Dodgers 4, Nationals 3: Yasiel Puig walks it off with a Little League homer

The Dodgers, man. Is this the same team that couldn’t buy a break since like March? I honestly can’t believe it. They have now won six in a row and eight of their last nine after Yasiel Puig singled up the middle with a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth and Michael Taylor misplayed it into a walk-off three-base error and 4-3 win over the Nationals.

Unreal ending.


Uh, anyway.

Julio Urias extended his nice run of starts to four after allowing just two runs in five innings of work tonight. Urias threw a season-high and career-high 94 pitches, striking out six and limiting the damage of a walk and six hits.

Bryce Harper was not a fan.

Urias also picked off (another) runner.

After getting knocked around in his first two starts, Urias as a 2.33 ERA in four starts since then to go along with 28 strikeouts to just four walks. If he was built up for pitches and innings, even this unpolished teenage version of Urias would make a nice 1-2-3 with Kershaw and Maeda. It’s honestly amazing.

Offensively, the Dodgers were able to back him up a bit, with Chase Utley and Corey Seager leading off the game in the first with back-to-back singles, which eventually led to Utley scoring on a wild pitch to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

That run was his 1000th for his career, though Utley didn’t seem to care much.

In the third, though, the Dodgers were trailing 2-1 when Seager hit his 16th dinger to tie the game at 2-2.

Following Urias, Casey Fien got two scoreless innings, and the offense couldn’t muster much. However, mistakes by Dave Roberts marred the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, with the score tied 2-2, Yasmani Grandal and Puig led-off with back-to-back singles. Roberts then pinch-hit with A.J. Ellis to bunt and pinch-ran with Scott Van Slyke at second for Grandal. The bunt in itself was a whatever decision since A.J. can do it and one could defend it statistically.


A.J. predictably got it down and moved SVS and Puig over to second and third with one out. That’s when things got weird, though. Predictably, the Nationals brought in a lefty to face Utley (who has a huge platoon split and is striking out more than ever), and since SVS was on base (questionable in itself), the Dodgers could choose between pinch-hitting with Enrique Hernandez or Howie Kendrick. The situation called for contact, so the easy choice would seem to be Howie’s 16% strikeout rate over Enrique’s 22%, especially when you factor a drawn-in infield and Kendrick’s penchant for spraying liners and grounders to all fields. Puzzlingly then, it was Enrique who got the call and who proceeded to strikeout on three pitches. After Seager flied out to center, the threat was over. Confusing.

As it turns out, the game almost ended in a loss because of that as well since after Adam Liberatore got the first two outs in the eighth, Roberts went to Pedro Baez instead of Joe Blanton against one of the best hitters on the Nationals in Wilson Ramos. That ended with an absolutely blasted dinger to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead.


As you could see, I had a ton of confidence that the Dodgers would come back after that.

Fortunately, well, the ninth happened. Baez got two outs but eventually loaded the bases, and Chris Hatcher was brought in to face Harper. By some miracle, Hatcher got Bryce to ground out meekly to A-Gon to end the thread.

As you know by now, that was sorta important.


The wins puts the Dodgers at 41-33 overall and 23-15 at home, and they’re currently on a six-game winning streak.

The Dodgers have an off-day tomorrow as they fly to the East Coast, and they next play the struggling Pirates away from home at 1:05 PM HST/4:05 PM PST/7:05 PM EST. The pitching matchup is scheduled to be Kenta Maeda against Jameson Taillon, but there’s a good chance it won’t be Maeda and we’re just waiting for a replacement announcement.


Also, this happened.

Look at this face.


About Chad Moriyama

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