Kemp fired to first, and Adrian Gonzalez stretched to double up Inciarte!

The Dodgers knew going into Saturday’s game that the Giants had already won fueled by a surging Buster Posey. They hit Chase

September 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) hits a two run home run in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson hard right out of the gate. Dee Gordon doubled on a groundball that just got over the first base bag. Hanley Ramirez is jammed by Anderson’s fastball, and he pops out. Then Adrian Gonzalez, who has clobbered Arizona pitching this year, wallops the first pitch he saw from Anderson. The two-run homerun to right field is Gonzo’s 20th of the year. Dodgers lead 2-0. Matt Kemp followed with a single to center field, but then we got a déjà vu moment. Carl Crawford lined out to right fielder Cody Ross who then doubled up Kemp at first. What comes around goes around.

The D-backs came back in the second with the bases loaded and nobody out after Mark Trumbo doubled, Aaron Hill singled and Cody Ross drew a walk. Ryu reared back to strike out Nolan Reimold for a big out. Ryu was really working hard this inning. Carl Crawford saved Ryu’s bacon with a sliding catch in left field which could have been a possible base hit for Tuffy Gosewisch. Ryu, the fierce competitor that he is, struck out Chase Anderson to escape the bases loaded jam!

Dee Gordon hit a one-out single in the bottom of the third. That’s Dee’s second base hit of the game. Unfortunately Dee Gordon was caught stealing with Gonzo at-bat for the third out. Ryu and Hanley both struck out in the frame against Anderson.

After Ryu loaded up the bases with nobody out in the second inning, Ryu retired a string of 10 batters in a row. Tuffy’s one-out double in the fifth broke the chain of outs. Ryu struck out Reimold and Anderson in the scoreless inning.

Ryu showed off a beautiful curve throughout the game. He struck out Chris Owings and Trumbo in the top of the sixth, and the lefty had fanned eight Snakes through six frame.

The Snakes tied it up in the seventh. Ryu was visibly tired. Cody Ross almost hit one out. The towering double bounced off the highest point of the Dodgers’ bullpen gate, and Aaron Hill brought in the run for the D-backs. 2-1 Dodgers. Ryu was losing steam. Don Mattingly went out to the mound with his interpreter, but he chose to leave Ryu in. Juan Uribe made a nice pivot and play to get the grounder hit to third by Tuffy. Then pinch-hitter A.J. Pollack’s RBI single brought in the tying run with Ross. The game is tied 2-2 when Ryu came out. Jamey Wright was brought in to relieve Ryu and get the final out. Inciarte grounded out, but the Dodger offense needed to step up again.

Chase Anderson pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 6 strikeouts and no walks on 75 pitches.

September 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) pitches the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk on a season-high 114 pitches.

Oliver Perez took over for Chase Anderson in the bottom of the seventh. The Dodgers have only one hit since the first inning (a single by Dee Gordon). Perez struck out Gonzalez and Kemp. Crawford grounded out.

Jamey Wright allowed the lead-off single to Cliff Pennington, and Don Mattingly promptly hooked him in favor of Brian Wilson. Owings flied out, and Wilson got Trumbo to chase ball three. Hill flied out to Pederson, and Wilson did a nice job and retired three consecutive batters.

Daniel Hudson was the third pitcher of the night for the D-backs in the bottom of the eighth. Juan Uribe singled up the middle to start things off. Roger Bernadina pinch-ran for Uribe. Joc sent one for a ride to deep left field, but Nolan Reimold made a great catch in front of the wall. My heart jumped when I thought Joc had hit his first homerun. Bernadina beat out the throw to second by Hill on what looked like a routine force out hit into by Justin Turner. Andre Ethier flied out to right field. Dee Gordon came up a with a huge clutch RBI single up the middle, and Bernadina brought in the tie breaking run! That was Dee’s third hit of the night, and the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead.

Hanley Ramirez greeted Arizona’s new pitcher, Will Harris, with a RBI double to left field. A fan touched the ball, and an umpire review yielded a decision the play stood. Gordon had already reached third before the interference, so the umpires awarded him home. Turner and Gordon scored, and the Dodgers took a 5-2 lead. Harris intentionally walked Gonzalez, and that was the first walk of the game. Kemp lined out to Owings, but Gordon’s nine-pitch at-bat led to a three-run inning for the Dodgers.

That was plenty of insurance for Kenley Jansen in the top of the eighth. Reimold doubled with one out. Gordon made another great play to rob Tuffy of a base hit. Joc Pederson made the final out in center to retire Jake Lamb.

The Dodgers improve to 80-62. The Giants continue to play well, and they edged Detroit earlier in the night. With the win, the Dodgers hold on to a two game lead in the N.L. West. The Dodgers play their last game against Arizona on Sunday. Zack Greinke will counter Trevor Cahill at 1:10 p.m. PT as the Dodgers go for a sweep of the Snakes.