By Jon Weisman
It’s Milwaukee 6, Los Angeles 6 entering the ninth inning. The Dodgers came back from down 3-0 and 6-3 to tie the game. Triumph or tragedy awaits. Who’s to say which?
This game has already had plenty of both. It’s been such a weird night, I’m kind of live-blogging the rest of the way as I recap what’s already come.
Start with Scott Kazmir. The Dodger lefty struck out eight in his first four innings. The only problem is that they were his only four innings. He rode the teeter-totter through five hits and two walks, escaping in the first and second innings but not the third, when he gave up a a trio of runs.
Oh boy. In his second inning of work, Pedro Baez just gave up a two-run in the ninth inning to Jonathan Villar. This turned dire in a hurry. Baez has been maligned at times this year, but he had retired 23 of 27 batters in June before walking Kirk Nieuwenhuis and after a force out, giving up the homer. It was the second homer Baez has allowed in 17 games dating back to May 4.
That’s an unfortunate bookend to Casey Fien, who hadn’t allowed a run in seven innings as a Dodger, before giving up three in the fourth inning tonight, on two homers. And it makes the two shutout innings by Chris Hatcher, who hadn’t pitched since June, an afterthought.
In general, the Dodger bullpen has been pitching so well, it should come as a shock to see them give up five runs tonight. Of course, for many, the only news is bad news.
And so the night’s comebacks risked becoming a faint memory. Trayce Thompson’s 408-foot homer to center with two aboard erased the first deficit, while a mix of hits and errors in the sixth tied the game in the sixth. The most bizarre play of the night came on Justin Turner’s game-tying sacrifice fly, which was nearly erased when Yasmani Grandal was tagged out trying to tag up from first base to second, a millisecond before Joc Pederson crossed home plate.
I’m now writing with two out in the ninth inning. Los Angeles hasn’t given in. Down to the Dodgers’ final out, Turner singled. Then A.J. Ellis, batting for Baez, dunked his own single to center. Chase Utley is up, right at this moment. He rips a 1-0 pitch hard on a line, but foul. A ball and a strike make the count 2-2.
“The deuces are really wild,” Vin Scully says, adding the fact that the Dodgers remain down by two.
Whoa … Utley gets hit by the pitch on the left shin, loading the bases. Can’t say this isn’t going down to the wire. Even Clayton Kershaw is in this game, running for Ellis. That’s how badly the Dodgers want this one.
But the drama ends almost abruptly. Corey Seager, the rookie sensation, strikes out on three pitches, and we are done. Crazy game. Milwaukee 8, Los Angeles 6. Tragedy defeats triumph.