The Dodgers achieved their first walk-off home run win since Justin Turner’s historic walk-off blast in game 2 of the 2017 National League championship series as Yasmani Grandal’s beautiful walk-off shot off of Matt Albers in the bottom of the tenth gave the Dodgers a 6-4 win over the Brewers Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine. That was Grandal’s second home run of the game, he had homered in the bottom of the fifth and notched three hits on the night as the Dodgers won their 60th game of the season.
The story of the night was Brian Dozier’s successful debut as a Dodger. The veteran batted fifth and started at second base heavily contributing to the win with a home run, single and double in a three hit performance. He did commit a costly throwing error early in the game but I think we can say that he more than made up for that.
The story of the game should have been Dozier’s debut and Grandal’s red-hot bat from the start but it was looking like it was going to be missed opportunities. The Dodgers struggled with runners in scoring position throughout the game. Overall they were 1 for 10 with RISP and left nine runners on base. They wasted scoring chances in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Although they did score two in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead.
Brewers 4 10 0
Dodgers 6 10 1
Starter Rich Hill was fantastic, twirling another quality start. It didn’t start out well for him though as Lorenzo Cain tripled to lead-off the game in the top of the first and scored on an errant relay throw from Dozier to put Milwaukee up 1-0. Hill would settle in nicely allowing just one more run the rest of the way. Once again Cain was involved in that run too, his superlative speed causing the Dodgers havoc. In the third inning Cain doubled and then scored from second on a wild pitch that eluded Grandal. Otherwise Hill pitched very well. He finished with six innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and striking out four. He was not involved in the decision.
The Dodger bats struggled not able to get a hit over the first four frames against opposing starter Chase Anderson. But the Dodgers finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth as Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier went back-to-back to tie the score at 2-2. Anderson a tough opponent allowed just two earned runs on three hits over six frames.
With the score tied at 2-2 the Dodgers had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the sixth when Joc Pederson singled and Manny Machado walked. But Matt Kemp flied out and Grandal grounded into an inning ending double play. Speaking of double plays, the Dodgers got two of them in the seventh and eighth innings to get out of some tough spots. In the top of the seventh JT Chargois escaped an icky jam when he got Christian Yelich to ground into a double play which ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh the Dodgers scored two but could have likely scored more if Dan Jennings hadn’t gotten Joc to ground into a double play.
In that inning after Dozier singled and Taylor walked, Yasiel Puig’s RBI single gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Later in the inning Enrique Hernandez squeezed in Taylor to bring the Dodger Stadium crowd into a frenzy. The small ball worked giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately the lead would not hold.
Scott Alexander (who hasn’t pitched in eons it seems) was called in for the top of the eighth and was predictably horrible. He walked Jesus Aguilar and after striking out newly acquired Jonathan Schoop, then walked Ryan Braun. Another new Brewer Mike Moustakas doubled in Aguilar to cut the lead to 3-2. Braun was intentionally walked and Manny Pina’s RBI single tied the score at 4-4. Alexander did induce Travis Shaw to hit into a double play and the Dodgers got out of it cheaply enough.
In the bottom of the eighth the Dodgers had another chance to re-take the lead, but squandered it away. They were victim to a spectacular play from Moustakas at third. With two outs Grandal singled and Dozier’s double bounced over the low wall in the left field corner for a ground-rule double. Grandal might have scored so the Brewers caught a break. After Cody Bellinger was intentionally walked to load the bases Taylor smashed a hot shot down the third base line. But Moustakas made a fantastic diving stop to throw him out by a step. It was highway robbery and the score remained tied.
The Dodgers had yet another chance in the bottom of the ninth. With the score still tied, Puig knocked a base hit and danced into second as Yelich bobbled the ball in right field. After a grounder advanced him to third, the Dodgers had a runner at third with one out and Joc and Machado due up. However Joc grounded out and Corey Knebel struck out Machado to send the game into extra innings.
After Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless top of the tenth inning, Matt Albers gave up a lead-off single to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the tenth. That snapped Kemp’s 0 for 26 slump which was quite brutal to watch. Then Grandal drilled a bomb down the right field line that sailed into the seats to win the game for the boys in blue. Dodgers win it 6-4!
With the win the Dodgers move into a first place tie with the idle Dbacks. They have a one game advantage over Colorado who lost to the Cardinals. The Dodgers are now 60-49 and will go for a series split on Thursday evening in the series finale. The Brewers will give the ball to Jhoulys Chacin as the Dodgers counter with Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.