It’s a wonderful game: Matt Kemp lassos the moon

Mark J. Terrill/AP

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary. … Then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair …

Because of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, the baseball world focused its attention on Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

Because of what happened over the next three and a half hours, the baseball world can’t stop buzzing.

And because of Matt Kemp … wow.

Kemp’s walkoff home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, his team-record 11th of April, gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory in a game that for six innings was a taut pitcher’s duel, and for the remaining four played like a cat all tangled up in a ball of yarn … until Kemp smothered it all up and threw it in the air like skyrockets.

There’s so much more we could talk about, but I think I’m just gonna go with this:

Uribe’s double would have been the most stunning thing in the inning if not for the three wild pitches from the Nationals’ own version of Lucile II, Henry Rodriguez. The second one came with Washington one strike away from winning.

In the 10th, after Jamey Wright continued his unreal run of strikeouts (he now has 10 in nine innings this season), Kemp came up and did … well, kinda did what everyone expected him to do, once an intentional walk wasn’t offered. He drivered a ball that would have made Bubba Watson envious, sending it over the wall to dead center and the crowd into delirium. Dodger Stadium, buoyed by a bobblehead-Harper-Strasburg crowd, was rocking.

Strasburg and Chad Billingsley, who each pitched six shutout innings before allowing single runs in the seventh, deserve credit for setting up the night’s unbelievable third act – as does Jerry Hairston Jr. for his daredevil exploits in the field and racing into home to survive a laser Harper throw. (Hairston later left the game with a left wrist contusion.) A number of people on Twitter were saying this was the best baseball game of the 2012 season to date, and while there’s no doubt some hype to that, for the Dodgers and their fans, it’s the kind of hype you like to be a part of. What a nice change.

Remember, George: no team is a failure that has Matt Kemp.

  • Anonymous

    I was watching this one without sound, in a restaurant during dinner.  What was Mattingly arguing about in the 9th?

    • Anonymous

      A fan ran on the field during the first pitch to Uribe. He was arguing that the pitch, a strike, should not have counted.

    • KT

      Just like when Davey called time but no one noticed but the 3rd base ump and the pitch that was thrown was not counted

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AV6DLOJRJMUAE7MLBT4W33D5WE fldude2k1

    Is it me or did Kemp miss the bag on the HR? (1B when he seemingly jumps over it)

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      I’ve looked at it several times – I think his toe taps it but another angle would clear it up. 

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        Since I just watched a .gif of that final leg of his home run trot, one thing I know is that the home plate ump is right there patiently waiting to make sure. So I’ll trust that. 

    • KT

      No he definitely got it and the ump was looking to make sure he did so we would have won an appeal

  • http://twitter.com/nrmnbates Eric Enders

    A beautiful writeup of a beautiful game.

    I thought Kemp missed the bag as well… doesn’t matter now.

  • http://twitter.com/nrmnbates Eric Enders

    Mattingly was arguing that the pitch to Uribe shouldn’t count because of the fan who ran on the field.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Was there with Hollywood Joe.  Two questions, Donnie did answer why he took Elbert out but why did Johnson leave the lefty in?

  • Adam Luther

    15-6 April best April since????

  • Anonymous

     Hey Guys… Too busy to post lately.  Became a Dad last Sunday… :-)  (little daughter, Tessa… a new Dodger fan)  My wife and I haven’t missed a game while in the hospital, though.

    I made the comment down the stretch tonight that…..  as a team, you’re going to lose a number of  games you should win… However, to compete for a pennant, you certainly need a steal your fair share of games as well.  What a great baseball game tonight.  

    • Anonymous

      Congrats, best to your new addition

    • http://www.facebook.com/jack.huber2 Jack Huber

       hey, congrats man.  daughters are precious.  you’re going to love being a daddy

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Congrats!

    • Anonymous

      So we hereby christen her Tessa TAFKAT! Awesome news!

    • KT

      Excellent news

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    One helluva game indeed. I definitely said “I love baseball” and “I hate baseball” (in the top of the 9th) tonight but much more the former. Even the opposing team made me smile, Strasburg is so good and Harper will be a keeper (lose the mullet and the helmet toss, though, kid ;) ) Billingsley was terrific, too; not easy to match pretty equally with someone like Strasburg.  I still can’t believe they pitched to Kemp, too.  All’s well that ends well, but that was one memorable game.

  • Adam Luther

    Washington has won every series (vs. Cubs, Mets, Reds, Stros, Marlins, & SD) this season sans the Dodgers…

  • Jibin Park

    Awesome game.  Too bad I left in the 6th inning (with wife and 5 month old son).  I can tell my son that, on his first ever Dodger game, Bryce Harper debuted, Strasburg and Billingsley dueled and Kemp walked off.  

  • http://twitter.com/crzblue Emma

     Agree with Eric, A beautiful writeup of a beautiful game.  Love the reference to “Is a Wonderful Life, one of my favorite movies!   Well done!   Here I am after being at the stadium, watching the game again.   A little sleepy and I need to be back to Dodger Stadium today.  I love this game!  -Emma.

  • Anonymous

    Kemp hits the game winning bomb yet Bryce Harper is still on the front page of espn baseball.  He’s got to get more cred than that!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, wow and wow

  • Anonymous

    Came home from a play just in time for the end of the ninth.  I told my wife that Kemp and Ethier were coming up in tenth and one of them would win it. She looked at me skeptically. Then when it happened, she turned to me and said “oh my G-d.”  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Dodgers. Now I have to sit down and watch the rest of it.

  • Anonymous

    So does Guerra allowing 10 of his last 14 batters faced to reach base become an area of concern?

    • Anonymous

      It is for me.

      And, I think it is time to put A.C. Ellis into the leadoff spot and Loney in the #2 spot.

      Ellis (C)
      Loney
      Kemp
      Ethier
      Van Slyke/Hairston (lf)
      Uribe/Hairston (Third)
      Ellis (2b)
      Gordon
      Pitcher

      • Anonymous

        One thing, Ellis also has struck out 30% of the time this season, I do wonder if at some point, pitchers just start throwing strikes and see if he can hit.

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

          Don’t know what they’d be waiting for.  I think that stat shows they have been throwing strikes – sometimes it works, but other times, not so much. 

        • Anonymous

          A.J. is walking as much as he’s striking out.

    • Anonymous

      Imagine if it was Broxton.

    • Anonymous

      Would they dare option him to right the ship/get his confidence back when they need to make a roster move for Coffey?

  • overkill94

    Took my girlfriend to her first Dodger game last night – what a debut!  She was really impressed by the stadium and the energy of the fans but a bit put off by the somewhat constant booing for no reason.

    I didn’t have much faith in our boys to come back in the bottom of the 9th since Lucille II (Nationals version) throws gas and had been lights out so far this year.  When it got to 2nd and 3rd with no outs I thought we were looking at extra innings at a minimum.  Once AJ struck out things looked much darker and when AK grounded out I thought we were sunk.  Luckily Lucille II’s major weakness is his wildness so that wild pitch was just what the doctor ordered.  Kemp’s walk-off sent the place into a frenzy and it seemed like no one in the stands wanted to leave until Kemp uncovered his Superman suit under his uniform.

    I think it’s time to put Kenley in the closer role.  Guerra’s been way too hittable and Jansen’s dominance is perfect for the 9th inning.  Lindblom can move up to the 8th inning and the middle innings can be mixed and matched with Guerra, Wright, Eovaldi, and Guerrier once he gets healthy.

  • Steve Hall

    Watched the game on MLB Network from the 5th on. I was a bit put off by all the booing of Harper, too—Dodgers fans used to only reserve that for the Giants. Harper’s going to be a good one, but yes: he absolutely MUST lose that mullet, and that little 5-year-old’s tail of hair on the back of his neck, and never, EVER knock his helmet off like that again. Back in the day, that would have warranted a VERY strong “message” pitch from the likes of Drysdale, Sutton, Perranoski or Regan.

  • Anonymous

    WaPo blog is all over Ramos.  He might have been given nicer treatment by his abductors.

  • Anonymous

    Harper’s bullet to the plate to throw out Hairston was most impressive.

    • KT

      He was safe not out but that is not Harpers fault

  • Anonymous

    I am not a Nats fan (nor a Gnats fan), but I would not second-guess Davey Johnson for not walking Kemp leading off the inning. If there had been two outs, though, it might have made sense to do so.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT