Walkoff win!

It’s not every day you see a manager pull a double switch which involves pulling the guy who hit a two-run home run earlier in the game and putting a relief pitcher in his spot. That’s what Don Mattingly did in this game, however, taking Andre Ethier out of the number-two spot and replacing him with closer Brandon League while putting little-used utility-man Elian Herrera in the number-nine spot. It paid off in spades when Herrera came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and lined a single off the glove of the drawn-in Marco Scutaro at second base, scoring Hanley Ramirez to give the Dodgers a 3 – 2 win and keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.

This was a tight game all evening, with the Dodgers falling behind 1 – 0 on a double by Buster Posey in the very first inning, scoring Scutaro, who’d walked. Ethier got the run back and one more with a booming home run to center field after a Mark Ellis single. The Dodgers had a chance to score an insurance run in the sixth inning, but Adrian Gonzalez’s career-high 47th double of the year was wasted when he was out at the plate on an excellent throw by Dodger cast-off Xavier Nady after a single by Shane Victorino. Then in the eighth inning the Giants tied the game on a double by Angel Pagan and a single by Scutaro, who took second on Victorino’s ill-advised throw to the plate. Fortunately for the Dodgers, pitcher Kenley Jansen got the next two Giants out with no further damage. League got the Giants out in the ninth, allowing a single by Aubrey Huff but no further damage. That set the stage for Herrera’s heroics in the bottom of the inning.

St. Louis defeated Cincinnati 4 – 2 earlier in the evening, reducing its magic number to one. The Dodgers’ only hope is to win the final two games against the Giants while the Reds defeat the Cardinals in the final two games of the season. That would leave the Dodgers and Cardinals with identical 87 – 75 records and force a one-game playoff between the two teams to determine which goes on to another one game playoff against the Atlanta Braves, who won the National League’s Wild Card #1.

  • dalegribel

    One more day!!

  • LADodgersFan88

    It’s going to be very tough, but all the Dodgers can do is keep winning.

  • SaMoDodger

    We went to the game last night. Strange thing in the bottom of the ninth–with Ellis at the plate, and Hanley on third, all three outfielders were at regular depth. No way any of them could have thrown him out on a sac fly. Panda kept waving the outfielders in, but they were still too deep, especially Pence in right field. After Ellis got on board, they came in shallower–where they should have been in the first place.

    The 2012 Dodgers: The Warren Zevon of baseball teams.

    • WBBsAs

      Send lawyers, guns and money?

      • SaMoDodger

        Sorry, I should have said the 2003 Warren Zevon–still alive despite widespread rumors of his impending demise.

        • Yeah, I was a little puzzled too. “Werewolves in London?” Or maybe, if this valiant effort fails due to the Cardinals continuing to win, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me.”

    • I’d go with The Mutineer, only because that’s such an amazing and haunting song… kinda like this season.

      • SaMoDodger

        Who knew there were so many Waren Zevon fans among the Dodger faithful.

  • LOB2

    Stayin’ alive!

  • scooplew

    Link: You say that Nady is a Dodger cast-off. Might you be thinking of Xavier Paul? (I know you don’t mean Xavier Cugat.)

    • dalegribel

      Xavier Cugat is an ex-Dodger? 🙂

    • You’re absolutely right, I was thinking of Paul. I get my Xaviers mixed up.

  • Artieboy

    Nice write up. But I don’t remember Xavier Nady playing for us. But we remained alive for one more game! Now come on Cincy!

  • scooplew

    I’ve always had a good feeling about Xavier Nady. He grew up in Monterey County, where I live, and I saw him play when he was a kid. He went to high school locally and then to Cal, where I went to school. Nady was a heckuva player. His dad is an old friend of mine. Having said all that, I hope Nady goes hitless tonight.