Grandal’s Beautiful Home Run, Frias’s Solid Pitching Tie Up Series

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The Dodgers finally conquered the Michael Wacha dragon, and got the evil St. Louis monkey off their back during a rainy Saturday night 5-1 win at Busch Stadium which tied up their three game series with the Cardinals. Things certainly looked bleak early on though, before the Dodger’s four-run sixth inning rally, and Yasmani Grandal’s beautiful three-run home run gave the Dodgers the lead and shut up the fox broadcast crew.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Before the game the Dodgers activated Grandal from the seven-day concussion disabled list and optioned Chris Heisey back to Oklahoma City. I think we all forgot just how important Grandal is to this club. Not only is he a terrific catcher, but he’s also a great hitter. His three-run shot single handedly brought the Dodgers from the brink of offensive sedation. The Dodgers had not scored a run on the road for 42 consecutive innings, which broke a franchise record.

Dodgers  5 8 2

Cardinals 1 5 0

WP-Frias-4-2

LP-Wacha-7-1

HR-Grandal-5

The game was originally delayed over two hours because of rain. They pulled the tarp off the field, then it started to rain again, and they pulled it back on, and on and, off, and on and off. The grounds crew got one hell of a work out. The game was supposed to begin at 4:15 PST, and didn’t start until 6:35 PST. Incredibly rain man Brett Anderson was nowhere near the game, and was not standing in front of the dugout holding a peace pipe, and wearing a wig-wam. Instead it was Carlos Frias who got the deluge. The rain seems to follow the Dodgers everywhere they go this year. 

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  • Facing the Dodgers was 2013 NLCS enemy Michael Wacha. The tall right hander was 7-0 coming into tonight, and it appeared as though he may no-hit the Dodgers. He allowed just three base runners and no hits through the first five frames. All looked lost. However the Dodgers would rally, first to tie, and then to take the lead. It was a pure joy hearing the sadness in Joe Buck’s voice throughout the latter part of the game.

    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Frias pitched great, and was in control the entire game. Things were a bit shaky in the beginning, but he recovered nicely. The Cardinals scored one unearned run in the bottom of the first. Howie Kendrick flubbed a Kolten Wong grounder. Matt Carpenter singled to right. Three consecutive grounders (RBI ground out from Jhonny Peralta scored Wong) later the Cardinals had a 1-0 lead.

    There was a funny tootblan from Jon Jay in the second inning, when he tried to take third on a base hit to left after Scott Van Slyke slipped on the wet grass. However he was thrown out at third, and we had a good laugh. Both pitchers exchanged outs over the next five plus frames.

    Frias continued to stymie the St. Louis batters. The youngster allowed just one unearned run on five hits across seven solid frames. He walked two and whiffed three. He also induced three key double plays which were a huge help.

    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Wacha tired in the sixth, thanks to a great lengthy at-bat from Adrian Gonzalez. I was surprised Mike Matheny left him in there as long as he did. Justin Turner started the rally with a one-out double off the wall in right. While Gonzo was at the plate, a wild pitch moved Turner to third. Gonzo then kept fouling off pitches, and worked a 12-pitch at-bat before Wacha drilled him in the back. The Cardinals left him in despite his pitch count up around 100.

    Then Kendrick immediately singles to right to score Turner, and the Dodgers tie up the game at 1-1. With Wacha still on the mound, Ethier flied to right for the second out. Grandal follows with a gorgeous three-run shot over the center field wall giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead! That was all for Wacha, as he gets charged with four earned runs over 5.2 innings, and struck out seven. You could hear Joe Buck’s voice sink into sadness. I immediately took to twitter to troll and gloat.

    Frias got a huge double play in the bottom of the sixth that stopped any Cardinal momentum. After Carpenter singled with one out, and Jason Heyward singled (Matt Holliday had to leave the game because he was still sick), Frias induced a Peralta double play to end the inning.

    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Frias got another double play in the bottom of the seventh, and the Dodgers added an insurance run in the top of the eighth. Kendrick and Andre Ethier single, and Alberto Callaspo’s pinch-hit ground ball single to right scored Kendrick to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. Man, I guess I have to apologize to Callaspo if he actually starts to hit.

    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    The Dodgers bullpen took care of things the rest of the way. He whiffs Mark Reynolds, and Tony Cruz, and got Wong to fly out to end the eighth frame. Adam Liberatore shut down the redbirds in the ninth. Liberatore struck out the side, (Carpenter, Peralta, and Grichuck) to end the game. The Dodgers win it 5-1!

    The Dodgers actually scored five runs tonight! When they do they are now 23-0 this year. Turner, and Kendrick each had two hits, and game hero Grandal drove in three runs. The Dodgers are now 29-19, and improve to 8-11 on the road.

    Tonight is a perfect night. The Dodgers win, and broke out of their offensive malaise. They beat the Cardinals in St. Louis! The Giants are about to lose (Thank you Atlanta!), which will put the Dodgers back in first place, and Joe Buck is depressed. We needed this.

    The Dodgers will try and go for an incredibly awesome series win on Sunday afternoon. Brett Anderson will counter Dominican right hander Carlos Martinez at 11:10 AM. Where Brett Anderson pitches rain will surely follow. Although it appears the clouds may have finale cleared for the Dodgers. Only clear blue skies ahead!

    Go Blue!

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