The Dodgers and Brewers were tied before coming into their regular season series finale played on the final meeting on Sunday afternoon between the two clubs for 2019. This game is actually more important than most people think because if both clubs finish tied in the standings the deciding game here can determine home field advantage in a potential playoff series. There was a ton of drama in the series finale that ended with another Dodger, this time Cody Bellinger bombing a go-ahead home run off of Josh Hader in the top of the ninth to give the Dodgers a 6-5 win, and the series win over the Brewers in Milwaukee. Have the boys in blue finally figured him out?
Of course it’s important to note how the Dodgers got there first. It was Joc Pederson’s birthday and the 27-year old certainly had a great birthday notching four hits and smashing two home runs off of Milwaukee starter Brad Woodruff. Pederson’s two solo home runs, one in the top of the first to lead-off the game and the other in the top of the fourth got the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.
Other Dodgers Corey Seager and Bellinger both helped stake the Dodgers to an even bigger 5-0 lead. Seager had three hits as did Bellinger. A ground ball RBI single in the first and an RBI double from Seager in the second accounted for two of those five runs. Bellinger also singled in a run in the second as well. With the Dodgers up 5-0 and Clayton Kershaw on the mound it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers would win.
Dodgers 6 10 0
Brewers 5 6 0
And it was looking that way. Kershaw tossed six innings allowing two earned runs on two hits and struck out seven. He did issue four walks but held the Brewers without a hit until the fifth inning. Milwaukee did get to Kersh in that fifth frame, tacking on two runs to cut the lead to 5-2. Orlando Arcia’s bloop triple and one-out later Lorenzo Cain’s home run got the Brew Crew on the board. But could the Dodger bullpen hold the lead?
Milwaukee threatened in the bottom of the seventh. They put two on thanks to a walk and a hit batter from Scott Alexander. Thankfully a key double play on Cain got the Dodgers out of the mess. Later in the bottom of the eighth, with Pedro Baez on the mound Cody Bellinger flexed his muscles again robbing Christian Yelich, now a constant thorn in the Dodger’s side sent a long drive to right field, but Bellinger leaped with his glove outstretched over the wall to make the catch and take a home run away from Yelich. As if that guys needs any more home runs. Unfortunately Baez continued to deconstruct on the mound. Ryan Braun singled on a chopper to third and former Dodger Yasmani Grandal singled to right as well. Baez did get big ice-cold slugger Jesus Aguilar to pop out but then he was removed and Kenley Jansen entered the game asked to get a four-out save. After the runners pulled off a double-steal Eric Thames mashed a big three-run home run to tie the game and send Kenley cursing over the home run and his declining pitching skills.
With Hader now on the mound in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers tried to get the lead back. Seager and Justin Turner both whiffed and it was not looking good. Hader allowed a game winning shot to Enrique Hernandez on Friday night in the Dodger’s 5-3 win. It happened again as Bellinger lined a home run over the wall in right field. It was a wall scraper but had just enough height to get over the wall. The pull home run gave the Dodgers the lead back as the Dodger dugout went wild in celebration. Bellinger rounded the bases, flexing his muscles.
This time with the Dodgers only up by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Kenley was tasked with holding the lead again. He was already super pissed about his blown save the previous frame so this inning he just recorded a 1-2-3 inning by striking out the side. Jansen easily whiffed Arcia, Ben Gamel and Cain to end the game. Dodgers win 6-5!
Kenley might be ready for the old folks home but there still seems to be some fire left in him. For the record normally when the Dodgers give Kershaw a lead of 4 or more runs they are something like 155-0, during the regular season. The Dodgers improve to 15-9 and have a much needed scheduled off-day on Monday. They’ll fly to Chicago to begin a three game series against the Cubs starting on Tuesday night. Kenta Maeda is slated to open the series for the Dodgers with the Cubs countering with Jose Quintana.