Dodgers Rally To Beat Snakes, Lower Magic Number to 5

The Dodgers opened their final road trip of the season on Monday night with a three game series in Arizona against the Dbacks. The Snakes are a dead dormant club, officially eliminated from postseason play on Sunday. That doesn’t mean the Dodgers would have anything easy. Nothing comes easy this year with this team. The Dodgers came from behind to score two runs in the seventh and three more in the top of the ninth to beat the Snakes 7-4. This was a crucial victory as Colorado clobbered Philadelphia 10-1. The win keeps the Dodgers 1.5 games ahead in the NL West race. With just five games left to play the Dodger’s magic number is now 5.

The boys in blue had to knock off notorious Dodger killer Robbie Ray, whom they never seem able to hit, last season’s NLDS not withstanding of course. Ray held the Dodgers in check for the first half of the game but the Dodgers ran up his pitch count. With Yasiel Puig, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger riding the pine (because matchups!) the Dodger’s all-right handed lineup struggled in the early frames against Ray.

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Dodgers   7 9 0

Dbacks     4 7 0

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Ray tossed five innings allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out seven. He walked three and made 100 pitches before coming out of the game. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first inning but was only able to score one run. Chris Taylor singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Justin Turner’s ground out advanced Taylor to third and he would score on an RBI single from David Freese. Manny Machado and Enrique Hernandez followed with walks to load the bases, but Matt Kemp struck out and Brian Dozier flew out to right. The Dodgers stranded a lead-off double from Justin Turner in the third as well. Mr. Freese was the offensive star of the night going 3 for 4 with a home run and two runs batted in.

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Meanwhile Clayton Kershaw was anything but vintage, but pitched well enough to turn in a quality outing. Kershaw had trouble locating his curveball and with his fastball not what it used to be, he ran into some trouble. The dbacks tied the score in the bottom of the first when Ketel Marte tripled in a run. That pesky Marte would bother the Dodgers again with a solo home run to center in the bottom of the third. That would give the Snakes a 2-1 lead.

The Dodgers tied the score in the top of the fifth when Freese bashed an opposite field shot off of Ray. But the Dbacks retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Owings reached on a ground-rule double and guess who? That little pest Marte’s RBI single into center put the Snakes ahead by a 3-2 score.

The Dodgers battled back in the top of the seventh. With Andrew Chaffin on the mound, Yasmani Grandal would work a lead-off walk. Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig’s single put two on with nobody out. Then pinch-hitter Max Muncy’s clutch slicing stroke to right scored pinch-runner Tim Locastro, and the Dodgers tie the score at 3-3. After Turner struck out on a foul tip, Freese’s grounder to first bounced off of Christian Walker’s glove allowing Freese to reach and the bases loaded. Machado’s grounder to the hole at short would bring home Puig to put the Dodgers ahead 4-3.

The Dodger bullpen was pretty darn good. Lefty Caleb Ferguson set the Snakes down in order in the bottom of the seventh, and Scott Alexander retired Eduardo Escobar in the top of the eighth. Kenta Maeda struck out Marte, but then hit Christian Walker with a pitch in the face. It was a scary moment as Walker was seen spitting up blood and was walked off the field. I hope the guy is ok. That is a frightening sight.

The Dodgers added three more runs in the top of the ninth just to make sure. Muncy walked, Turner singled, and Muncy scored on a wild pitch. Later in the inning Chase Utley walked and Machado’s double off the top of the wall scored Turner. After Joc Pederson struck out and was mysteriously ejected by home plate umpire and cowboy Joe West, another wild pitch plated Utley. That made the score 7-3 Dodgers. Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and gave up a lead-off homer to AJ Pollack just to annoy us a bit. He settled down to strike out Paul Goldschmidt (who was not in the starting lineup), Daniel Descalso, and got Peralta to fly out to end the game. Dodgers win!

The Dodgers (88-69) look to move closer to winning their sixth consecutive National League West championship as their series against the Dbacks continues on Tuesday night. Walker Buehler will battle Matt Koch with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM PST. Let’s keep battling boys!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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7 thoughts on “Dodgers Rally To Beat Snakes, Lower Magic Number to 5

  1. Well, the infamous “Lefty Lineup” stumbled out of the dugout again.

    Team finally woke up, after Turner’s 11 pitch at-bat caused Ray to expend all his bullets after 5 innings. Ray still managed to fan 7 hapless Dodgers.

    Scrambled lineup scored 7 runs, but was still only 4-16 RISP, 11 KO’s. 23 LOB. Should have been a run-a-way.

    Kershaw not as sharp as we are accustomed to, but still got the win, thanks to massive rally in the 7th… bases loaded no out, just manage to get 2 runs. Jansen came in with 4 run cushion, thought he could snatch a save, giving up a HR, then saving himself. Nice try Jansen, but no dice. The bookend “Aces” do not look like they are playoff ready.

    Should “The Smirk” be benched for not running…. choosing to admire his hit off the wall? He should have been on 3rd base.

    Ugly win. Nothing to write home about, but I guess we take it. A win is a win.

  2. Just a few observations:

    I like this Kershaw,with the slower fastball but he’s pitching way smarter.

    Muncy has adjusted. Good for him.

    Locastro can fly. There was not a single wasted step there and that beautiful slide of his took him across and home plate at least 10 feet before he sprung up and jogged to the dugout, again no wasted motion whatsoever. I’m showing that clip to my daughter and my son. That’s how a trainDodgee runs the bases!!

  3. This is an exciting race to the playoffs. We are not out of the shade, yet. Colorado is also hot and keeping pace. St. Louis is the real wild card for us. Do we want to face them or the Rockies? I’m not sure. Jansen may not be able to pitch at Coors and that limits us late in games. Whaddyall think?

    1. Jeff, Wild card team faces the leagues wins leader, at this point that is the Cubbies. And the wild cards have to face each other first as you know. If the season ended today, the Dodgers would play the Braves. Depending on who has the better season record, if they tied, the Braves would come to LA for the opening series because the Dodger handled them 5-2 in the regular season.

  4. Bluto

    I agree with everything you said.

    But a couple of things, the line up is long against subpar pitching, like the Dbacks bullpen, and that is why they are inconsistent.

    And the other fact, we will not have as many platoon choices to run over other teams, once the post season begins.

    But most feel that is a good thing.

    What can you say about Muncy, except he needs to be in the line up more!

    Dozier should not be keeping anyone on this team out of the line up, especially the Dodger’s HR leader Muncy.

    But Muncy is so much more then just a HR hitter.

    Puig also had an important single last night too, so good on Puig.

    And thank you Dbacks bullpen pitchers, too.

    We really needed those extra runs, because I don’t feel a one run lead is enough for Kenley, these days.

    1. MJ, Muncy would probably be playing every day if the Dodgers were in the AL. He is just adequate as a fielder any where he plays on the field. If he was a good defensive 2nd baseman, based on the numbers, he would be out there every day. But, that is not the way it is. He is mediocre at 3rd, and his defense at first is pretty bad too.

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