Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Freese uses Devil Magic, Muncy’s hit is the game-winner

After basically tanking a series to the Rockies to end their playoff hopes, the Diamondbacks hosted the Dodgers for a pivotal three-game series, and they literally promised the Rockies to do their best.

That they did, at least in terms of effort. It was a back-and-forth affair throughout, but it was the Dodgers who struck last in a 7-4 victory that they desperately needed.

——

Early on, the Dodgers looked to put up a crooked number against Robbie Ray. Chris Taylor started things in the 1st with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and got to third on a ground out. David Freese then followed with a single to right-center that drove in the game’s first run to give the Boys In Blue a 1-0 lead.

Things really heated up when Manny Machado and Enrique Hernandez drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases with one out. However, Matt Kemp then struck out, and Brian Dozier lined out to end the threat.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take much time for Clayton Kershaw to give it back in the Diamondbacks half of the inning. With one down he allowed a single and a triple over the head of Mattycakes (one that Yasiel Puig likely catches, for what it’s worth) to tie the game, 1-1.

The next obvious scoring chance came in the 3rd when Justin Turner doubled to left to start things. However, he was left there after Freese struck out, Machado flew out, and Enrique struck out. That immediately cost the Dodgers, as Kershaw gave up a no-doubt homer to Ketel Marte in their half of the inning, giving the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead.

The Dodgers offense was plodding along in the 5th, until with two outs Freese drilled a ball the opposite way for his 11th dong of the year seemingly out of nowhere to tie the game, 2-2.

Unfortunately, Kershaw gave it right back again in their half of the 5th, though mainly through poor luck this time. A one-out double was eventually followed by a two-out jam-shot single up the middle by Marte again to give the Diamondbacks the lead again at 3-2. After a drama-free 1-2-3 frame in the 6th, Kershaw was done at just 84 pitches as the Dodgers had to pinch-hit for him in an attempt to score runs. All told, he went six innings and struck out six, but gave up the three runs on six hits and a walk. It wasn’t a bad outing, but it’s not what you want from your ace with the season on the line against an eliminated team that rested its two best players.

Fortunately, the Dodgers finally got the bats going a bit in the 7th. Yasmani Grandal started with a walk and was run for by Tim Locastro, then Puig followed with a pinch-hit single that he muscled into center. Max Muncy then entered and used a nice piece of hitting to go the other way with a single for a single to tie the game. Following that, with one down, Freese chopped a ball down the line in right that was mishandled a bit for an infield single to load the bases. That brought up Machado, and in the big spot he chopped a grounder to short, but thankfully it was in the hole and there was no possibility for a double play. Suddenly it was 4-3, Dodgers.

Caleb Ferguson entered in relief of Kershaw, now protecting a lead, and breezed through a 1-2-3 frame in the 7th on 12 pitches, notching a strikeout as well. Scott Alexander then entered and started the 8th, getting a dribbler to third that JT made an excellent defensive play on for an out. Kenta Maeda then relieved him and got a strikeout on a nasty pitch to start. However, he followed by seemingly overthrowing to Christian Walker after getting ahead 0-2, eventually hitting him in the face with a 93 mph fastball. Thankfully, he did walk off under his own power and Kenta somehow refocused and got a grounder to escape the inning.

In the 9th, the Dodgers were desperate for insurance, and they got it. Max Muncy started with a walk and JT put runners at the corners with nobody out thanks to a single to right, and Muncy then scored after a wild pitch to make it 5-3. After Chase Utley walked, there were runners on first and second with nobody out, and Manny drilled a pitch to right that he thought was gone but hit off the top of the wall for a double that scored a run and made it 6-3.

Joc Pederson then struck out and had a nice conversation with Joe West.

Thankfully, another wild pitch followed and ended up scoring Utley to make it 7-3, because Austin Barnes also struck out and Alex Verdugo flew out harmlessly to end the rally.

Even with a four-run lead, Kenley Jansen entered anyway to protect the win. Kenley started by giving up a solo dong to A.J. Pollock because … sure. At least he rebounded with two strikeouts and a fly out to end it.

Onward.

——

This happened for Utley … on the road.

Turner Ward now has the shirt, and BreakingT are giving a portion of the proceeds to Donna’s Hope!

The Dodgers improve to 88-69 on the year with the win and also are an impressive 44-32 on the road. Unfortunately, the NL West lead is still 1.5 games because the Rockies refuse to go away.

The Dodgers get after it again with the Diamondbacks at 3:30 PM HST/6:30 PM PST/9:30 PM EST, with basically-ace Walker Buehler facing spot-starter Matt Koch who is in for the injured Clay Buchholz.

About Chad Moriyama

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