Behind the bat of Adrian Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened up a crucial three-game series against the San Francisco Giants with a 5-4 extra-innings victory. The first baseman had two hits on the night, but they both came when the pressure was on the most.
The 11–year veteran brought some life back into the dugout with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning that tied the contest at three. His other hit was the single that scored A.J. Ellis from third to give the Dodgers the walk-off win. On the night, Gonzalez went 2-for-7, with three RBIs and a run scored.
Gonzalez was asked about his approach on his walk-off hit and the left-handed hitter kept it simple. “Bases loaded, no outs, it is a fairly simple mentality for me,” he said. “Try to hit something in the air.”
“I was just looking for something up in the zone and make sure I stayed on top of it so I don’t pop it up straight in the air.”
The win increased the Dodgers lead in the division to 4.5 games, with perhaps their most difficult game of the series behind them. “It’s a good feeling,” Gonzalez said. “I think knowing we have Greinke and Kershaw the next two days is an even better feeling. Today was a big game for us because we know who we got lined up the next two days.”
When the game went to extra innings, pitchers Jim Johnson and Chris Hatcher threw five shutout innings that ultimately led to the victory. When Gonzalez was asked to describe the bullpen and how they performed, he responded by assessing how the group has responded after being scrutinized for quite a period of time. “Since Cincinnati, I think that they have been doing a great job. Coming up with big outs and these last ten games or so have been throwing the ball great.”
Although the group has been dissected throughout the entire 2015 campaign, Gonzalez spoke up for the rest of the Dodgers in stating that they know the greatness that the relievers are capable of. “Nobody has lost confidence in them in here,” the first baseman said. “We just know that everybody is going to hit a few rough patches, but they are really good players that we do have. We know that they will turn around, and they have, and continue to pitch the ball great the rest of the way.”
The Dodgers will need their bullpen to continue to deliver similar performances to make a run in October.