Dozier Dazzles in Debut, Grandal Blasts as Dodgers Walk-off For 60th Win

Yasmani Grandal Walk-off Home Run

The Dodgers achieved their first walk-off home run win since Justin Turner’s historic walk-off blast in game 2 of the 2017 National League championship series as Yasmani Grandal’s beautiful walk-off shot off of Matt Albers in the bottom of the tenth gave the Dodgers a 6-4 win over the Brewers Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine. That was Grandal’s second home run of the game, he had homered in the bottom of the fifth and notched three hits on the night as the Dodgers won their 60th game of the season.

The story of the night was Brian Dozier’s successful debut as a Dodger. The veteran batted fifth and started at second base heavily contributing to the win with a home run, single and double in a three hit performance. He did commit a costly throwing error early in the game but I think we can say that he more than made up for that.

The story of the game should have been Dozier’s debut and Grandal’s red-hot bat from the start but it was looking like it was going to be missed opportunities. The Dodgers struggled with runners in scoring position throughout the game. Overall they were 1 for 10 with RISP and left nine runners on base. They wasted scoring chances in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Although they did score two in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead.

Brewers 4 10 0

Dodgers 6 10 1

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Starter Rich Hill was fantastic, twirling another quality start. It didn’t start out well for him though as Lorenzo Cain tripled to lead-off the game in the top of the first and scored on an errant relay throw from Dozier to put Milwaukee up 1-0. Hill would settle in nicely allowing just one more run the rest of the way. Once again Cain was involved in that run too, his superlative speed causing the Dodgers havoc. In the third inning Cain doubled and then scored from second on a wild pitch that eluded Grandal. Otherwise Hill pitched very well. He finished with six innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and striking out four. He was not involved in the decision.

The Dodger bats struggled not able to get a hit over the first four frames against opposing starter Chase Anderson. But the Dodgers finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth as Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier went back-to-back to tie the score at 2-2. Anderson a tough opponent allowed just two earned runs on three hits over six frames.

With the score tied at 2-2 the Dodgers had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the sixth when Joc Pederson singled and Manny Machado walked. But Matt Kemp flied out and Grandal grounded into an inning ending double play. Speaking of double plays, the Dodgers got two of them in the seventh and eighth innings to get out of some tough spots. In the top of the seventh JT Chargois escaped an icky jam when he got Christian Yelich to ground into a double play which ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh the Dodgers scored two but could have likely scored more if Dan Jennings hadn’t gotten Joc to ground into a double play.

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In that inning after Dozier singled and Taylor walked, Yasiel Puig’s RBI single gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Later in the inning Enrique Hernandez squeezed in Taylor to bring the Dodger Stadium crowd into a frenzy. The small ball worked giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately the lead would not hold.

Scott Alexander (who hasn’t pitched in eons it seems) was called in for the top of the eighth and was predictably horrible. He walked Jesus Aguilar and after striking out newly acquired Jonathan Schoop, then walked Ryan Braun. Another new Brewer Mike Moustakas doubled in Aguilar to cut the lead to 3-2. Braun was intentionally walked and Manny Pina’s RBI single tied the score at 4-4. Alexander did induce Travis Shaw to hit into a double play and the Dodgers got out of it cheaply enough.

In the bottom of the eighth the Dodgers had another chance to re-take the lead, but squandered it away. They were victim to a spectacular play from Moustakas at third. With two outs Grandal singled and Dozier’s double bounced over the low wall in the left field corner for a ground-rule double. Grandal might have scored so the Brewers caught a break. After Cody Bellinger was intentionally walked to load the bases Taylor smashed a hot shot down the third base line. But Moustakas made a fantastic diving stop to throw him out by a step. It was highway robbery and the score remained tied.

The Dodgers had yet another chance in the bottom of the ninth. With the score still tied, Puig knocked a base hit and danced into second as Yelich bobbled the ball in right field. After a grounder advanced him to third, the Dodgers had a runner at third with one out and Joc and Machado due up. However Joc grounded out and Corey Knebel struck out Machado to send the game into extra innings.

After Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless top of the tenth inning, Matt Albers gave up a lead-off single to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the tenth. That snapped Kemp’s 0 for 26 slump which was quite brutal to watch. Then Grandal drilled a bomb down the right field line that sailed into the seats to win the game for the boys in blue. Dodgers win it 6-4!

With the win the Dodgers move into a first place tie with the idle Dbacks. They have a one game advantage over Colorado who lost to the Cardinals. The Dodgers are now 60-49 and will go for a series split on Thursday evening in the series finale. The Brewers will give the ball to Jhoulys Chacin as the Dodgers counter with Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.

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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22 thoughts on “Dozier Dazzles in Debut, Grandal Blasts as Dodgers Walk-off For 60th Win

  1. Hopefully, the Dozier trade is looking like it made a lot more sense than what many of the posters thought. What a great debut, except for the error! And, how about Grandal’s 2nd game in a row, of losing sight of a foul tip and allowing a runner on base or scoring! Yikes, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. But I think he amply made up for this with those 2 HR’s that iced the game for us. This game should have been easier for us but Alexander’s blown save was regrettable. It looked like we were headed for another disappointment but the bullpen held and we got help from the bats.

    I agree with MJ, that the key may lie with Turner coming back and producing as he has in the past. I’m not sure we can hope for the Bellinger and Taylor of last season, at this point. Taylor’s strikeouts are close to tops in the majors. He is #4! Bellinger still looks lost at the plate. Without his and Muncy’s power, it is not going to be as pretty as it was earlier on. It looks like the team will continue to struggle, staying near or at the top, until some other team heats up or we heat up. It doesn’t look like any run-away season for us this year as it was last year. This is a dog fight.

    We do have a surplus and a variety of arms in our pitching army. I am constantly impressed with the bullpen and the stuff and speed of many of our relievers. Buehler has one of the best breaking pitches I’ve seen. The speed of many of our relievers is over 95, and up to 98. With more help from the bats, we can still win it all. That’s hoping for a lot.

  2. Dozier had a great debut. I like him more already!

    The big take away I have from this series is that, with so many squirrels and with decent pitching, against the best NL teams we only win 1/3 or our games. We must start to hit better in situational hitting.

  3. I like him too. Looks better than Forsythe, but, who didn’t believe that would be the case? Let’s not forget, he’s a squirrel too.

    I’ve never seen a run score on a foul tip Jeff. But if anybody could allow it to happen, it would be Grandal.

    Another BS. We are among league leaders in that stat.

    1 for 10 WRISP. Machado, Taylor and Bellinger 0fer. Muncy still on the schneid. .170 in last 15 games. 21 Ks.

    5-5. Back in first.

    1. Wait, how can you score on a foul tip? isn’t it by rule a dead ball if not caught (a foul).

      Yes, I just checked and it is. Perhaps it was just a passed ball? Wild pitch?

      On that final note, they should just get rid of the differencing. It’s so subjective and so random. Put the blame on both pitcher and catcher.

          1. I did! But only for a coupla seconds, I then knew that sounded impossible and illegal.

            BUT

            Someone here did write it.

      1. I think RBI is valuable. Get ‘em in. Wins? Starter wins are impressive, at least they usta be when starters went more than 5. But I’ve seen relief pitchers get a W for 1 out. There should be a better way to deal with that.

  4. Apologies to Brian Dozier. Don’t mind saying that so far it looks like I was wrong about him. He has already helped us more than Forsythe did in all the time he was here. Does FAZ try to re-sign him next year? Oh, and a great game by Puig and a great bunt by Kike. Maybe those guys read this blog after all…

    1. Jonah, too early to tell if he will be re-signed. He doesn’t seem like a disappointment the way Forsythe did. The guy’s got hustle and enthusiasm. Presence. He’s not passive like Forsythe. Right now, we just need him to continue hitting while our other players figure their s**t out.

      1. Jeff

        That is the difference I saw with Dozier as compared to Forsythe.

        Dozier wants to be the guy in those big moments, and Forsythe just wants to fit in.

        But one game doesn’t make the rest of the season, because Badger is right, Dozier is just another all or nothing hitter, but sometimes certain players get their moments in time, let’s hope this continues with Dozier.

        Remember we liked Granderson in the first couple weeks, from the Grand slam and other HRs, he hit.

        But maybe Dozier new energy will give this team more energy.

        And Package I hope you got my message last night, about Dreams coming true!

        1. MJ
          I did get your message and I appreciate it. Just remember, give Dozier a chance. It sounds like some are not going to do that. He is not like the last 2nd baseman we had. Forsythe cannot carry Dozier’s lunch box. Some are just quick to judge unless they recommend the player.

      1. It is hard to believe that Turner can just step in tonight, and be that same hitter.

        But the first time he came back, he was at least good for the first series, he played with the team.

        Badger I wonder when was the last time Dozier got three hits, in a game.

        1. When he does step back in, it doesn’t really matter how he starts. Unless suddenly he can’t hit, he is an everyday player. Machado goes back to short, and Taylor goes to the outfield. If this team is healthy going forward, we can play with anybody. There will be those nutless nights, but not for weeks at a time.

          Last 3 hit game? July 11. Before that – May 28th. He’s had 3 hits 3 times, 4 hits once. He’s had some bad stretches. Not a particularly good June.

          1. Badger

            I think that is the key, Machado going back to short.

            I hope Turner can get right too.

            Your right, it will be Dozier at second, let’s just hope it doesn’t become a problem for the team, like in the past.

            But like I already said, I don’t think Dozier is afraid of big moments, like Reddick and Forsythe.

            I probably should have thought out that question, about when Dozier last had three hits.

            Because he is a very streaky hitter, so when he is hot, it pours, thus he does have three hit games, in those hot moments.

    2. Jonah

      In that small ball moment, Joe and Orel to an extent, tried to down play that moment.

      But they were wrong to do that, because this team definitely has a major issue when runners are on base, and an even bigger issue, when runners are in scoring position.

      And like I already told YF, these players can do the things that is needed, to make the offense more productive.

      Roberts has wasted pitchers at bats, when we have had runners on third like Taylor, and he should take advantage more, of pitchers at bats, when runners are on third, and with some hitters, who are not good with runners in scoring position.

      And that last sentence in most of the team.

  5. This team will take off when the players themselves change their mindset about how to play the game most efficiently. In the case of the bats, getting on base must take priority. Advancing runners is the next step. When you keep it simple and are executing, the HR and the unexpected extra base hits are gravy. Base stealing, bunting, and the sacrifice fly are all tools that should be included in the basic tool box of a batter. Of course, base stealing will be confined to those who can steal bases, but it is surprising that many who are capable, don’t have the mindset to steal. It is not reinforced in their minds by the coaching.

    Wasn’t Hernandez’s bunt a thing of beauty last night?

    1. Jeff
      Don’t you think those things you outline (Bunting, stealing,sacrificing) are enforced by the manager? Well, in case you don’t see it, they could care less. I do not think it is extreme to blame the manager which in this case is dummy.

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