No matter what else happens, Adrian Gonzalez has already become the first and the largest reason the Dodgers will win the NLCS and take the pennant. Sorry, Cubbies.
The venerable Vin Scully called Gonzalez “the butter and eggs man” – and boy, has he been delivering in this series.
In Game 1, the Dodgers’ chances were looking dire as the Cubs led 3-1 going into the 8th inning, and Aroldis Chapman, the big-time closer whom the Dodgers took a pass on earlier in the season, was coming in to shut the door on the game.
The Dodgers showed they made the right decision on Chapman by mounting a rally, and soon enough they had bases-loaded with the big guns coming up. But Chapman made quick work of Corey Seager for the first out.
Yasiel Puig was next up, but before he even came on-deck, the veteran Gonzalez took Puig aside and coached him about how to approach the situation.
“I was just telling him to stay short, stay up the middle,” said Gonzalez.
Regardless of any advice, Puig seemed overwhelmed by the spotlight and the excitement of it all, and he quickly struck out.
With two out, the Dodgers’ predicament looked even darker. As Dodger fans know, one of the worst situations for the team to be in – is having the bases loaded. For one reason or another, it almost always peters out into nothing.
It was looking like that would happen again, ruining the Dodgers’ comeback and giving a big boost of confidence to the Cubs. Luckily for the Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez stepped up to bat.
Following his own advice, the professional hitter slashed a two-run RBI single to tie the game.
They eventually went on to lose on an 0 and 2, grand slam pitch. After that ream, the Dodgers Nation understandably felt down, but that’s when Adrian Gonzalez stood up.
In post game remarks, Gonzales set a pragmatic – but optimistic tone.
“”We’re going to fight until the end…We like where we’re at. They won Game 1, but we can come back tomorrow, we’ll be ready. This game gave us a lot of confidence that we know we can beat them.”
This was no rah-rah brag. He simply knew the Dodgers could take this series after they rose from the mat and came to to within one pitch of taking Game 1 from the Cubs.
And just like Gibson in 1988, grizzled veteran Gonzalez went on to back up his words with deeds.
While Game 2 is already going down in Dodgers history as being Clayton Kershaw‘s masterpiece, Adrian Gonzalez will be remembered as the man who handed Kershaw and the Dodgers that precious one-run lead.
The Dodgers will win the NL pennant because the Cubs have a goat, while they have the butter and eggs man.