Tuesday, September 19, 2006

THE DODGERS WIN!

Down 9-5 going into the bottom of the 9th... Kent leads off the inning and homers. Drew homers. Trevor freakin' Hoffman comes in to pitch. Martin homers. Anderson homers! FOUR HOME RUNS IN A ROW TO TIE IT! Their work wasn't done, though. After giving up a run in the top of the 10th, Kenny Lofton led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk... and then hometown hero (and St. John Bosco graduate) Nomar Garciaparra hit one into the stands to win it and send the Dodgers back into first place! Let's go Dodgers!

More: This was really an amazing game. The Dodgers had just lost first place to the Padres the day before, and whoever won the game would emerge from the series as the division leader with just two weeks left in the season. L.A. had had a terrible time trying to beat the Padres this year, with San Diego beating the Dodgers in 13 of their 17 previous meetings this year. The Dodgers did all sorts of things to make this game more difficult to win, namely:

1. They staked the Padres to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
2. The Padres had baserunners in all 10 innings of play.
3. L.A. committed two errors in the game.
4. After tying up the game at 4-4, the Dodgers let the Padres load the bases in the 5th, though nobody scored.
5. In the 6th, with the score still tied, the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out... and yet still failed to score, thanks to Clay Meredith inducing a couple of easy infield grounders.
6. They let the Padres score two runs in the top of the 8th to take a 6-4 lead. The Dodgers got one run back in the bottom half of the inning, but then normally reliable closer Takashi Saito allowed three runs in the top of the 9th to make it 9-5 San Diego.
7. That, of course, set up the amazing bottom of the 9th. But mind you, even after the Dodgers had stunned the Padres and got the crowd on its feet by beginning the inning with 3 consecutive home runs, they were still 3 outs away from losing the game, a run down, nobody on base, and facing the amazing Trevor Hoffman on the mound.
8. And then, after completing their amazing comeback to send the game into extra innings, they fell behind again in the very next half-inning. At that point, the four home runs would have been a valiant effort, but not enough.

So, hats off to Nomar Garciaparra for finishing the job and turning a loss into a victory and vaulting the Dodgers back into first place. It was a great game for recent Dodger pickup Marlon Anderson, too, who went 5-for-5 with two home runs, including the 4th in a row in the 9th. Not just a great finish, but a thrilling white-knuckler of a game from start to finish. About the only thing you can't say about it was that it was well-pitched.

Some thoughts on the game from Baseball Musings, Dodger Thoughts, and the San Diego point-of-view.

Update: ESPN's Page 2 has a lot of quotes from people at Dodger Stadium about Monday's game. And yes, I know that the Dodgers dropped back out of first place yesterday; Monday's game was still great.

3 Comments:

At Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 8:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger Victor said...

It is quite probable that the 16-team National League will have only five teams above .500 and only one 90-game winner.

It is equally probable that the 14-team American league will have nine teams above .500. It is equally probable that the American League will have one 90-game winner (two is realistic if the Red Sox get hot) **that don't make the playoffs.**

The NL is the International League of 2006.

 
At Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 9:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah, the NL sucked this year. At least they don't play soccer, though.

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 9:46:00 AM PDT, Blogger Victor said...

Good thing they don't ... they'd be relegated this year.

 

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