A 16-inning marathon that set records for futility thankfully ended with the Dodgers taking the 5-3 win over the Padres. They have now won six series in a row regardless of what happens tomorrow.
It was wild.
As Joe Davis said, it was remarkably inept for most of it as well. Prior to this game and under this format, no team had gone four innings in extras without scoring, well the Dodgers and Padres both did it for five innings.
The Dodgers are helping you out for tomorrow at least.
Let’s rewind back to the start.
The Dodgers started their Cy Young Award candidate Walker Buehler tonight and he certainly lived up to the hype. He gave up just three singles and a walk, striking out eight batters and throwing 106 pitches across 6.2 innings.
Unfortunately he did get stuck with an unearned run that happened in the 2nd. A Trea Turner throw went into the stands to start the inning, putting a runner in scoring position immediately, though Buehler rebounded nicely with back-to-back ground outs that only advanced the runner one base. However, he then was victimized by some bad luck as a Wil Myers roller went for an infield hit to make it 1-0.
Buehler never gave up more than a single baserunner in an inning, but left the game losing, and had to watch Joe Kelly enter to get the final out of the 7th.
The reason that he was trailing was that Blake Snell put in one of the best starts of his career, and certainly the deepest, which seems like a trend for him against the Dodgers.
Snell retired the first 11 batters he faced, and while he did come close to getting hurt on deep flies, he ended up allowing just two singles over the first seven innings. The only two at-bats with RISP came in the 6th, when a single was sacrificed over and Snell worked out of it.
Despite throwing a career-high 122 pitches, Snell actually didn’t fade, striking out four of his final five batters. The problem is that in the 8th, the one he didn’t strike out was Will Smith, who went deep for his 20th homer on a pitch up and out of the strike zone to tie the game at 1-1.
Daniel Hudson finished the inning off with a strikeout, but the damage was done.
The Pen Battle Starts In Earnest
With the game now tied, Blake Treinen entered for the 8th and looked much sharper than he did last night, getting two infield pops and a routine fly out to cruise through it. Kenley Jansen looked to send things in extras, getting a fly out, ground out, and strikeout for a 1-2-3 affair.
Alex Vesia got the 10th, inducing ground out that advanced the runner to start, then issued an intentional walk and got an infield pop (with a fielder’s indifference in there) before getting a dramatic punch-out to end the threat.
Phil Bickford received a nice gift to start the 11th with a popped up bunt, then immediately struck out Fernando Tatis Jr., which allowed Dave Roberts to walk Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth to bring up the pitcher’s spot in pinch-hitter Joe Musgrove, who struck out.
Justin Bruihl issued an intentional walk in the 12th, but otherwise cruised, getting two fly outs and a ground out. Brusdar Graterol got the 13th, with another grounder to second moving the runner up, a strikeout of Tatis, two intentional walks to Machado and Cronenworth again to load them up, and a comebacker from another pinch-hitting pitcher to escape. Graterol continued in the 14th, getting yet another grounder that advanced the runner, but a comebacker led to a rundown and the runner at third was tagged out. Now with a runner on second, an intentional walk was issued, and Graterol got a fly out to dodge another bullet.
Now, if you’re saying to yourself “that seems like a lot of intentional walks for one game”, then you’re absolutely right.
So while that’s all fine and dandy, what the hell was going on that things went on so long, right?
For the Padres, the 9th belonged to closer Mark Melancon, who gave up a single but nothing else in his scoreless inning. Craig Stammen started extras, getting a Corey Seager ground out to advance the runner, a shallow fly out to right from Chris Taylor that wasn’t deep enough, and a hard-hit ground out from Smith to keep things knotted. Tim Hill then had as drama-free of an inning as one can have in extras, getting a strikeout, ground out, intentionally walking a batter, and then a fly out to end the 11th.
Austin Adams had a very different experience in the 12th. To start, he threw a wild pitch that advanced the runner to third, and gave up a ball hit “foul” down the line from Justin Turner after Adam Frazier dropped it.
They reviewed the play and it certainly looked fair, but hard to overturn, and JT walked.
AJ Pollock then rifled a ball down to third, which Machado short hopped and Muncy looked like he could get back to the bag, but headed for home to stay out of the double play. Seager then struck out, Taylor walked to the load the bases, and Smith flew out to end the biggest threat of the game for the Dodgers to that point.
Nabil Crismatt was the reliever for the 13th, giving up a single to Cody Bellinger to start that cornered the runners. Pinch-hitter Matt Beaty then crushed a ball to first that caught Eric Hosmer more than he caught it, and Bellinger made a nice play to avoid the DP. Unfortunately, Trea then grounded back to the pitcher that resulted in ghost runner Smith at third being tagged out in a rundown, and runners at second and third. Max let them off the hook by continuing to have a bad day with a strike out.
Shaun Anderson got the 14th, getting a groundout and two strikeouts, issuing just an intentional walk. Disturbingly easy.
Daniel Camarena was given the 15th, where Smith got an infield single to start that hilariously didn’t advance the ghost runner. However, CT3 and Smith got a double steal to follow that set the table. Bellinger flew out to center, not deep enough to drive the run in, but thankfully pinch-hitter Billy McKinney came through with a single for the lead and then Trea followed with a single of his own to make it 3-1.
Unfortunately, a strikeout and ground out followed, and the Dodgers couldn’t tack on. Uh oh.
Corey Knebel then entered to try and get a save in the 15th. He got a fly out to start, but then gave up a two-run oppo homer to Tatis that flew just over CT3’s glove in right to tie it at 3-3. A pop out, an intentional walk, and a strikeout sent things further into the depths of extras, but man … ugh.
Thankfully, Camarena continued in the 16th cause the options were slim, and Pollock started things by annihilating a two-run shot to center (his 16th) to make it 5-3. With one out, CT3 got a double and they issued an intentional walk to Will, but back-to-back fly outs to the warning track ended the threat.
Shane Greene then tried to close things out in the 16th, starting with a nice back-to-back strikeouts, and finally, at long last, getting a ground out that ended it.
Boy … that was something.
Pollock had sage wisdom to impart.
Taylor’s girlfriend had jokes.
The Dodgers get to 80 wins against 47 losses, but still trail the Giants in the NL West by 2.5 games.