We witness miracles rarely, but tonight on Tuesday September 12, 2017 (The year of our lord) we witnessed one. The clouds parted, the skies opened up and the oceans rumbled. Birds sang and soared through the night. The traffic on the 405 came to a halt. The Dodgers finally won a baseball game, snapping their franchise record 11-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the last place Giants. For the record the game was close and they barely beat one of the worst teams in baseball, but a win is a win is a win. I won’t complain. We’ll take it.
All of the pressure was certainly on the Dodgers. The Giants are out of it, in last place 40 games out of first place. The Dodgers were trying to win a baseball game for the first time in two damn weeks. The ninth-inning was cringe-worthy with the Giants loading the bases with one out against Kenley Jansen. I had the feeling of dread throughout the game and that wouldn’t go away until after the last out was made. God I hate the Giants.
Dodgers 5 9 1
Giants 3 14 0
Clayton Kershaw pitched and hit the Dodgers to victory as he improved his record to 17-3. Kershaw tossed 6 innings allowing two runs, one earned on eight hits while striking out 6. He made 91 pitches and also contributed with a double and a run scored at the plate.
The Dodger bats showed some life again scoring five runs on ten hits while also stranding 13 runners on base. They were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. Chris Taylor was 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored, and Cody Bellinger was 2 for 2 while being intentionally walked three times. Yasiel Puig drove in two with two doubles and Chase Utley homered into McCovey cove.
The Giants are certainly annoying and it doesn’t matter where they are in the standings they’ll never stop trying to torture the Dodgers. The agony began first when Kelby Tomlinson (the infielder with the glasses) hit his first home run of the season off of Kershaw to put the Giants up 1-0.
The Dodgers would respond with four runs in the top of the fourth against opposing starter Johnny Cueto. Utley splashed one into the cove to tie the game at 1-1. For the record that’s the third Dodger splash shot at At&T Park (Todd Hundley, Dioner Navarro) since the stadium opened in 2000.
Then Kershaw doubled into the gap in left center field thanks also to Gorkys Hernandez taking a bad route to the ball. Kersh was pretty pumped right? What do you think?
Taylor’s fielder’s choice grounder advances Kershaw to third. Kershaw slides in around the tag, but seemed to be possibly banged up. The trainers come out to check on him, and thankfully he’s fine. Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly scores him and the Dodgers take the lead by a 2-1 score. After Justin Turner is struck out looking, Cody Bellinger is intentionally walked. Puig immediately doubles off the top of the wall to score Taylor, and Bellinger and the Dodgers take a 4-1 lead.
The Giants rallied in the bottom half of the fourth, but couldn’t score thanks to a Puig-esque throw from Taylor. Hundley doubles and Slater’s ground ball single was overturned as Bellinger made a great leaping into the air tag. One out later Tomlinson singles to center and Hundley tries to score but is nailed at the plate.
The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, but guess who Dave Roberts allowed to bat? You guessed it, Curtis Granderson. The cooked veteran predictably grounded out to first. How many times have we seen that in the last few weeks?
The Giants would rally to score one in the sixth and another run in the bottom of the seventh. The sixth inning would be Kershaw’s final frame. Hunter Pence’s ground ball single and Buster Posey’s line drive single put two on with none out for the orange and black. Kershaw would strike out Nick Hundley for the first out. Austin Slater would reach on a chopper to third with Turner’s throw way too high pulling him off the bag. With the bases loaded rookie Orlando Calixte’s sacrifice fly cut the lead to 4-2. Kelby Tomlinson walked and with the bases loaded Kershaw strikes out old friend Tim Federowicz. Jesus. By the way I was unaware that Fedex was still in baseball.
Flash forward to the bottom of the seventh. Ross Stripling comes in and immediately begins to give away hits. The red-hot Denard Span doubles down the first base line and Joe Panik singles him to third. Pence’s ground ball force out scores Span, and the Dodgers are unable to get the double play. The score is now 4-3 Dodgers. They finally get the double play on Posey to end the inning.
An RBI double from Turner in the top of the eighth gives them an important insurance run and they take a 5-3 lead. Brandon Morrow tosses a scoreless bottom half of the eighth notching two strikeouts in the process. Move to the bottom of the ninth.
Enter Kenley Jansen on to save it and end the long nightmare. He strikes out Brandon Crawford for the first out. Then of course, the Dodgers happen. Or should I say the stupid Giants and their stupid little grounders. First Span legitimately singles, and Panik follows with a little grounder that deflects off of Kenley’s leg. Hunter Pence hits a dribbler towards the mound that nobody can get to and the bases are loaded. With doom approaching, Kenley settles down and remembers that he’s better than the Giants. Buster Posey strikes out. Two down. Finally Hundley is struck out as well and that’s the game! The Dodgers win it 5-3!
Honestly this felt like a postseason win. I wanted to jump up and down and celebrate. I wanted to sing from the rooftops. I felt like I was on top of the world. I’m sure the Dodgers will feel that way themselves. With the win the Dodgers improve to 93-52. The Dbacks lost to Colorado so the magic number to clinch the NL West is now down to 8. Oh and the Dodgers clinched a playoff spot with the win.
The Dodgers will look to set the world on fire by winning two games in a row on Wednesday evening in the rubber game tomorrow at 7:15 PM PST. The seemingly broken Yu Darvish takes on lefty Matt Moore.
Thank god this nightmare is over.