The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks in a roller coaster game on Star Wars night at Chavez Ravine.
This game made me love baseball, then hate baseball and then love baseball again. So many emotions wrapped up in nine innings, but the important thing is that the Dodgers were able to pull out the win. Awakened in the Dodgers, the force has. Yes, hmmmmm.
Kenta Maeda got out of the first inning rather quickly and without any damage. The Dodgers came up in the bottom of the first inning and Chase Utley was just a few feet short of hitting a solo home run to center. After a 1-2-3 outing in the first inning, the Dodgers would get on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning with a single to left. With two outs, Andrew Toles would walk and both men would come home thanks to a Joc Pederson double to deep left. Everything was off to a great start. Maeda looked to be on point and the Dodgers were already capitalizing with runners in scoring position.
The boys in blue would add another run to their lead in the fourth inning. Howie Kendrick reached base on a lead off walk and then got to take second and third on two wild pitches. (Thanks Diamondbacks) Toles came up and doubled to right, which allowed the Dodgers to tack on their third run of the night. Toles has been great since joining the Dodgers. He brings speed to a lineup that desperately needs some and lately he has been crushing the ball. By the end of the fifth inning the Dodgers had four hits on the night and were leading by a score of 3-0.
The Diamondbacks would score in the top of the seventh inning. Paul Goldschmidt singled to right. Goldschmidt, who has always been known as the “Dodger Killer”, had two singles by the seventh inning. Maeda only allowed three hits to the Diamondbacks, but two of those came off of Goldschmidt. Jake Lamb lined out for the first out of the inning, but Welington Castillo would double Goldschmidt home to get the D-Backs on the board. With that, Maeda’s night was over.
Maeda was amazing tonight. He went 6.1 innings, allowed four hits, one earned run, and struck out five. Maeda was able to do something tonight that he usually struggles with, he kept his pitch count down. He could have stayed in the game longer, but it was clear that Dave Roberts brought in Adam Liberatore for a match up. Liberatore walked Brandon Dury so Roberts pulled him and called for Joe Blanton to come in from the pen.
Blanton was coming in with one out and two runners on. Yasmani Tomas then came up and singled to left. Kendrick was charging the ball, but it dropped right in front of him. It looked like Kendrick could have caught it if he had not stopped charging the ball. While it was frustrating that Kendrick did not get the ball, because the bases were now loaded, you have to give credit where credit is due. Earlier on in the game Kendrick made two great catches in left that stopped any sort of Diamondback rally. Chris Owings singled in a run and the bases were still loaded, only one out in the top of the seventh. Blanton then tied the game at three when he walked in a run. After it took 24 pitches to get another out, Roberts pulled Blanton and called for Luis Avilan.
Baseball is dumb sometimes ya know? With the bases still loaded and two outs, Avilan dove and made a great play only to realize no one was covering first so the Diamondbacks officially took the lead with a score of 4-3. If you knew nothing about baseball, but turned this game on in the seventh inning, it would look like the Dodgers were the ones in last place of the division.
Pedro Baez became the fifth pitcher of the inning to face the Diamondbacks and guess who was coming up? Yeah, Goldschmidt. Once again Goldy proves to have the Dodgers number. He doubled and cleared the bases. It took 51 pitches and five Dodger pitchers to get out of the seventh as the Diamondbacks took the lead by a score of 7 to 3.
In the bottom of the seventh inning the Dodgers were ready to rally back. Toles singled to right and Pederson sent a ball yard. It is estimated that the ball traveled 412 feet and left the yard at 110 MPH, if you blinked, you missed it, but it was a beauty! With one swing of the bat the score was now 7 to 5, Diamondbacks. Scott Van Slyke, who was just entering the game, walked and Chase Utley joined in on the home run party. He barely swung the bat (almost looked like a check swing) and the ball launched off of the bat and into right field. With another two run shot, the game was now tied at seven. Corey Seager kept the rally going with a double. It was his 28th double of the season. With no outs and Seager on second, Justin Turner came to the plate. Turner grounded out and Gonzalez was intentionally walked so they could face Yasiel Puig who was hitting in Baez’s spot. Puig flied out for the second out, but Seager was able to advance to third. Yasmani Grandal singled to center and Seager scored which gave the Dodgers the lead again by a score of 8 to 7. Toles would strike out to end the inning. Nine men came to the plate and five runs scored for the Dodgers to get ahead in the seventh.
Baseball is funny sometimes. The top of the seventh inning was SO painful, but the bottom of the seventh sparked an amazing Dodger rally. To top it all off, while the Dodgers were scoring runs to take the lead. The Giants had the bases loaded and no outs, then the Nationals turned a triple play on them. Man, baseball is such a roller coaster, but so awesome.
Louis Coleman came in and got two quick outs in the eighth inning thanks to a double play. Roberts then called in Kenley Jansen who was looking for a four out save. Jansen threw one pitch and got the third out of the eighth.
The Dodgers were not done yet. Utley walked and Seager doubled, but Michael Bourn made an error in center by over running the ball, so Utley scored and Seager ended up standing on third. Turner flied out to end the inning, but the Dodgers now led by two runs as Jansen was coming in for the ninth.
Jansen had a quick 1-2-3 inning which meant that the Dodgers secured the win and are only ONE GAME BEHIND THE FIRST PLACE GIANTS. (*insert happy dance here*). They will face the Diamondbacks tomorrow night at 6:10 PM in game two of the series.