Would this have been considered the game of the year to date, if only it had meant something?
The also-ran Dodgers have had no shortage of highlight moments despite a season in which a .500 record has become an unexpected quest, but there’s something about coming into Atlanta, the home of an almost certain playoff team, and rallying from a 5-0 deficit in September for an 8-6 victory.
Overcoming Chad Billingsley’s 12 baserunners and three earned runs allowed in four innings (with Dee Gordon’s error contributing to two more runs), the Dodgers chipped away with Juan Rivera’s two-run single in the fourth and one-run single in the sixth. Then, with one swing, James Loney matched Rivera’s RBI total with a bases-clearing double to put Los Angeles ahead in the seventh. Andre Ethier’s two-RBI hit added insurance in the same inning.
And talk about stirring: Hong-Chih Kuo, in the wake of season-long struggles, pitched two shutout innings of relief to get the win, in the process lowering his ERA below 10.00. Scott Elbert, Mike MacDougal (pitching out of a two-on, one-out jam of his own making in the eighth) and Javy Guerra (who allowed a solo homer to Dan Uggla and a walk to Chipper Jones with one out in the ninth) finished things off against a team that was 81-55, second-best in the National League, going in.
Gordon had three singles, three runs and two steals in trying to compensate for his miscue.
Los Angeles has won 10 of 11 matches, but all of them essentially coming on Court 12.