What could be better than an Arizona meltdown in the bottom of the ninth? A Giants meltdown certainly. Maybe a Cubs meltdown is just as good? Or perhaps an Angel’s meltdown as well? I know a Rockies or Padres meltdown is pretty cool too. Whatever the case the Dodgers incredibly drew five consecutive walks with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to stun and beat the Dbacks 5-4 at Dodger Stadium in the opening game of the home stand on Tuesday night.
The game didn’t start out well for the Dodgers. Starting pitcher Ross Stripling gave up three runs in the first two frames. The Snakes scored once in the first on an RBI double from Eduardo Escobar and then plated two in the following frame on a two-run home run from Nick Ahmed after a walk to Jake Lamb. Strip would settle down but it wasn’t much of an effective outing for him. Strip gave up four earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts over 4.2 innings. It was actually the Dodger bullpen that stepped up tossing 4.1 innings of scoreless ball.
The Dodger bats didn’t get going until later in the game. Opposing starter Taylor Clarke lasted just 3.2 innings allowing three earned runs on five hits and walking three. One of those runs scored in the second inning and the other two plated in the fourth. Stripling’s bouncer up the middle scored Barnes in the bottom half of the second.
Dbacks 4 8 0
Dodgers 5 7 1
Then a two-run home run from Enrique Hernandez tied the score at 3-3 in the fourth. From there it remained tied until the Dbacks pushed across a run in the top of the fifth. Consecutive singles from Ketel Marte, David Peralta, and an Adam Jones force out scored the fourth run for the Arizona squad to put them ahead 4-3.
All seemed lost when the Dodgers stranded a runner in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings and then went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3. After Arizona closer Greg Holland recorded the first two outs in the ninth frame, it looked like the game was over. Then it wasn’t.
The Dodgers did something they do very well, not swing the bats. Don’t get it twisted, the Dodgers are a great hitting club, but their impeccable plate discipline reared its head in the ninth inning as Holland lost his command. The Dodgers drew five consecutive walks to win the game. Chris Taylor, the first of the five walks was in a 1-2 hole before he battled back and trotted down to first. Then Russell Martin walked. Alex Verdugo’s walk loaded the bases and Matt Beaty’s free pass plated the tying run. Arizona was forced to remove Holland and bring in left hander T.J. McFarland to face Cody Bellinger with the bases juiced and the Dodgers on the verge of another walk-off. Bellinger nearly hit by a pitch when the count was 2-2, eventually worked a walk as well to win the game. Simply stunning. The Dodgers go for the sweep of the short series on Wednesday night before beginning their final series before the all-star break.