If there was ever a time for me to do a post that was literally just a GIF and nothing else, it would be this. Dee Gordon hit a homer. In the big leagues. Off Max Scherzer! In a game the Dodgers won by one run. And it wasn’t cheap:
I know. I know! As I said on Twitter, Gordon has more homers than the entire Kansas City Royals. I said that barely an hour ago. It has over 140 combined retweets & favorites. I say that not to inflate my own ego — okay, mostly — but to point out just how insane and wonderful and terrible and fantastic baseball can be.
But let’s pause for just a second. Between Gordon and extra innings, everyone is going to forget about Dan Haren. No one should forget about Dan Haren, especially not when he kept Miguel Cabrera hitless in three at-bats, allowed just one mistake — Austin Jackson‘s solo homer — and in 12 innings this year, has allowed only that one run while striking out 10 and walking one. It’s only two starts, but with Clayton Kershaw hurt, Josh Beckett hurt, and Paul Maholm not great in his one start, it’s been more than we could have hoped for.
After Chris Withrow easily got through the seventh — that’s 14 in a row for him, and Justin Turner‘s sacrifice fly made it 2-1, and Chris Perez got through the eighth, and Vin Scully told stories about crack pipes, it was time for the ninth. Good lord, the ninth.
Kenley Jansen let Ian Kinsler lead off with a double, then got Don Kelly to ground out. That was just table setting for the main event: Jansen. Cabrera. Arguably the best closer in baseball — quiet, Braves fans — against arguably the best hitter in baseball — quiet, Angels fans — and Cabrera got nothing but heat. 98. 99. Again. Whiff. Regardless of what came next, this was the kind of matchup you pay to see. This was the matchup you die to see in October. On April 8, it was a treat.
But of course, striking out Cabrera doesn’t get you two outs, even though it should. (Stupid “rules” of “baseball”.) Victor Martinez came up and dropped a bloop into center, and even though Matt Kemp looked awful fielding it, it didn’t matter. Kinsler was off with two outs, and he scored easily. Tie game. “Blown save,” as though what Jansen had just done to Cabrera didn’t matter.
So after three Dodgers struck out against Joba Chamberlain (!) in the bottom of the ninth, it was off to extra innings, where J.P. Howell easily got through the top of the tenth. In the bottom, Chone Figgins led off — look, I know. You wanted Scott Van Slyke. I get it. Against a righty, leading off, Don Mattingly was never going to do it. Anyway, Figgins walked, and Dee Gordon bunted (ARRRGHHH) into a pop out. Then Carl Crawford took one to left, and uh, well… let’s thank Chad for the visual aids:
Oh, poor poor Rajai Davis.
It’s a fun game because the Dodgers won, but it’s a fun game because it was a fun game. I would not at all mind seeing a rematch of this one in October. We’ll just need to make due with Josh Beckett and Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday, I suppose.