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Total Eclipse of The Bucs: Dodgers Overcome Late Steel Town Deficit With Granderson Grand Slam, Puig Blast To Win in Extras

Curtis Granderson

I know the Dodgers are like 50 games up in the standings and Dave Roberts wants to experiment. He wants to audition different relievers to see who has the makeup to pitch in high leverage situations. I get it. But there was no reason to punt away an easy win with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. But that’s what the Dodgers did when they brought in Pedro Baez (senior lead blower) up 5-3 with a runner on base in that fateful eighth frame.

I had part of my recap all written up and ready to go expecting the Dodgers to wrap it up with Kenley in the ninth. Oh how foolish I was. I should have known better. My headline led perfectly into the recap. It was something like

“Total eclipse of the Bucs….Granderson’s grand slam lifts Dodgers over Pirates”. Unfortunately Baez’s horrendous pitching not only blew the lead but blew my recap out of the water. So I had to rewrite. I can still use the title. That’s because Yasiel Puig mashed a home run in the 12th inning off of rookie Dovydas Neverauskas to put the Dodgers back on top 6-5. It ended up being the game winner.

Dodgers 6 10 0

Pirates    5 9 1





The Dodgers had squandered a lot of scoring chances against opposing starter Gerrit Cole. The boys in blue left the bases loaded three different times and stranded 11 runners on base. Cole pitched well but for some reason the Pirates left him in way too long in the top of the seventh inning before he gave up the grand slam home run to Granderson. With everyone already used up the Dodgers had to have Ross Stripling close the game out. It all worked out just as we drew it up.

Millions of Americans around the country skipped work today to witness the first total solar eclipse in years. While the moon was passing in front of the sun earlier today the Dodgers were eclipsing the Pirate’s early three-run lead. They didn’t need any kind of astrological event to do it either. They just did what they usually do, which is coming from behind in the late innings to win baseball games. The Dodgers scored five runs in the seventh inning which was highlighted by a grand slam home run from newly acquired Curtis Granderson to knock off the Bucs 5-3 in steel town.

Alex Wood looked shaky in the early frames as he allowed three home runs in the first three innings. However he settled down and ended up turning in a quality start. His mound opponent Gerrit Cole pitched well, shutting the Dodgers down for the first six frames, but the Pirates left him in too long and it as Granderson’s big blast that made the Bucs pay dearly.

Granderson started the game in left field and batted cleanup as Chris Taylor patrolled center field. The lineup looks a bit different with Cody Bellinger still out with a swollen ankle. Adrian Gonzalez was back at first base and batting seventh. Bellinger is expected to miss another couple of games before he returns. The Dodgers can afford to give him some rest considering they have such a huge lead.

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know how much I disdain first inning runs allowed by the pitching staff. The Dodgers have been doing that a lot of late and it’s always been a pet peeve of mine. Wood gave me a break and waited until the second inning before giving up runs. It was very sporting of him.

So the Pirates took the lead when Jose Osuna and Sean Rodriguez hit back-back home runs in the bottom of the second inning. Wood gave up another one in the third frame as Josh Harrison crushed one over the center field wall to put the Bucs up 3-0.

The Dodgers were putting men on base but weren’t able to get them in, squandering three bases loaded situations.

I had to stop writing at that point because of Baez. But we’ll get to him in a minute. Let’s go back to that seventh inning with the Dodgers down 3-0. With Cole still on the mound the Dodgers got a walk, two singles (Corey Seager, Justin Turner) and a botched double-play to load the bases. New Dodger Granderson then crushed a grand slam to clear the bases and give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead. For the record Granderson has now hit two home runs and driven in 5 runs in his first three games as a Dodger. Not a bad debut.

After Wood (who’s SC joint apparently flared up again due to refining of mechanics) pitched six innings all the Dodger bullpen had to do was hold a two-run lead for three innings. Could they do it? Josh Fields tossed a scoreless inning in the bottom of the seventh without problem. Tony Watson was tasked with starting the bottom of the eighth. He hit pinch-hitter Adam Frazier with a pitch but retired Starling Marte on a swinging strikeout. Then Dave Roberts felt like experimenting. He wanted to give Baez a chance to audition for the playoffs with a high leverage situation. Guess how that turned out?

Not good I tell you. Josh Harrison immediately doubles down the left field line to score Frazier and the lead was cut to 5-4. Baez walks Andrew McCutchen and David Freese to load the bases with still one out. Josh Bell’s fielder’s choice grounder scored the tying run and the twitter world torched Baez. Everyone was livid and understandably so.

As if everyone wasn’t angry enough at Baez, he goes and walks John Jaso. That’s his third walk of the inning. Finally Roberts comes out and gets him out of there and brings in Brandon Morrow, who retires Jordy Mercer to get out of the inning. Jesus.

The game would go on and the Dodgers used several more relievers. Morrow pitched the bottom of the ninth. Kenley Jansen in the tenth, Luis Avilan in the eleventh, and then Ross Stripling in the twelfth to close it out. It was Yasiel Puig’s monster home run in the top of the twelfth that gave the Dodgers the lead again. The Dodgers win 6-5. It was Avilan who gets the win in relief. The Dodgers were 4 for 14 with runners in scoring position and drew six walks tonight. The game was a brisk four hours and thirty-five minutes long.

The series continues tomorrow as Brock Stewart will battle Jameson Taillon with first pitch scheduled for 4:10 PM PST.

As if that massive home run wasn’t good enough, Puig also did this as well……..

As Oscar would say…..Puig certainly happened. Thank goodness he did.


Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

90 thoughts on “Total Eclipse of The Bucs: Dodgers Overcome Late Steel Town Deficit With Granderson Grand Slam, Puig Blast To Win in Extras

  1. Great write up Scott. I was thinking the exact same thing. If Roberts was auditioning why bring in Baez who has pitched a lot this year? Why not go with guys who are new? I’d rather have stayed with Watson or brought in Stripling earlier. It’s August for crying out loud.

    That aside, bad news about Wood balanced out by good news about Kershaw. Sounds like Kershaw is ready to be unleashed on the rest of the league September to November. The old workhorse is about to show the thoroughbreds what a War Horse looks like when he doesn’t have to carry the entire pitching staff on his back!!

  2. There’s a good article on Dodgers Way, comparing Hill, Maeda and Ryu. Basic point is that they are about the same and Hill needs to be challenged as the 4th postseason starter. My take is that Maeda and Hill are more hit and miss while Ryu is able to tough things out when he does not have his full arsenal working.

    So if we have the lead in a series go with Maeda or Hill, but if we are tied or down but not in a elimination situation, go with Ryu. I know it doesn’t work like that, but just making a point comparing them.

      1. Ryu has a history of being pretty danged good from before his injury, Maeda and Hill don’t really have that pedigree, despite Hill having more years in MLB.

  3. Scott

    Really good write up!

    Scott as much as you hate first inning runs, I hate when a reliever comes into a game, and gives hitters, free bases!

    I think that was the third time that Watson has came into a game, and hit the first batter, or a batter.

    Our new bullpen guys, are not doing anything to think they should be on the post season roster, unfortunately.

    And I have been harping on Baez all year, because I don’t believe that Baez has the mental game, to pitch in high leverage situations, and that is even when he causes, the high leverage situation.

    When Baez hit that batter last night, the first thing that came to my mind, was when Baez came into that post season game, with the bases loaded, and hit his first batter, to give the Nats, the game tying or go ahead run, in that game that Kershaw started in LA.

    I know at least one time Baez came into a game this year, he either put a runner on base, or he came in with the bases loaded, and Roberts had to go out to Baez, to give him confidence.

    And the only way Baez was able to get out of that inning, was a really good catch from Kike, at the leftfield wall, because the hitter, smashed that ball so hard, that the ball almost caught Kike, or knocked Kike down.

    And that was against the Reds who are rebuilding, not a top team!

    Baez doesn’t have the mental capacity to pitch in high leverage situations, and he shouldn’t pitch in high leverage situations, especially when runners are on base.

    And we all know that this is nothing new!

    I sure hope Buehler can learn how to pitch out of the bullpen, because he will be a pitcher, that no one has seen at the major league level, and he and Morrow could be a very good set up team, if he can prove that he can pitch out of the bullpen.

    I am really happy that Puig had another game winning HR.

    This has to help his confidence in these clutch situations!

    After just four games, Granderson has more then helped this team, and the fact he is good in the club house, makes this move look even better!

    He jacked that ball out, and so did Puig.

    And Granderson has already done in four games, more then Reddick did in more then a month, or really, more then Reddick did, the whole time he was with this team!

    1. No more Reddick mentions, the memories are too hideous. Reddick was to last year’s September and playoff run to what Delino DeShields was to his entire career with the Dodgers. Again too hideous to recalled.

      Agree with you on Watson and Cigaretti, both were made abvailable because they sucked on losing teams, why on earth would you want to give them the ball when they have to perform under real pressure of a team that is actually going somewhere. For the playoffs, I don’t trust them or Fields and Baez is a HUGE “?” as well. I think we really may need Ferris Buehler to play a huge bullpen role if we are going to go all the way this year.

      Good timing for Wood to go down. Gives him time to get healthy and get right. Not to mention getting some rest as well. Speaking of rest, Maeda will be effective if he only has to pitch once a week. He needs more rest than a 5 man rotation provides.

      Puig has to win the Gold Glove this year or it will be robbery. Puig must have chapped lips from all the smooching he is giving Turner Ward, keep up the Blistex moments.

  4. I have Agon at 3 for 17 so far.

    And I agree with the Baez critique. I doubt Roberts would bring him in that exact situation in a playoff game. So why do it know?

    1. Artieboy

      I looked this up because I was thinking about you.

      Before Granderson hit that ball out, Agone had the hardest hit ball on the team, when he almost hit the ball out, in centerfield.

      And I think that is a really good sign, when it comes to Agone.

      And remember he was out a long time, so he is just getting his timing, because that was only the fourth game for Agone, since he came back, at the major league level.

      And Agone did get a hit last night, and Grandal was on second, but Agone hit the ball hard to center, and Grandal is no burner, so Agone didn’t get a RBI there, but if someone faster was on second, Agone probably would have had another RBI there.

  5. For better or worse Baez is our bridge to Jansen. That’s just how it is.

    Wood getting his turn on the JL, Kershaw coming off it but questions still remain about him. At least I have questions. 2 straight years with back issues. Not a good sign for a guy who develops the torque he does. Kazmir a no show, McBrittle invisible, Hill is Hill, Maeda will probably get some time off and Ryu is a freakin miracle as far as I’m concerned. I say again, when it comes to our stating pitching…… Gulp.

    We have begun the demanding stretch that nobody but me is talking about. Stewart today after 7 out of the pen used yesterday. We do have next Monday off, then only 2 off days until the season ends. Roberts is about to be challenged.

    1. The key with Kershaw is that this is not the same back problem, and he has no disc problem anymore, because it healed.

      Kershaw told the writers, he could have pitched ten days ago.

      Apparently he has been throwing throughout his DL stent.

      I still think he hurt his back, at his charity event, because the symptoms were not that bad, and he has healed very quickly.

      The trainers have just been protecting Kershaw, from coming back to soon.

      I have always worried about Wood’s health, because of his injury history, and his awkward delivery.

      And if Wood is going to get tender in that area, when he uses the mechanics, that has given him more velocity, this may be an on going problem.

  6. Marlins Designate Javy Guerra
    Another ex-Dodger bites the dust… Look for FAZ to claim him. Not because he has an possibilities at all, it’s just FAZ being FAZ….

    1. You know, Javy is just the opposite of Baez, he has cajones that took him beyond his abilities, Baez has more God given ability than he has cajones to use it.

  7. If the Tigers want to give Mr. Kate Upton away, just dumping salary, then go for it. Or if they are willing to do a dirt cheap deal like Granderson deal, then do it immediately. If Tigers want a bunch of top prospects then that’s another story, maybe one top prospect but no more blue chips.

    Wow, can you imagine the playoff starters:
    Kershaw, Upton as your one and two, that would be something else. At this point and based on recent performances who would be number 3, maybe a combo of Ryu and Hill could split the 3rd game between them, each going 4 innings and then Jansen closing the 9th.
    Don’t hold your breath however, Upton ain’t coming, I have high doubts as to that happening. However I hate to see him go to one of our playoff opponents, especially seeing that game he strangled us with recently.

    1. TB,T&T, the deal I proposed the other day was this:
      Kazmir, McCarthy, and 2 or 3 prospects in the 10 to 20 range. Dis-regarding the remainder of this year’s salary for both teams, this is how it would work out for both teams:
      Dodgers get a very good pitcher for TWO years for $30 MM more than they are paying our deadwood for which we would receive nothing, and we give up 2 or 3 prospects who may never work out anyhow… That’s Verlander for $15 MM a year.
      Tigers get two worthless (unless McCarthy can be used or traded on for something of value) and 2 or 3 prospects who might turn into Pedro Martinez for them, who knows??? They pay the bums $26 MM next year and they save themselves $30 MM in 2019.
      Added bonus for the Dodgers: Verlander gives them some protection if Kershaw opts out next fall. And he probably will. Both teams would be crazy not to like that deal.

      1. If the Tigers are going to move Verlander I think they will want youth in return. Hill and McBrittle have dead wood tattooed to their foreheads. Taking those two on is a firing offense for Avila. Verlander is still pitching his ass off over there. If somebody wants him for this year’s playoffs, and I’m betting a few do, it’s not gonna come cheap. The other guys we picked up, the two relievers and Granderson were not doing what Verlander is. Verlander’s production is 3 times all those guys put together. That is my humble opinion. If you can get the Tigers to take on our aged Jacuzzi Squad leaders you will get the Blog General Manager of the year award.

        1. Badger said: If you can get the Tigers to take on our aged Jacuzzi Squad leaders you will get the Blog General Manager of the year award.

          OK, you’re twisting my arm but I’ll throw in Joc and Forsythe….

          1. Jonah

            I think you will need more, because they played Joc in left again last night, and you have said, that he would have to have better numbers, if he is going to play, in a corner outfield position.

      1. Darvish is a rental, FAZ WILL NOT pay what it would take to sign him, just as he won’t pay what it would cost to resign Kershaw after he opts out next fall…. Don’t get attached to Darvish.

        1. I meant as far as the post season goes. TBT&T had Kershaw and Verlander, then he asked who would be third. His options didn’t include Darvish.

          1. We got Darvish to pitch Game 2 in 3 post season series’. Game 3 will be a throw up between who’s not on the DL come that day.

  8. Oops I forgot Darvish,

    so Kershaw, Upton and Darvish would make a very tough 1,2,3 in any playoff series. However, what could follow them might be the problem

  9. I’m not getting on Corey Seager, he is doing a great job. But just take an objective look at him. He looks like an old cancer patient on chemotherapy or a death camp survivor. He and Joc are going in two entirely different directions…. I think he needs more rest. September 1st, call up Verdugo or Joc for the outfield and put Taylor at shortstop for a week to give Corey a good rest. Then give Taylor a week off.

    1. Hell he is 22 years old, nothing that a pepperoni pizza daily won’t cure. He looks lean for sure, but he also looks like he is kicking ass for sure. Roberts is going to have to work in a few guys here and there but yet not disrupt the mojo with too many line-up manipulations. As we have been hearing all year, this is a deep squad and will only get deeper come September 1 (aw dove hunting season opener, my favorite day of the year), don’t fret Jonah, they will be strong and ready come October.

    2. Corey did say he was tired in his legs last year.

      Cody is the one who isn’t use to playing this long in the season.

      And Roberts has made it be known, he is going to get these guys rest.

      Were you thinking that about Corey, because he has been striking out a lot lately?

    3. Corey has been hot since the ASB but he got a day off after a break in schedule just a while ago. I think Roberts is in top of it.

      1. Jonah

        Baez may bring about many heart attacks, and death to us all.

        And he will bring a slow death, since he takes his time!

        1. I don’t know, he is capable of giving up a walk and then an HR as soon as he enters a game, sometimes. I hope Roberts, uses a lot of arms in the pen in September and all of those regulars get a very restful month, including Jansen, his location has been getting pretty lousy lately. The beginning of the season, he was hitting the target, the last month he has been pretty much missing the target with nearly every pitch, that’s why he has been walking some and giving up hits lately. He needs some rest and some work with Honeybuns to get his sharpness back.

  10. Space
    Starting lineups
    Pos Dodgers Pos Pirates
    CF Taylor LF Marte
    SS Seager (L) 2B Frazier (L)
    3B Turner CF McCutchen
    LF Granderson (L) 1B Bell (S)
    C Grandal (S) 3B Harrison
    RF Puig RF Jaso (L)
    1B Gonzalez (L) C Diaz
    2B Forsythe SS Mercer
    P Stewart (L) P Taillon

  11. The Dodgers are really sinking low to put Cody on the DL just so they can play AGon. That is a really low ball move. Roberts has not done it yet but he is leaning that way. Don’t worry, it will be done just as I predicted when it happened. Cody has not had pain yet and they say it is swollen, what gives?

    1. Uh, the guy has a sprained ankle that is still swollen. They are not putting him on the DL just so they can play A-Gone, they are THINKING about putting him on the DL and that is to protect him so they do not use him before he is ready. Read the whole story moron, and putting a player on the DL comes from the front office. You can have a swollen ankle and not have pain. But with as much torque as Cody generates with that swing of his it would be really easy to reinjure. And if it is to protect the player, how in hell is it a lowball move? I think you should leave the brainstorming to the manager and the front office. Roberts has nothing to do with that decision….medical staff and the FO make the final call.

      1. Cody on DL Ravin called up, I just don’t know if Cody will only be out, ten days, or longer.

        Remember when someone sprains their ankle, it is hard to move laterally for a while.

        And if he is going to play first base too, that puts some weight on your ankle too, depending on which ankle it is.

        And Cody is actually saying, he has no pain at all, after taking batting practice.

        1. The 10 day DL period is backdated to the day of injury, Sunday, so he can come off the list next Tuesday, if he is OK.

      2. I can believe that the front office puts the player on the DL but Cody never had any swelling until yesterday according to reports and Cody. You just want to believe whatever yarn FAZ wants to spin. They have too many players and it is an easy fix to playing AGon who needs to be on the bench. It is an easy move for the FO to take out the kid so they can pamper AGons ego. I am sorry that you don’t agree but I am not a Moron and I don’t appreciate you saying it.

        1. Just like old times, Package. WBBsAs used to beat you like a rug… I don’t suppose that Nazi has changed any…

          1. WBBsAs is the poorest excuse of a human being I have ever seen. How he is allowed to continue his comments is beyond me.

        2. Pacakage

          I just saw Cody talk about his injury on the pregame show.

          And he said both him, and Darvish would be on the field playing and pitching right now, if the Dodgers didn’t have that big lead..

          And Jonah says he should be back next Tuesday, if he is healing like he has..

          I heard this once, why worry about something that you can’t change.

          No one is out to get Cody or have Agone take Cody’s place.

          It is just the opposite of that, because Agone is a good guy!

          1. MJ
            My point exactly. Cody would have played had not the Dodgers wanted to put AGon in and get his timing going. I just don’t think they should have done it at Cody’s expense.
            A young kid is an easy mark to take advantage. If the tables were turned, Agon would not have come out in my opinion. By the way, I think Kershaw would have been back if it had not been for the FO. They think it is good for him. You are right though, I sure cannot change anything.

          1. Imagine Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels all re-incarnated in one Argentine A-hole who felt about Package the way Badger and Timmons feel about each other. Then double it.

          2. Package

            Even before Cody was hurt, Agone told Roberts, he wanted to only do what is best for the team!

            And remember Joc was going to be the one that was left out, and no one else.

            Because Joc hadn’t been hitting at all, in August.

            And Agone is a much better bat then Joc is, especially with his slump.

            And just remember this was before anyone knew the Dodgers would get Granderson.

            Even the front the front office, didn’t know they would be able to get Granderson through waivers.

            Because the Dodgers are last on that list, because their record is tops in baseball.

      1. When that Great ScoreKeeper up in the sky
        totes up that final frame,
        it matters not whether you won or lost,
        but how you played the game…
        Ring Lardner

      2. Bingo Bluto. It’s just good timing for both Bellinger and AGon. The kid gets a break and watch more film on playoff opponents, and AGon gets his timing back. One thing about Cody, he likes the film study – this explains how he’s been able to adjust during the year. You can tell from his quotes in a nice article on him on the Inside Dodgers blog.

        I think we will see Forsythe and Taylor moving around in September as we rest Turner and Seager.

        1. YF

          Exactly and Nomar just said that Cody is getting close to the time, he wouldn’t be still playing in the minors, so this break will be good!

          Remember the major league season, is much longer then the minor league season.

  12. Bellinger is used to a shorter season. Giving him some time off is a good idea. AGon still with warning track power. Maybe some time on the field will add some strength to his swing. Maybe not. I’m seeing every Dodger getting some September rest.

    Who is WBBsAs?

    A big lead might help keep Stewart in the game. Leave him in there for 90 pitches.

    1. I think Cody’s timing is being tossed aside for Agon’s. A little rest is OK but when it approaches 2 weels I question it. Staying away from the game sure hurts my golf game. ha WBBsAs is a poor commentor on another blog. He likes some things that do not sit well with many folks. Me included. By the way, What is the story on what you all were talking about on the other blog? I do not read it often.

      1. We were talking about why Timmons served several years in prison.

        I wouldn’t worry about Bellinger. His spot on the post season roster is a lock. There is plenty of time for him to get rest and at bats, to both heal up and keep his timing. I believe it will be important for every Dodger to get some time off over the next 6 weeks.

  13. Wood will take a cortisone shot. Doesn’t look good. I think he’s out two weeks.

    His spot comes up on Saturday and there is not many options on the 40 man roster as Darvish is unavailable until Sunday. Stripling is an option and he’d love that. But if Roberts is forced to use Stripling before Saturday we may see Kershaw! (Or Wilmer Font but I think they will wait until September to call him up since he’s out of options).

  14. I think it’s time to keep Stewart in the pen.

    I imagine we’re about to see how precious the Front Office will be with the 40 come Saturday.

    I’d like to see Font get a shot, but is it worth it exposing a player for one paltry start? Especially with a team with this kind of lead in the standings….

    1. We got Darvish. Hopefully that’s enough.

      Personally I couldn’t care less about Font’s options. If he’s good, we keep using him until he isn’t. If he isn’t good, we’ll, we know better than to keep using him.

    2. Oh stop it.

      Verlander is and was a non-starter (pun!)

      It’s a stupid idea that thankfully never had any traction.

      Let’s talk about how great things are going. This team has it’s top 3 starters on the DL and is lapping the entirety of MLB.

        1. What?

          Are we free associating quotations?

          A screaming comes across the sky?

          I was born in the city of Bombay, once upon a time.

          1. You really are stupid, Brutus. Please don’t respond to any posts I might make, the blog owner does not see fit to furnish us with Ignore Buttons.

          2. I’m sorry, Bluto, I shouldn’t have said that. You are what you are just as I am myself. I tend to paint on a very large canvas whereas you tend to favor exactness, tight control, and by-the-book. We will never see things the same way. So I suggest we just agree to not disagree. Oh, that funny noise you heard? That was just John Dunne and Ernest Hemingway spinning in their graves.

          3. Pynchon and Rushdie, most assuredly not Hemingway and Donne.

            And I have no idea what your analogy with context or canvases was meant to convey. Can you explain it further?

            Thanks for your note MJ. Even when you were angry over OPS’ excellence (sarcasm) you were never insulting.

  15. Another win.
    Ravin and Tony C. Came through.
    Hopefully Forsythe and Grandsl continue to heat up.
    Gonzalez looks much, much better than early in the season.
    And this with arguably 80% of the rotation on the DL as well as the rookie of the year.
    Depth indeed.

  16. Cingrani and Taylor saved us today. I would not count on Grandal. He is consistently hot and cold and will break your heart in a big spot. The Grandal – Puig – AGon sequence is trouble if Puig regresses, because good postseason pitching and game planning will eat that up.

    We are doing well now but things can change in a hurry.

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