What a Prince! Will Smith’s Walk-off Home Run Gives Dodgers Win Over Philadelphia

Dodgers young catcher Will Smith may not have been born and raised in west Philadelphia and he may not have spent most of his days on the playground but Dodger fans consider him to be a prince right about now after he did just about the freshest thing on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. It was Smith’s first career home run in the bottom of the ninth, a walk-off blast to left field off of Hector Neris that broke a 3-3 tie and vaulted the Dodgers to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in front of a raucous crowd at Chavez Ravine. The win gave the Dodgers their 40th of the season. The boys in blue now have the best record in baseball. For the record, Smith is actually from Kentucky. Let the Will Smith era begin!

Before the Smith walk-off it’s important to note how the Dodgers got there. Amidst all of the hoopla of Smith’s home run it can be easy to overlook Clayton Kershaw’s strong performance. The longtime Dodger ace tossed seven innings of one-run ball, striking out six and holding a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning.

Phillies   3 7 1

Dodgers 4 8 1

WP-Urias-3-2

LP-Neris-1-2

HR-Harper-11-Freese-5-Smith-1

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Dodgers scored first in the bottom of the third after squandering a bases loaded rally in the bottom of the second. In the third Max Muncy singled, Cody Bellinger walked and Enrique Hernandez’s RBI single put the Dodgers up 1-0. Philadelphia tied it up in the fourth on a Bryce Harper single, a Kershaw wild pitch, a Muncy error at third (Justin Turner is still battling a sore hamstring) and an RBI single from J.T. Realmuto. The Dodgers retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a David Freese solo home run over the center field wall. The Dodgers added an additional insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Matt Beaty singled, Joc Pederson walked, an errant pick-off throw and a sacrifice fly from Muncy. That made the score 3-1 Dodgers.

Unfortunately once again the Dodgers bullpen couldn’t hold a lead. The Dodgers had kept Harper quiet up until tonight. He broke that silence with a game-tying two-run home run off of Julio Urias in the top of the eighth frame. Everyone was understandably sick of the Dodger bullpen and frustrated. But that all washed away in the bottom of the ninth when Smith deposited a 3-2 pitch deep into the cool night air becoming the first Dodger catcher to walk-off in his first major league shot since Dioner Navarro in 2005. This kid is the real deal folks. The Dodgers go for the sweep tomorrow as Nick Pivetta will draw Rich Hill in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

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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34 thoughts on “What a Prince! Will Smith’s Walk-off Home Run Gives Dodgers Win Over Philadelphia

  1. I mentioned this previously, who goes if Smith remains? Who has the best trade value, possibly for bullpen help, Martin or Barnes? For me, Martin is at the very end of career and Barnes still has a number of years left, however, other teams know that too. So who has the most value in a trade. Will Smith is here to stay unless he literally falls of a cliff.

    It is criminal that Urias gets a W for that outing. Stuff like that make most pitching stats useless, we see it all the time.

    However, I have to say it, nice job PPP bully you made it possible for a star to emerge.

    1. Criminal indeed. Kershaw definitely deserved the win. But, Clayton just has to cinch up his jock, and go further into the game, to avoid such atrocity’s to occur.

  2. Kershaw took pretty good notes while watching Dodger Ace Hyun Jin Ryu, but failed to follow the most important note…. “Must at least get to 8th inning to avoid the murky middle relief”. Unfortunate turn of events for Clayton, although he is showing he still might have a little left in the tank.

    Congrats to Will Smith. Once again another Dodger farm hand, who the Dodger Brass said,”Was not ready for the big show”, continues to impress. Like Verdugo, Smith was given an opportunity by default, due to injury. If not for the injuries, Smith and Verdugo would still be wasting away in the Dodger farm system. Muncy and CT3, also were fortunate to get a chance by “default”, and ended up opening the eyes of the doubters. Don’t waste time dumpster diving, and picking up overpaid free agents…. “Let the kids play!”

    What will happen when Pollock and Barnes come back? Will Verdugo and Smith be sent back to the farm? Can Dodgers carry three catchers? Maybe they can put Russell in the bullpen, and cut Kelly? Will Pollock get his starting CF position back? Will be interesting what the brass decides.

    1. The Brass can’t be so stupid to send Verdugo and Smith back to the north 40, can they? Actually absolutely nothing would be a surprise, its quite obvious that neither one of those guys can handle big league pitching , lol.

      Kershaw impressive, no dingers allowed, that has been rare for Clayton in the last two seasons. I like Clayton and hope he really can be a quality pitcher for us for many years to come.

      The big money obligations to Pollock and Kelly are really glaring mistakes, many of us said so from the very get go. Now can the FO swallow their pride and move on from those mistakes and let the team continue on without those two cavities?

      1. True Blue, I think we will need a root canal to rid us of the pain from the Pollock and Kelly trades. A mere filling will not do. The Dodgers think that “Filling” their roster with washed up veterans, and dumpster acquisitions is the answer. They don’t trust their own farm system.

        So sad to see these young kids waste away in the minors, and most of all, to see the Dodgers waste money on these ridiculous F/A acquisitions…. someone is not doing their homework… Andy? Remember Dodger Fans, you pay their salaries by attending games and wasting your hard earned dollars. Also picking up the tab by subscribing to Time Warner Cable just to get Spectrum.

        I’m just sayin’….

  3. Random thoughts and articles

    Jeter Downs (from Reds) is mashing lefties
    .317/.378/.512
    That slash line is up from last year: .310/.425/.440

    As cited yesterday Int’l signee Diego Cartaya started his Dodger career in the DSL going 0-3 with a walk and a K

    I appreciate Roberts for sending out Julio in the 9th. Understanding that the kid, mentally, needed some success. And Julio goes 1-2-3. Package may not concur, but Roberts really is doing a bangup job this season. Pushing all the right buttons and keeping everyone involved.

    A look at an early top performer from the Cal League:

    Edwin Uceta, 21 – Dodgers
    4-0, 2.15 ERA, 50.1 IP, 19 R, 12 ER, 16 BB, 65 SO

    Uceta is quietly putting up great numbers. He’s had a few rocky outings but his numbers are good, his walks are low and his strike outs are high. I feel he could be a streaky pitcher and while he’s on roll right now, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. If he does continue his consistency for a few more weeks, he could be in Tulsa after the break.

  4. From True Blue (the blog, not the person):

    This year really has been a testament to player development and youth progression. Verdugo has come up and certainly earned his spot. Bellinger has evolved his game and is currently arguably the game’s best player. Smith’s defense looks great and his offense certainly looks good enough (in this SSS and all).

    Really fun watching these kids get promoted and play well. I love watching a predominantly home-grown team.

    Which leads to a question about Beaty. Is he here to stay though? Thought he was called up to add some depth due to Pollock’s injury. He’s old for a prospect too so I figured part of his call up was Dodgers giving him a chance to get some AB’s in the majors, kind of like what they did with Kyle Farmer last year

  5. Time for a reality check guys. Smith will go down the minute Barnes is activated, and Beatty will go down as soon as Pollock is ready. That’s just the way it works and that’s how Ol Andy rolls. All the posting and wishing in the world will not change that. Pollock and Kelly are Dodgers for the foreseeable future. They will do everything possible to make those 2 guys comfortable and get them on track. Too much money invested not to. A little side note, James Loney hit a grand slam homer off of Dennis Powell in the Alumni game. Looked like Orel hurt something. Garvey was inducted into the Legends of Dodger baseball with Newk. Fernando will be inducted later in the year. Former Dodgers in attendance and playing, Sax, Van Slyke, Landreaux, D. Thomas, Yeager, Cey, Russell, Loney, Lacy, J-Hair, Nomah, B. Ashley, Roberts played left field, Valenzuela, Billy Bean, Kevin Gross who threw a really nasty curve that buckled Sax’s knees. Was a lot of fun. Jimmy Kimmel was there and did a little intro for Popeye. Great night with a great ending and a little drama and frustration along the way….oh, and I lost my phone too dammit! Oh yeah, Mike Marshall, the outfielder not the pitcher was there too. He did not get to hit, Hershiser pinch hit for him and maybe strained a hammy running…final was 8-1 for J-Hairs team.

    1. The problem is the Kelly is on track with what he has typically done in his career. He has always been extremely up and down, season to season. He went Panda Sandavol on us and got hot at the right time last year, he kicked our ass in the WS, Andy got a hard-on for him and the rest is history. Kelly never has been impressive to me, except last year in the WS when all of our hitters were swinging out of their shoes and flailing at the ball.

      I actually wish Andy had just gone dumpster diving instead of going after Pollock and Kelly, at least he would have been more willing to part with the trash, supposedly, than he is now with these high dollar acquisitions.

  6. It’s just bad karma to sign a big contract someone who broke the ribs of our best hitter. I was keeping an open mind about it, but I’ve seen enough. Kelly needs to be cut loose.

    1. You are dreaming if you think ownership and Friedman are just going to eat the remaining years and over 18 million he is still owed. They will do everything they can to nurse him through this.

  7. Another quality start by the Dodgers and Rich Hill. As I suggested with Kershaw, Hill cinched up his jock, and put in 7 strong innings. If the starters want success, they have to go deep, and avoid the middle relief at all costs.

    Phils bullpen was out of gas, as the decision to go with a L/H “opener” in game two backfired, and they ended up burning out all their lefties.

    Hot Dodger bats took full advantage of the situation, and buried the NL East leading Phils, for a three game sweep. They sputtered out of the gate against a 7+ERA starter, Pivetta, but came to life in the 8th against the Phillie bullpen, who were gasping for oxygen. These late offensive eruptions have been commonplace, lately.

    “Mr. Freese” was the savior for Hill and the Dodgers. Clutch offense and defense, while filling in off the bench for an injured starting 1B-man Matt Beaty.

    Kelly doing OK as the Multi-Million Dollar Mop-up Specialist. Will he be holding a wet mop in his bobblehead?

    Go Blue. Now they must face the West.

  8. Scott,

    I have another content idea.

    I’m not sure BlueFan would be up to it. But you should have an “Embarassed or Exhilarated” column after every game.

    Blue could handle one side of the debate, maybe Paul could do the other? Someone who is often impressed by the Dodgers.

        1. Yeah, is getting kind of dry. That is one reason why I say what I say…. you know, sort of stir up the pot, get the Dodger Homies fired up. There is always a negative side to the story that needs to be exposed.

          1. Are we witnessing the slow death spiral of a blog?

            Did Oscar get put off or scared off?

            Did Michael end MJ?

            Can Joc be an All-Star (can’t deny the HR count) and only be a part-time player?

            Should we be concerned about JT and his ever ailing hamstring?

            Is Ryu the best pitcher in baseball?

            Inquiring minds want to know

    1. I guess I would be open to that if you guys are interested. But to be honest I’m considering shutting this place down unfortunately. There’s just not enough activity page views to justify expenses. I love and appreciate all of you guys who kept this place going. In the meantime I’ll be writing maybe once or twice a week, maybe a little more if time allows. If anyone wants to float me some more ideas, please do.

      1. Scott.

        Thanks for all you do. I hope you are able to continue in any capacity possible. Maybe the days of the written blogs are over? Instagram/snapchat/flickr seem to be the new template.

        Whatever direction you decide to go, please leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

  9. Or did MJ end Michael with a poisoned Chicken Biscotti and is now posting as Michael in an elaborate cover-up attempt?

        1. The real game was great. Kersh was on his game and the Dodgers were not really tearing the cover off of the ball. They scratched for a couple of runs then Philly made it 2-1. Freese homered and it looked like CK was getting the win. Urias was not that sharp to begin with and when he hit the 2nd batter he set up Harper’s game tying homer. LA fans really let Harper hear boos all night. It looked like maybe extra innings when Verdugo grounded out and Smith came up. The homer was a total shock, but the fans went bonkers….No shifts in the old guys game, lots of hugging and fooling around. They lit Hershiser up and then in the second inning lit Powell up even more. Loney actually looks like he could still be on a major league roster. Weird to see him stop and take a selfie with Powell after he hit the slam at first base, then a selfie at home with all the guys who were on base. Lost my phone at the game, so I had to order a new one.

          1. Thanks for the game info MJ.

            It is going to be hard to justify sending Smith and Beaty down, after what they have shown, but I’m sure Andy is capable of just about anything.

            I thought I smelled some death and saw the last few twitches of life a while back at this site. Sorry Scott, you gave it a shot, danke.

          2. Any word on Beaty’s mysterious early exit from the game yesterday? Maybe Dodgers are trying to create a spot on the roster, to keep Smith in the big show, by faking an injury to Matt.

            Freese has done quite well, so really no need to keep Beaty as a backup 1B-man, at this time.

            Carrying a third catcher will will relieve Barnes and Russell from excessive play while Barnes takes it easy on his recovery from injury. Also, Barnes and Russell can play other positions, and Smith adds a bat to the bench, as well. Russell can even pitch😂🤣🤣😂!! Better than Kelly!

            Sad to hear you may be quitting, Scott. It has been a nice place to spill my guts, without fearing censorship. I’ll have to find another place that will put up with my BS.

            It has been fun. Thanks Scott, and everyone for the opportunity to get under your skins.

            Go Dodgers Blue!

  10. Folks who are here or not here, yesterday’s 8 to 0 win made me think that eventually, upon seeing the Dodgers continue to do most of their damage against RHP, they will sooner or later throw more LHP at the Dodgers playing those %. Yes, Bellinger, Muncy, Verdugo and Seager do OK against LHP but are not as much of a threat as they are against RHP for the most part. Joc has 18 HR’s this year, all against RHP and I am afraid that whenever possible teams will figure out that by starting a lefty, it keeps Joc on the bench to start the game

    1. Your theory gets it’s first test tonight. Ray going for the D-Backs. Worst thing about the lineup against LHP is the fact that even though the stats say don’t do it, Roberts continues to bat Hernandez in an RBI spot in the lineup. Turner will be back in the lineup tonight.

  11. Blue. Beatty left the game due to tightness in his hip. That at least is the reason given on the Dodger website….would not matter tonight because Ray is pitching. Still not MJ there untrueblue…..Never met the gal…do not want to either.. and they do not need a reason other than guys coming off of the IL to send either Smith or Beatty down. Smith is gone as soon as this Friday if Barnes comes off the IL….when Pollock is ready, Beatty is gone……bank on it.

  12. MJ, I got to hand it to you, at least you are consistent with exhibiting zero sense of humor. You must be a blast at a party, GEEZ! (were you an undertaker in your past? You’d have been great at it)

  13. Michael,

    Leave it to True Blue to start with a bad, unfunny sophmoric (at best) joke and use it continually without any clue how bad nor unfunny it is.

    To review the past variations:

    Gran-Mal seizure.
    PP Bullpen.
    Ed Dinger.
    The instantly forgettable “announcement” post.
    The changing of my fake name to another fake name.

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