In a game that carried into the bottom of the 13th inning, Yasmani Grandal entered in the 10th as a pinch-hitter and was involved in Sunday’s two most-dramatic moments. He first partnered with J.P. Howell to get the third out on a play at home plate in the top of the 13th to preserve the scoreless tie.
Then, before the euphoria died down at Dodger Stadium, Grandal hit an opposite field walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the 13th. It was Grandal’s second career walk-off hit and first by home run.
After detailing the play with Howell, Grandal got into breaking down his game-winning at-bat against Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Evan Marshall. “I was just literally trying to get on base and letting the guy behind me do his job,” Grandal said.
“I was lucky enough and fortunate enough to get a good swing and hit it out. To tell you the truth, the first thing that went through my head was Joc’s [Pederson] home run. He [Marshall] didn’t really locate on Joc’s home run on the outer half.”
“Basically, I was looking fastball. This late in the game you’ve got to go with your strengths and his strength is a fastball,” Grandal concluded. Joc Pederson’s home run off Marshall came in the seventh inning of Saturday and tied the game at 4-4; the Dodgers went on to win by a final score of 6-4.
As for Grandal, he has four hits in his last five at-bats and said he’s fully recovered from an inflamed AC joint that affected his swing early in the season. He traced the injury back to time spent in the Dominican Winter League, but said it subsided once he stopped playing and he got through Spring Training without incident.
The 26-year-old catcher has started games when batting second, fourth, fifth and seventh in his first season with the Dodgers. Grandal is batting .230/.356/.377 with two home runs, three RBIs, 12 walks and 15 strikeouts in 73 plate appearances.