The official scorer may disagree, but I am crediting Dodger’s superstar Cody Bellinger with the save after the NL MVP made an incredible catch in the bottom of the seventh to rob Fernando Tatis Jr. of a home run to preserve the Dodger’s one-run lead. Certainly I am not giving the save to Kenley Jansen, who nearly blew the game in the ninth allowing two runs to the heart of the San Diego order with a litany of meatballs. Certainly it wasn’t Joe Kelly who deserved the save who walked two batters in a highwire act before getting the final out.
Bellinger saved the Dodger’s bacon when he leaped with an outstretched glove over the center field wall to make the spectacular catch. While everyone will be talking about Bellinger’s game saving catch, the Dodger’s bullpen or the vocal chirping between Manny Machado Brusdar Graterol and Max Muncy there were many other Dodgers that contributed as the Dodgers extended their NLDS lead over the Padres with a thrilling 6-5 win on Wednesday night.
The Dodgers gave the ball to Clayton Kershaw and while he wasn’t great, he certainly gave the Dodgers a quality start. One poor inning made his outing look a lot worse than it was. The Dodger bats sprung to life scoring six runs and notching 11 hits. Bellinger himself hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth and Corey Seager’s two-run double in the third put the Dodgers ahead for good. Austin Barnes had a very good game, tallying two hits while Mookie Betts, and Max Muncy each recorded two hits. Seager had three hits.
Padres 5 9 0
Dodgers 6 11 0
The Padres scored first in the top of the second. Tommy Pham singled and Wil Myers doubled him home to put San Diego up 1-0. The Dodgers normally don’t hit San Diego starter Zach Davies well, but tonight they got to him. The Dodgers scored three runs in the third, one in the fourth sending Davies to the showers early. In the third frame singles from AJ Pollock, and Barnes put two on for the Dodgers. It could have been more but Tatis made a great diving catch on a Mookie Betts liner. The next batter Corey Seager doubled to plate both Pollock and Barnes to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Muncy then immediately flares a single to center to score Seager and the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth game saver and hero Bellinger smashed a solo shot to extend the Dodger lead to 4-1. Kershaw was cruising along until the top of the sixth when Machado and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back homers cutting the lead to 4-3. Kershaw finished the inning and was removed from the game for Blake Treinen. It wasn’t a dominating start like the one against Milwaukee, but Kershaw still turned in a quality start and earned the win. Kershaw finished with six innings, three earned runs on six hits no walks and six strikeouts.
The top of the seventh is where Bellinger made that leaping catch against the wall. Treinen started the frame by recording the first two outs, but hits Trent Grisham with a pitch. Roberts goes to the bullpen and brings in Brusdar Graterol to get the last out of the frame. There was a balk, and then Tatis slugged a deep fly to center. Bellinger never gave up on the ball and makes a leaping catch with his glove outstretched over the wall to take away what looked like a sure home run. Graterol celebrated by throwing his hat and pumping his fist. Machado, who has done way worse in his career took offense to that and started chirping at him. Muncy came to his defense with some barking to end the inning. The important thing is that Bellinger preserved the Dodger lead.
The Dodgers added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and those would prove vital. With Pierce Johnson on the mound, Barnes drew a lead-off walk. After a Betts force out, Seager singles to left and the Padres make a pitching change. With Drew Pomeranz now on the mound, Seager and Betts pull off a double steal. A Justin Turner sacrifice fly and another Muncy RBI flare single put the Dodgers head with a 6-3 score.
Move to the top of the ninth. The Dodgers give the ball to Kenley Jansen, now a shell of his former self. It didn’t go well for the Dodgers as the Padres rallied. Kenley struck out Myers, but Jake Cronenworth singled. 2018 World Series jerk Mitch Moreland doubles in Cronenworth and the score is now 6-4. Austin Nola fouled out for the second out but Grisham singles to center to plate Moreland. The game isn’t over yet. With both Tatis and Machado looming Roberts brings in Joe Kelly. He walks both hitters to load the bases and send our blood pressure skyrocketing. With Fox broadcaster John Smoltz drooling over the Padres, Kelly gets Eric Hosmer to ground out and the game. Dodgers win it!
The baby Padres are not ready for the big stage. Perhaps in future seasons, but not now. Not this year. The Dodgers need just one more win to advance to the NLCS. You can call the Dodgers a bus because they took the Padres to school. Enjoy the golf course this fall Machado! Stay classy San Diego. Nine more wins. Go Blue!