Dodgers 3, D-backs 2: Matt “Fucking” Kemp

(Via @Dodgers)

By some miracle, the Dodgers entered today having won seven of their last eight, including their last two with late-inning comebacks that smacked of the magic of 2017. Most importantly, they were now tied for the NL West lead and a win this afternoon would net them sole possession of first in the division.

For as many clutch moments as they’ve had late over the past two games, scoring has still been a problem, and the Dodgers definitely missed chances today. This time that opened the door for a Diamondbacks comeback late, but the Dodgers kept that magic going with a rally in the 9th inning, eventually walking it off in a 3-2 win.

What a series.

Clay Buchholz, who is apparently actually good now, started by retiring eight batters in a row before … well, Walker Buehler broke up the perfect game with a single to right in the 3rd. That actually started a rally, as Joc Pederson got hit next, both runners advanced on a passed ball, and Justin Turner drew a walk to load the bases. However, Manny Machado couldn’t come up with a big blow as he flew out harmlessly to center.

They did finally break through in the 5th thanks to Max Muncy, who is suddenly red-hot again, carrying a 1.124 OPS in his last 50 plate appearances entering today. Buchholz finally made a mistake over the middle of the plate, and Muncy deposited that over the right-field fence for his 31st dong of the year and a 1-0 lead.

With one down in the inning, the Dodgers actually got a rally going thanks to another Buehler single and Joc following with a single of his own. Unfortunately, JT got unlucky as he lined out to second and Buehler was doubled off.

They offense another shot to score in the 6th, as the inning started with Manny walking and Cody Bellinger hitting a grounder to third and reaching on an error. That knocked Buchholz out, but Brian Dozier, Yasmani Grandal, and Muncy all struck out to end the threat.

Same old same old.

Meanwhile, Buehler continued his breakout season. He allowed a single and a walk in the first but escaped without allowing a run, and then limited the damage to just a walk over his next five innings. However, with one out in the 7th, after having allowed a single and a walk again, he was removed from the game.

Buehler took 103 pitches to go those 6.1 innings, giving up just a run (and none while he was in) on two hits and three walks. Buehler struck out nine batters and definitely seemed to have his stuff working today.

Buehler was relieved by waiver trade acquisition Ryan Madson making his Dodgers debut. Madson promptly issued a four-pitch walk to load the bases, but then seemed to get out of it after inducing a fly ball to center as Bellinger appeared to get the runner at home for the double play to end things.

Upon further review, however, the tag by Grandal wasn’t applied in time and it was a tie game before Madson got a strikeout to end the 7th.

Sigh. At least we go Cody knocking over Joc.

Anyway, Caleb Ferguson got the 8th for the Dodgers, though he started things with a walk and a single. However, he then got a double play on a ball hit sharply to short, and after issuing an intentional walk to Paul Goldschmidt, he got a strikeout to end it. Unfortunately, he also came out for the 9th and allowed a go-ahead homer to Daniel Descalso (who else?) before being removed. Guess it’s inevitable that decision will be second-guessed, but hard to complain about going with your best lefty reliever against a lefty to start.

What was weird was going to Kenley Jansen for the third game in a row after the D-backs took the lead, and while he gave up a double, he did limit the damage at least.

That proved important though, as Dave Roberts did nice work by getting Brad Boxberger in matchups against Alex Verdugo and Muncy, who started a rally with back-to-back walks. Enrique Hernandez then laid down a perfect bunt in one of the rare situations where it made sense.

That brought up last night’s hero Matt Kemp, and Archie Bradley was brought in to face him yet again. On the first pitch, Kemp scalded a fastball up in the zone off the wall in center for a two-run double and a walk-off win.


Mirror

Feels good, man.

——

The Dodgers improve to 75-62 on the season, and the win puts them into sole possession of first in the NL West with a half-game lead over the Rockies (won).

The Mets will come into town for three games starting at 2:10 PM HST/5:10 PM PST/8:10 PM EST tomorrow. Alex Wood will take the ball and he’ll need to continue his hot streak as he faces Jacob deGrom.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times