Ah, 2009 National League Championship Series Game 2, I remember you well.
The stakes weren’t the same (I feel like I’ve made that point a lot lately), but given the alternative, it was a nice surprise to see the Dodgers rally after eight innings of tough pitching and score two in the ninth inning – just as they did in that wonderful twilight at Dodger Stadium two years ago – for a 2-1 victory over St. Louis.
One out after Juan Rivera was hit by Chris Carpenter’s final pitch of the night and Justin Sellers pinch-ran, Aaron Miles absolutely ripped a Fernando Salas pitch to the gap in right-center field for a game-tying triple. The next batter, Rod Barajas, hit a grounder to Rafael Furcal, who had just come in the game at the top of the inning despite his injured thumb. With the infield in, Furcal tried to backhand the ball, dropped it, picked it up, then threw wide of home, allowing Miles to score the go-ahead run.
Javy Guerra, in his first game since blowing a save in Colorado, started out by inducing a pop out from Albert Pujols, before retiring Corey Patterson for the second out. Then, old friend Furcal hit a 60-foot chopper that was rough enough for an infield single, but John Jay popped to left field to end the game.
Nathan Eovaldi allowed only one run – on Lance Berkman’s second-inning home run – in his five innings, completing his outing by retiring David Freese with runners on second and third. (Rivera made a nice play right before that to keep Daniel Descalso from scoring on Skip Schumaker’s double.) Josh Lindblom, Scott Elbert, Matt Guerrier and Guerra each pitched an inning of relief, and Furcal was the only one of 13 batters in that stretch to reach base.
James Loney went 3 for 4, making him 7 for 8 in his past two games.