Vin Scully’s been referring to Dodger Stadium as “the Magic Castle” lately and the Dodgers three-game sweep of the New York Mets perfectly summed up why this Dodgers team has been so magical lately.
Overcoming early deficits in every game, the Dodgers staged comebacks on a nightly basis, capped off by a thrilling 12-inning 5-4 walk off victory Wednesday night. It appears anything is possible for this team, down 1-0, 2-0, 4-0, it doesn’t matter as this team finds a way to win games. In that regard, let’s take a look at each night’s comeback
Faced with an early 2-0 deficit, the Dodgers rallied for three runs in the sixth inning. Carl Crawford led off the inning with a single off of Mets’ starter Jenrry Mejia and Mark Ellis followed with another single this time up the middle.
Adrian Gonzalez fought off a tough up and in pitch and muscled it into the outfield scoring Crawford. As Ellis was sliding into third, Mets’ center fielder Juan Lagares’s throw was off line and bounced into the stands, allowing Ellis to score the tying run.
Gonzalez advanced to third on the play and Yasiel Puig promptly smacked a fly ball deep into left and Gonzalez tagged up for the go-ahead run.
Nick Punto, who was honored with MLB’s Heart & Hustle Award before the game, added a solo homer in the seventh for an insurance run and got to meet It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Danny DeVito before and after the game. After hitting only .103 in July, Punto is batting .458 in August.
Although the Dodgers were faced with an early 1-0 deficit, this game was more significant because the Dodgers broke down Matt Harvey, the best pitcher in the National League outside of Clayton Kershaw.
The rally started in the fifth inning with a one out walk to A.J. Ellis, an amazing feat in itself considering Harvey has an insane 181/31 K:BB ratio on the season.
Juan Uribe would single to left sending Ellis to third. Who else would come up, but the Shredder himself and he doubled to shallow left to score Ellis and Uribe and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. But, they weren’t done.
Mark Ellis singled to lead off the sixth inning and after Adrian Gonzalez lined out, Yasiel Puig singled. Skip Schumaker grounded out, but advanced the two runners. A.J. Ellis came up and after a typically patient A.J. at-bat, he banged a single into left, easily scoring Mark Ellis and Puig.
The Dodgers offense continued to roll, but a lot of credit for this win to goes to Hyun-Jin Ryu for outdueling Harvey for seven masterful innings of one run ball. Ryu is 12-3 with a 2.91 ERA on the season and were it not for that dude wearing number 66, Ryu would be garnering serious Rookie of the Year consideration.
WEDNESDAY, 5-4 (12 INNINGS)
Ah, the coup de gras. Chris Capuano got roughed up for four runs and 10 hits in five innings of work and although the Dodgers scored two runs in the sixth inning, things were looking bleak heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Starting the rally again was Mark Ellis, with another single to center. Jerry Hairston, Jr. followed with a hard grounder back to Mets’ pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, appearing to hit him in his groin area. Hawkins was clearly in pain, but he stayed in the game.
Andre Ethier came up to pinch hit and was previously 3-5 with a home run against Hawkins. Andre was patient and when Hawkins left a fastball up in the zone, Andre crushed it into the left field stands and all of a sudden, it was a tie game heading to extra innings.
The Dodgers threatened in the 11th inning, but Juan Uribe got robbed of a game-winning hit on a leaping grab by Mets’ shortstop Omar Quintanilla. The twelfth inning would be different.
With one-out, Yasiel Puig dunked the ball in center field and as we all know Puig, he took a big turn around first base, and, at first, Dodger fans were mortified to hear Vin Scully announce Puig making his run toward second base. But, he made it!
The table was now set. Adrian Gonzalez came up and promptly banged the ball down the third base line into the left field corner, easily scoring Puig for the game winning run. In typical Dodgers’ fashion, Gonzalez was mobbed at second base and had his jersey ripped off.
During his post-game interview, Gonzalez and Fox Sports’ Mark Rogondino got the Gatorate shower, compliments of Puig and Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers bullpen continued to impress, pitching seven inning of shutout ball, allowing only five hits between five different pitchers.
If there’s a baseball version of unstoppable, it’s the Dodgers right now. They’re 40-8 in their last 48 games, 23-3 since the All-Star break. Those are mind-blowing numbers. The team is confident, and they’re having fun as everyone is feeding off of each other, from Ramirez to Puig, to Schumaker and Punto, everyone knows something special lies ahead.
The Dodgers will head on the road to take on the bottom rung of the AL East. A three game set with the Philadelphia Phillies starts Friday with Zack Greinke opposing Cliff Lee. The Phils just lost two of three games to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field and are buried in fourth place, 20 1/2 games behind the Braves and thoroughly out of contention.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on the Dodgers historic stretch!