The win streak extended to three with a walk-off single by Howie Kendrick. While I would rather see the Dodgers put the game away earlier, it is encouraging to see that this is a team that can string enough hits together to get the win, even if it is in the bottom of the ninth.
Minor league journeyman, David Huff got the start tonight. Right off the bat (GET IT!), two back-to-back homers were given up to Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz. Before I could even sit down to enjoy the game, the score was 3-0. It is interesting to note that the Dodgers, after last night’s game, have given up 10 home runs this season. Looking at their batted ball data, they are in the middle of the pack when it comes to fly ball rate, 32.2%. However, when looking at their home run to fly ball ratio, they are third in the league at 14.5%. When the opposing team is hitting a fly ball against Dodger pitching, they are hitting it damn hard.
The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the third. Jimmy Rollins doubled to start the inning. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a double of his own to bring Rollins home. Following the third, the Mariners answered the Dodgers with a rally of their own. Willie Bloomquist reached base after being hit by a pitch. Hisashi Iwakuma sacrificed Bloomquist over with a bunt. Bloomquist eventually reached home after Rickie Weeks doubled.
The Dodgers began the bottom of the fourth inning with a whimper. After two groundouts by Ethier and Uribe, Joc Pederson buffered his stat line with a walk. Pederson continues to prove his worth. Entering last night’s game, young Joc is hitting .280/.357/.520. Look, sue me for clamoring over seven games worth of data. If we’re going to discuss his value after his first three games, then we are definitely going to make the case for him after seven games. His wOBA is at an impressive .369 and his wRC+ is sitting at 147, nevermind that his unsustainable BABIP is at .429.
After Pederson’s walk, Alex Guerrero continued to get the fans on his side with a two-run bomb:http://streamable.com/e/mcbeThat ball was gone as soon as it hit the bat.
The Dodgers sent Juan Nicasio to face the Mariners in the fifth. The Mariners quickly capitalized on three walks. After loading the bases, the Mariners tacked on one more run before Nicasio was able to pitch himself out of a jam. The game remained quiet until Andre Ethier decided to remind Dodger fans that he exists:http://streamable.com/e/twe8
The bullpen continued to dominate. Nicasio, JP Howell, Chris Hatcher, and Yimi Garcia pitched scoreless frames to get the Dodgers to the bottom of the ninth. That inning began with a single by Justin Turner. Jimmy Rollins singled to center, sending Turner to third. Crawford reached base on a fielder’s choice as Turner was thrown out at home. Adrian Gonzalez was walked which set up a bases-loaded, one-out, at-bat for Howie Kendrick. Kendrick singled to right which brought home Rollins and Crawford to win the game.
Despite the emotional roller coaster, this is a team that will claw its way to victory. Last season, these late inning heroics were non-existent. To be honest, pulling off wins in late/extra innings is not a way to win games either. Eventually, if these kind of games continue, the Dodgers luck will run out. Until then, I will continue to shout loudly at my computer when “insert your hero for the night” makes the game winning, walk-off hit.