This Story is Taylor Made! Dodgers Walk-off Rox

Few words can describe what we’re all feeling right now. It’s been a trying day for me to be honest. I’ve had a busy day. Running errands, dealing with health issues and to top it off trying to fix the technical problems that have been plaguing this place over the last couple of days. However the dark skies cleared around 10:25 PM PST on September 18. Those problems all melted away when Chris Taylor’s beautiful massive walk-off home run landed into the left field pavilions. I am beside myself with the joys. I know you are all too.

The Rockies were at a distinct disadvantage without shortstop Trevor Story, who is still nursing an elbow injury he suffered the night before on a throw to first. The Dodgers sensed blood in the water like a shark. But the Rockies had their top pitcher on the mound in Kyle Freeland. The Colorado ace matched Clayton Kershaw nearly inning for inning during what was a tight tense affair as the two teams battled for first place. Sloppy defense on both sides resulted in runs, and the game went into extra innings. When Yasmani Grandal’s deep drive in the bottom of the ninth couldn’t get the job done, Chris Taylor’s in the bottom of the tenth did.

The Dodgers walked-off in the bottom of the tenth inning over the Rockies in the second game of the three game series when Chris Taylor smacked a solo home run off of Colorado right hander Adam Ottavino. The score is 3-2 and again the time is 10:26 PM PST. The Dodgers have a 1.5 game lead in the National League West. Perhaps the Dodgers still have a little bit of mojo left in them this year? You’re god damn right they still do.

Rockies  2 4 2

Dodgers 3 6 2

WP-Floro-6-3

LP-Ottavino-6-4

HR-Blackmon-27-Taylor-17

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

But what’s also important is how they got there. Before Taylor’s emotionally uplifting walk-off shot, the Dodgers held no advantage in the game. Clayton Kershaw and Kyle Freeland were dueling for the majority of the night, and neither team took control.

The Dodgers scored first in the bottom of the first frame. Manny Machado’s two-out double bounced off the top of the wall just inches from going out, and inches from Gerardo Parra’s stupid outstretched glove. David Freese worked a walk and Machado moved to third on a ball four wild pitch. Matt Kemp’s slicing RBI single into right scored Machado, but Kemp took too wide of a turn towards second and was thrown out trying to get back to first. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile Kershaw breezed through the first two frames but then faltered in the third and fourth innings as his command disappeared. The Rockies evened it up in the top of the third. Garrett Hampson, the young player who is replacing the injured Trevor Story walked. After Freeland struck out, Charlie Blackmon walked as well. DJ LeMahieu’s chopper to third goes under Turner’s glove into left field and Taylor overran the ball allowing Hampson to score and Colorado tied the score.

The Rockies took the lead in the top of the fifth when Charlie Blackmon launched a home run (his 27 of the season) into the right field seats to put the Rocks up 2-1. The Dodgers would come charging back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Austin Barnes walked and Kershaw’s sacrifice was not well placed, but Iannetta bobbled and dropped the ball which allowed Barnes to scamper into second. That was key because Taylor’s swinging bunt along third flummoxed the charging Nolan Arenado. He picked up the ball and tried to nab Barnes coming into third, but he threw the ball away and the costly error plated Barnes to tie the score at 2-2.

Kershaw didn’t have his best command but was able to keep the Rockies at bay most of the night. Clayton allowed just two runs (one earned) on three hits, walked five and struck out three over seven innings. Freeland didn’t have his best stuff either but limited the Dodgers to two runs on five hits across 6.2 frames. Freeland walked four and struck out four as both pitchers were not involved in the decision.

Justin Turner made up for his mistake with this awesome diving stop in the seventh inning to keep the tie intact. That was a huge play with runners at first and second for Colorado and the meat of their order coming up. Kershaw’s pitch count was rising too, which made the play even bigger. Check it out.

Move to the top of the eighth. With the score still tied, Kenta Maeda entered the match and triumphantly struck out the side. Scott Oberg who had recorded the last out in the seventh also retired the Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth. Enter Kenley Jansen for the top of the ninth. Parra singled and stole second base putting the Dodgers instantly in trouble. Kenley recovered to strike out Iannetta and get pinch-hitter David Dahl to pop out. Ryan McMahon grounded out and the Dodgers headed to the bottom of the ninth with the opportunity to walk-off.

And they nearly did. Adam Ottavino got Cody Bellinger and Chase Utley quickly, and then Yasmani Grandal hit a long drive to deep left field. It appeared to almost everyone that it was heading into the left field pavilions. Unfortunately the ball died in the cool night air of Chavez Ravine and Parra caught it right against the left field wall. It was nothing more than a loud out in the box score.

The Dodgers used Scott Alexander and Dylan Floro to get through the top of the tenth. Alexander got a grounder and Floro whiffed LeMahieu and Arenado. In the bottom of the tenth with Ottavino still on the mound, Muncy started the inning with a line out to Dahl. Taylor then strode to the plate and did what Grandal almost did the inning before. He homered deep into the Chavez Ravine September night to win the game for the boys in blue and send Dodger Stadium into Pandemonium. Dodgers win it!

The Dodgers go for the sweep tomorrow. Colorado will send another left hander to the mound as Tyler Anderson counters Walker Buehler in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST. The Rockies are on the ropes and the Dodgers can increase their division lead to 2.5 games with another win.

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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30 thoughts on “This Story is Taylor Made! Dodgers Walk-off Rox

  1. Sloppy baseball is right. Almost cost them the game. Here is a funny tidbit. Puig actually hits Freeland pretty good, but in an all righty lineup, he was on the bench and Kemp, who has bad numbers against Freeland, played. That worked in the first when Matt singled in a run, but he did not do anything the rest of the game. Considering the fact that Roberts sat Kemp for 5 games in a row with only a few PH appearances, and the fact that Kemp is hitting righty’s better than lefty’s, it is a wonder his timing is there at all. It has been a while since he hit a ball with any authority. Roberts is no frippen genius that’s for sure. But he is sure letting one of the guys who got them where they are sit and rot on the bench and plays guys like Dozier, who couldn’t hit a little league pitcher at this point. Head scratching. Anyway, they go for the sweep tomorrow, which would be nice, and then get the Pads for 3. Time to make hay!

  2. Wow, the last two games have been a blast. Shows what the Dodgers can do, against their top contender. They are like a different team. Could this be thier playoff mode?

    Ryu was “firing the rock” Monday, and the offense was manufacturing runs. Real exciting baseball. Not just relying on the long ball.

    Last night’s game was another epic pitching battle. Kershaw was strong, and he gutted out 7 innings. Good enough to earn a win, if not for the unearned run and the Lefty Lineup providing little run support. The bullpen was lights out, highlighted by Kenta Maeda’s near immaculate inning of relief. Jansen gave us a scare again, but was able to wiggle out of trouble.

    CT3 was way overdue for some drama, and came through with am exciting walk off HR!

    One game at a time!

    1. Package,

      I am glad Kemp was able to get a hit and RBI on his bobblehead night. He got the game going on a high note. A little unfortunate that he got pucked off at first after his hit, but I think the Umps blew it. He looked like he got back before the tag.

      Kemp might get another chance tonight, with the infamous “Lefty Lineup” in play again tonight.

      Kemp is a streak hitter, so by platooning him, the Dodger FO breaks his rhythm. Dodgers just have too many OF’s, affording them to abuse their platoon/matchup strategy.

      1. BlueFan
        Yes, I was also glad he got the hit and rbi. Unfortunately the management does not want to play him. I think that is wrong but nothing we can do. Also, this comment may take awhile to show. Is yours doing this too?

        Scott, I am getting a delayed showing of my comments.

        1. Me too, Scott.

          I thought maybe I was getting banned from the site (like the Dodge Website had done to me twice).

          Package,

          As far as Kemp’s playing time…. yes, the FO appears to be limiting his playing time. Could it be that they want to minimize his impact, so at the end of the season, they can quietly release or trade him, sparing any controversy or fan grumbling. I do not think they want to resign him… this would be the easy way out. Easy to do, when they have abundance of OF’s and can play the “Lefty Lineup”, and “Matchup” cards.

          1. BlueFan
            You could be right. They may release him at the end of the season although I do not think they will. They still owe him 21.5 mil and he is too good to let walk. Maybe? I know one thing, the fans of the Dodgers are not dumb enough not to see what Kemp has contributed. I think Dummy and the FAZ are playing him sparingly to keep him from getting hot where the world would expect him to play. He would not say anything as he is trying to be a good teammate.

        2. Package,
          Yeah, trying to be a good teammate, but you can see the frustration in his face, and “Crooked” cap (Rodney Style). Like a caged animal, waiting to be set loose.
          I think FO is making a big mistake. They are committed to the $21M next year, so they should showcase him now, and maybe another team would pick him up in a trade. They can then dump his salary next year, and at least get something in return before he becomes a free agent.

          1. BlueFan
            Yes, I believe he is frustrated and probably a little hurt. Imagine being an All Star and being benched like a sub? Well, I have said many times that Dummy needs to fired and I am sticking to it. He is a puppet for FAZ and a jerk with how he manages. That is not even counting to numerous mistakes he has made.

          2. BlueFan
            You know the strange thing about Kemp always hitting against lefthanders is he hits only .266 while batting against right handers he hits .295 with way more RBIs and HRs also against righthanders. I think Dummy knows this and pits him against leftys to keep his averages down and of course playing him less.

  3. I don’t know if it is a big deal beating the Rockies right now, although Freeland has been a good pitcher all year.

    The Rockies pitcher we hit the game before, has not pitched well all year, and that was his third bad start in a row, so I wouldn’t put to much into what we did in the first game, of this series.

    Michael is right, Roberts shouldn’t be going out of his way, to get Dozier into this line up.

    Because he has been hitting less then 200 since he joined this team, and he has a knee issue.

    It is hard for an everyday player to be platooned, so I am happy that Kemp did hit the first run in.

    Because what many people are forgetting, Kemp has one or the top numbers on this team, when runners are in scoring position, unlike any of the players, in the outfield.

    And those other players in the outfield, are not going to hit one out against good pitchers, more often then not.

    And they will not be able to hit in an important run, when runners are in scoring position, even less often.

    I think the Rockies may be out of this, because Story is hurt, and Arenado is hurting, and not himself.

    And Freeland is the only starter the Rockies can depend on.

  4. BlueFan
    Yes, I was also glad he got the hit and rbi. Unfortunately the management does not want to play him. I think that is wrong but nothing we can do. Also, this comment may take awhile to show. Is yours doing this too?

    Scott, I am getting a delayed showing of my comments.

  5. Story will be back by the weekend for the Rockies. Since I live here in Colorado and had to watch the game on the Rockies network, I got the report from their broadcasters that it was just a strain and would be ok in a couple of days. They duke it out with Arizona, who has been playing really bad while we host the Padres. But this is no time to take your foot off of the pedal. The Dodgers have 10 games left, and 6 of them are against the weak sisters of the division. As far as the games go. Gray is a decent pitcher, but they caught him in a stretch where he is not pitching that well. They layed the lumber on him which is what they should do when you catch a guy pitching that bad, but unlike MJ, I do not pooh pooh the fact that they beat a guy in a slump. It may not be impressive, but it is necessary to beat those kinds of pitchers to win titles. They have owned Anderson, who pitches tonight. So they cannot let their guard down and not take the same kind of approach they have before. As we all know, they have had a tendency to make mediocre pitchers look like Cy Young. Buehler has been pretty good his last couple of starts, so lets hope he keeps that up. Go into the SD series with a 2.5 game lead with 9 to play for the Dodgers. The Rocks have 10 left after tonight. They go to AZ, and then host the Phillies for 4, no easy task, and then the Braves to finish the year. As were all of you, I was elated when the FO made the big trade for Machado. Dozier has turned into a lighter hitting version of Granderson, but we all expected big things from the most sought after player at the deadline. We got a decent player, but no superstar. Machado is hitting .269 since he joined the Dodgers. Yeah, he has 11 homers and 31 ribbies, but he is slugging .480. What is more alarming is that he caught the strikeout bug when he came over. In 55 games he has fanned 49 times. And if truth be told, he has not had that signature moment in a game for the Dodgers. He has performed well, but there have been a few times when a timely hit by him would have sealed the deal on a close game, and he has not delivered. That, and the fact that Seager will be back next year and ready to go in spring leads me to believe that the Dodgers are not going to strain them selves trying to sign the guy. Another thing, is it just me, or does he look totally bored out there? Here they are in the heat of a very close pennant race and he kind of has that Alfred E. Newman, what me worry look on his face all the time. Maybe it’s just my perception, I do not know. What I do know is that this offseason is going to be very interesting. Note to Package. They win this division old pal, and Dummy is going to save his job. Although he is not under contract after this season, you can bet he will be back if they get into the playoffs. Cubs lost Morrow for the rest of the year.

    1. Bear
      I believe you are right and I am not sure if they don’t sign Dummy even if they do not win the division. It is a shame knowing the kind of people they are. They are mistreating Kemp and it is uncalled for. He is an All Star and is really being treated shabbily. He has tried since day one to be a model citizen for the Dodgers. He has performed well but not given much credit by Dummy and the FAZ.

      1. Well at least Roberts played him on his bobblehead night and he drove in a run. So the night was not a complete waste. Funny thing is, Puig has good numbers against Freeland, a lot better than Kemp and he also has a couple of dingers off the guy, so I think the outfield should have been Kemp, Hernandez and Puig. With Taylor starting at second over Dozier who is in the worst funk of his career. Prediction, they do not sign either Dozier or Machado in the off season. I do think they might consider keeping Freese as the Utley type of player off the bench. That is of course unless they totally retool.

      2. Package

        I hope you all are ok right now, because I know for some, it is long from over!

        Don’t worry, everything will come out in the wash!

        Take a look at the Red Sox’s team numbers!

        They are tenth in HRs, yet they have scored far more runs then this team has, along with 104 wins, already.

        They don’t have a bunch of average or below hitters with pop, in their line up.

        They have athletic baseball players, that play baseball, like it should be played.

        That is a true line up a big market team should have, not a bunch of platoon players, that barely hit over their weight, most of the season.

        The Red Sox, and the Astros, are being managed, quite well.

        1. MJ
          One thing about it, you are very knowledgeable with baseball. Yes, the Astros and Red Sox are very well managed and it shows. You are also right that the Dodgers do not need to be a team of platoon players. That is for small market teams. Keep of the good work MJ, you are good at it. I hope Kemp returns to a regular place before the playoffs.

    2. Michael

      I don’t give much credit for besting a pitcher, that has an era that has been over 6 in his last seven starts, and has not lasted more then four innings, in his last three starts, but you can.

      And the response here the next day said it all.

      And they only scored runs off Gray, and the pitcher that was brought into the game before he was ready, that walked Ryu, on five pitches.

      Bud Black didn’t throw his best pitchers, after he took Gray out, with that score.

      And we were very lucky to win last night!

      The Rockies don’t have all the depth the Dodgers do, so it hits them harder when they lose a starter, even if it is for only a couple of days, especially when a few games, will decide the season!

      And Arenado is hurting, and not himself.

      Because of all of that, I don’t think the Rockies will be the wild card.

      It will probably be the Cards.

      We should hit this pitcher tonight, but the key word here, is should.

      1. They have owned Anderson. All year. I do not think he has had a good start against them, that being said, they do make mediocre pitchers look good sometimes. According to the Rockies broadcast team, there is nothing wrong with Arenado. He is healthy, but what he is in is a slump. He has been this way for a couple of weeks, and except for a couple of occasions been swinging at pitches he normally lays off of. Unless you know for sure, do not assume someone is hurt. Yeah, they were lucky they won. But like Tommy said long ago, you win a third of the time, you lose a third of the time and the other third is pure luck. I do not feel sorry for the Rockies losing a player for a few games and I know how such a thing affects a team, but how much better would the Dodgers be had Seager not been declared out for the year, or if Machado had played as well as he did in Baltimore? The Dodgers do have depth, but the Rocks have some pretty good players over on their bench too. Maybe not the same quality, but that one kid beat them two games in a row in Colorado with late inning homers. So the pendulum swings both ways. The Dodgers are also basically a team of all or nothing hitters. That’s why the team batting average is in the .240’s and the only player hitting .300 is Turner. They have 6 guys hitting above .260. They hit a lot of homers, but last year they hit a ton of doubles too. Not so much this year. The Rockies have the harder schedule, and I think that more than anything puts a huge amount of pressure on them. The Dodgers have 555 games of playoff experience on their roster, the Rocks less than 100. That can make a huge difference also. The one thing the Dodgers have an abundance of is starting pitching. The Rockies cannot afford their starters to have a bad night. The Dodgers have 3 starters in the bullpen. Every thing is clicking right now for the Dodgers. They have won 6 of their last 7 games, 6 of the next 10 are against the worst in the division. The should make the playoffs easily. But weirder things have happened. One thing you and I will never agree on, and you have said this a lot, well they beat a AAA pitcher. Yeah, maybe the guy should be in AAA. But then again, he is not. It says Padres, or Rockies or what ever on his uniform. That makes him a major league pitcher for life. Whether or not he is any good, is totally irrelevant as long as he wears that uni.

        1. Michael

          That is odd about Arenado, because Joe or Orel were saying, that Arenado’s shoulder, was bothering him.

          They also said it only bothered him when he threw the ball, not when he is hitting.

          Although they said Arenado’s shoulder, might have altered his swing.

          They made it sound a lot, like what happened with Corey last year.

          The point I was mainly making, that this is the same team that lost two, to the Reds.

          But the Rockies do seem pretty dead to me, but I am not under estimating the Padres, the Dbacks, and certainly not the Giants, especially in SF.

          But I think we get the better draw, if we win the west.

          Because I much rather play the Braves, then the Cards or the Brewers.

          But most of these teams in the National League this year, are not very good, so we have a pretty good chance.

          But Roberts shouldn’t be playing Kike, and Dozier, over Cody and Puig.

          But I read from someone, that Puig got robbed again, during the first game in this series.

          1. DodgerFan
            Yes, Puig and Cody should be playing and now they put in Kemp and he homers in his 1st ab and he should have been playing every day. Such is the managing of Dummy and his friends. When Joc hit two HRs you could not hear the end of it but I bet you won’t hear much about Matt’s homer tonight.

  6. Package

    That was my post, but I don’t know how that happened.

    I just came over here, to mention Kemp’s HR too.

    Did you notice there were no comments here, after that first game?

    People get sick of the favoritism, especially with two players.

    1. MJ, your post is there. There’s a couple minute delay right now until I fix the DNS issue that’s been causing some delays on posts. Right now there could be a few minutes delay, but your posts will show up. Sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll get it tweaked properly here soon. Just working out the kinks.

        1. Thanks MJ, but I do. I’m a type 1 diabetic and have recently been put on an insulin regimen. I also have a thyroid problem as well. It’s been a rough few months for me health wise. I’m hanging in there though.

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