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Dodgers Wild Card: Chris Taylor Talks About ‘Dream’ Walk-off Home Run



What. A. Game. Your Los Angeles Dodgers have moved on to the National League Division Series to face the hated San Francisco Giants. LA’s All-Star utility man, Chris Taylor, walks the Dodgers off late on Wednesday night, taking Cardinals’ All-Star closer deep into the night for the 2-run homer.

For Taylor, it was a swing a relief.

“I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason,” Taylor said after sending the Dodgers to the NLDS. “There’s highs and lows. Everything I’ve been through, all the struggles, the successes, everything has brought me to this point. I think this is right where I’m supposed to be.”

The 31-year-old free-agent-to-be has had some massive swings in his Dodger career, but perhaps none were as big as this one. Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on base, CT3 said he wasn’t trying to do too much. Maybe just look for a single to drive home Cody Bellinger from second base and send the boys in blue up to San Francisco for a Friday night date by the bay. Instead, Chris got all of a hanging slider to make sure the Dodgers survived the do-or-die ballgame.

“These are the type of moments that you dream about and you live for. I’ll be able to look back on that for the rest of my life.”

It was Taylor’s sixth career postseason home run, all with LA, and came at a time where his struggles had grown so bad, it seemed like it would be hard to see him in the starting lineup for the Dodgers this October. In September, he hit just .121 and has hit just .223 since the All-Star break.

“I think to put it simply the game honors you,” Dave Roberts said of CT after the game. “He was ready when called upon.”

It was a total team effort on Wednesday night and is likely a sign of things to come all postseason long for Los Angeles. For now, we just bask in the fact that the Dodgers acquired Chris Taylor from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Zach Lee.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. It goes without saying that Dodgers must re-sign CT3. It was a great win of course and even though Dodgers now go to NLDS I hope Scherzer was not too alienated after Roberts pulled him with 1 out in the 5th but his command was off and walked a few, hit a batter and was nearing 100 pitches. So it was the right call as it turned out.

    • Where would he play if they resigned him? They can also add Freddie Freeman and Kris Bryant to the mix in addition to CT3. Two more free agent all stars along with Taylor.

      • Freddie Freeman ok. Kris Bryant, sorry no way. Although a very good and versatile defender, Bryant is by far very “un-clutch” at the plate! Bryant has had very few memorable moments at the plate this year for the Giants. Now “late night LaMont” Wade Jr…he scares the bejesus out of me! He’s been the Giants find ala Max Muncy and CT3.

        • I’m just saying that we have an opportunity to sign both along with CT3. We might need a first baseman because who knows what will happen to Muncy.

          • This off-season is going to be tremendously challenging for the Dodgers. They have 6 free agents to be…Kershaw, Scherzer, Jansen, Kelly, Seager and CT3. Don’t think the resources will allow signing them all. Tough choices to make. Personally, I think Seager is going to the Yankees to play with his brother (Mariners free agent Kyle Seager 3B). Seager grew up idolizing Jeter and the Yanks were his favorite team. Yanks have let it be known they are shopping for a SS. Unless I don’t know Seager’s personality well enough, he seems to be very indifferent to his teammates.

            Tough to know what Kersh wants to do. Not sure how well Scherzer likes LA either. It would tough not to re-sign CT3 now. Although Lux is a CT3 in the making at a way cheaper contract.

            That leaves Jansen and Kelly. Depending on demands, I’d say bring them both back. Guys with their kind of stuff are invaluable as we saw last night. The bullpens decided that game. I’d put up the Dodger pen against anyone in baseball.

    • Paul, I think Sherzer pitches better when he’s mad. I think he’ll be OK the rest of the way. His control has been off for the last three games. But I think he is tending the right way.

  2. Absolutely the right call and the timing could not have been better. The Dodgers’ bullpen completely showed up last night.

    • Yes it did and I can honestly say also that Bellinger has turned the corner and was a big part of the Dodger’s win last night. Now in SF Dodgers must play situational baseball as far as their offensive approach because HR’S won’t come as easy up at Oracle Park. Steal bases, advance runners., make contact and not swing for the fences.

      • I thought you and your buds all wanted Belli sent back down to AAA? Left off the playoff roster? and how bout doc? made all the right calls, definitely outmanaged Shildt. and lastly Kenley was lights out. All that handwringing for months this summer, and the Dodgers came thru

        • No. That was me. Bellinger scored no runs and drove in no runs in the WC. When Taylor hit his walk off it would have won the game whether Bellinger was on base or not. I already voiced support to let Jansen close before the game because he is pitching well. Not because like Bellinger, he is DR’s boy. And DR got lucky with Graterol last night. He looked bad in his prior two starts. Even Kelley was dicey because of his control issues. But DR flipped a coin in the dugout and it worked out. It’s still the players who play the game, and win the games. You DR ass kissers are laughable.

  3. Bellinger’s second steal of the night, before Taylor’s walk off HR, definitely contributed to the Dodgers’ win. There is no way that Reyes was unaffected by Bellinger’s presence on second base, and Taylor was able to masterfully capitalize off of Reyes’ hanging slider. As for the Giants…the Dodgers’ offense is going to have to show up early because the Giants will. We had problems getting on base (and advancing runners when we did) last night. The Dodgers can do this, so ” Repeat LA!”

  4. I agree with all the above comments. My input here will be about defense, more specifically, I think Barnesy (with his bad regular season average, but knack for clutch offensive production in big games) needs to see more time behind the dish! Smith is a definite defensive liability and needs to improve! We’ve seen it all year. Way too many unblocked balls in the dirt! On offense, Dodgers will have to exhibit extreme plate discipline vs the Giants. Was extremely disappointed by Trea’s swinging at ball 4 with the bases loaded and killing that inning. That was the Dodgers chance to put the game away early and save me 6 coronaries! But in the end it’s all good. Dodgers win and advance. Next up the scary as heck Giants. This one decides who goes to the WS IMVHO.

    • 2 good points. Dodgers need Austin back behind the dish for his game calling, pitch framing AND defense. Will Smith didn’t have any of it going last night! Dodger hitters offered at more balls out of the strike zone than usual. They will have to get back to having the best % there in all of MLB to beat the gnats.

  5. Taylor commented that he shortened his swing before the big hit. I’ve been complaining for the last couple of years that his long, looping swing might be a contributor to his struggles at the plate. I hope he makes a shortened swing part of of his approach, moving forward, because the Dodgers need a consistent Chris Taylor in their lineup.

  6. One of the things I think that get often overlooked is a particular players’ baseball IQ. It’s this IQ that allows a player to produce beyond their statistical expectations.

    • Of course, CT3 did hit 21 HRs during the meaningless season. Now has 1 in the season that actually matters! The surprise was only because he was in a 7 for 65 (.107) slump! But this is quite typical of the postseason. That’s the greatest part of the postseason, namely it’s an automatic reset. It wipes the slate clean. All the struggles or successes of the regular season don’t matter anymore. As we saw last night, more often than not, elite pitching wins out.

  7. The most underrated pitcher in baseball is the cheatstros’ Lance McCullers Jr. His curveball is just flat out unhitable. Dodgers couldn’t touch him. Pale Hose couldn’t touch him today either.

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