In the midst of the comeback win in extra innings by the Los Angeles Dodgers, there were highlight plays aplenty. From Charlie Culberson’s amazing catch in left field to his double to drive in the eventual game-winning run to the performance by Clayton Kershaw, there were a ton of great moments.
Clayton Kershaw went eight strong innings yesterday, giving up just four hits (two solo home runs) and one walk while striking out five batters. He gave up two earned runs, and Kershaw legitimately gave the Dodgers a chance to win the game by keeping them in it all afternoon long despite terrible conditions. It wasn’t the most beautiful Kershaw performance, but it was a highly effective and efficient one as he threw just 91 pitches. His next start is slated to be on Friday against these same San Francisco Giants.
Kershaw did get some help, though, and it came in the form of Charlie Culberson. Earlier in the game, Culberson made a nice play behind the bag in second to retire Span on a grounder, but this play by Culberson came with him in the outfield. Angel Pagan rips a line drive to left, and Culberson somehow races over in time to make a sprawling catch that robs Pagan of extra bases. It was very impressive, and MLB’s StatCast service took a look at the catch in-depth. The most impressive part? The 97.1 percent route efficiency by a guy who doesn’t play in the outfield. Outstanding.
In the ninth inning, right-hander Chris Hatcher had to come on to preserve the tie and send the game into extra innings. While he did give up a leadoff single to Buster Posey, and also an intentional walk to Brandon Belt, Hatcher buckled down and struck out the side to send this game to extras. It was a fantastic performance by a pitcher who was less than 24 hours removed from being the man who let the no-hitter get broken up with a two-run home run. Awesome rebound by Hatcher.
With one out in the tenth inning, shortstop Corey Seager, who had entered the game earlier as a pinch hitter, doubled down the right field line. Two pitches later, Charlie Culberson continued his superb day by doubling down the right field line himself. Seager came around to score, the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead, and it was eventually the final scoring margin of the game as Los Angeles stole a victory right out from under the noses of their hated rivals.
Saturday’s game was filled with plenty of unforgettable moments in an otherwise gloomy game that saw the Dodgers struggle repeatedly with runners in scoring position. Still, a win is a win is a win, and you’ll take them early in the season in whatever fashion you can actually obtain them. You have to love how the team fought, clawed, and ultimately won this game. That never-say-die attitude is certainly a phenomenal thing to watch.