It Took Just One Game for my First Favorite Moment of the Second Half

“What a team! What a team!” That was the rallying cry often heard from Kirk Gibson during the Dodgers’ last trek to the top of baseball’s highest peak, the World Series. It rang true then, and just under thirty years later, those words ring just as true for this squad of never-say-die, never count ’em out, boys in blue.

Just before the All-Star break, I ran a column featuring my Top Five Moments from the First Half of the Season. Last night, in their first game back after the break, the Dodgers didn’t waste any time getting right back to business, and added the first magical moment of the second half.

Things started out like a normal baseball game, with a run here and there, as the score ping-ponged back and forth between the Dodgers and the Marlins. The fish took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning, and then the game stopped being MLB normal, and morphed into the “new normal” that is Dodgers baseball 2017.

With two out in the top of the ninth, Joc Pederson rapped out a two-strike single to keep the Dodgers’ hopes alive. Then Yasmani Grandal stepped to the plate as the go-ahead run. As so often happens to opposing pitching staffs in this new normal, the Marlins pitcher lost his bearings and he wild pitched Pederson to second. He then walked Grandal.

And Then Puig Happened. 

Yasiel, who had already homered once in the game, stepped to the plate, and every Dodger fan slid forward in his or her seat.

Puig was quickly behind two strikes and the pitching yips struck the Marlins again. Another wild pitch moved both Pederson and Grandal into scoring position. The boys were down to their last strike, but everyone from the Big Dodger in the Sky to the folks stuck in LA traffic and listening to the game on the radio knew – JUST KNEW – Yasiel Puig was going to come through.

What a team, indeed…and I have a feeling they’re just getting started.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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12 thoughts on “It Took Just One Game for my First Favorite Moment of the Second Half

  1. This team is really playing well at the moment. A joy to observe.

    Old friend alerts:

    The A’s have moved Montas back to a starter, albeit at AAA. Grant Holmes stilll struggling. Jharel Cotton on the DL with a blister.

    Schleber, has cooled off pretty drastically leading up to the all-star game, but still has 22 dingers! Peraza was benched to get Scooter Gennett some ABs, but don’t think Peraza has played his way out of the lineup. He had at least one hit in six of his last seven appearances before the ASG, hitting .296 over that span to raise his overall average to .254. He also ranks second on the Reds with 15 stolen bases.

    1. Interesting news on “old friends”. Schebler has had a rough July, but the Reds have faced Chicago, Colorado, Arizona and Washington this month. Tough schedule. Holmes pitched very well two days ago. I thought it was very strange that Peraza was “benched”, so I checked. He wasn’t benched. He’s played every day this month. Well, that’s not exactly true. He didn’t play in the All Star game. Cotton is on the DL, expected back before the end of the month. Rich Hill still only pitched 34 innings the second half of last year, then signed as a FA. No matter how often that trade is revisited the results are the same. Why no mention of Kemp? He’s not an old friend? He’s hitting .375 in the second half, .295 for the year. Perspective. Isn’t it a curious thing?

      Team looks good. Schedule in our favor for some time. We are indeed clobbering the inferior clubs this year. Seems there are more of them now. 10 of 15 NL clubs are .500 or under. SF 28 games back. Did not see that coming, but do like it. I expect the Cubs to get their heads out of their asses any day now, and I expect Washington to address their bullpen. Might get very interesting soon. Hope so anyway.

      1. Hi Badger,

        Peraza was benched, you know how I know this? He was on the bench for a game. I didn’t say, nor imply it was a long term thing. In fact, most of the data I surfaced on Peraza made that point.

        Perspective indeed, but maybe reading comprehension as well?

        Kemp I didn’t think of, but thank you for reporting on him. I don’t think of him much.

  2. We should have traded Peraza for Hamels and Trout when we had the chance. Right BAAAAGer? HaHa. Yeah, the Hill trade results remain the same. Dodgers have a very good starting pitcher the A’s not so much. This is what you get for reading to much Fraudy at Dodger Therapy BAAAAger.

    Well at least you were right when you said Dodgers weren’t a 95 victory team.

    Try 100+

    Perspective. Isn’t it a curious thing?

    1. What is that smell?

      You might want to get current catbox. Hill was signed to a $48 million contract as a free agent. It was in all the papers.

  3. Hill has been better in July, will he be worth that 48 million dollar deal? That remains to be seen. Down the road if the A’s get 3 solid pitchers and we get 1 good year, who wins the trade? All in the eyes of the beholder. They are talking with the A’s about Gray. Personally I do not like doing business with either of these guys old teams, the Rays and the A’s because so far that has not worked out great.

    1. The trade can only be measured by what was done by Hill BEFORE he became a free agent! He did nothing to help us win the Division, did nothing to help in the NLDS and obviously did nothing to help win the NLCS because we didn’t win it! Michael, we DID NOT get “one good year out of Hill”. It just didn’t happen. Now what will those 3 guys in Oakland amount to? Who knows. But if Oakland decides to move them you can bet they will do better than a 34 inning starting pitcher in return.

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