Dodgers beat the Cardinals 9-7 in a game that featured a million hits, September baseball at its finest
Tonight started the biggest series of the season for both teams involved. The Cardinals came in to this evenings contest with a 2 game lead over the Dodgers for the 2nd WC spot in the NL Playoff picture.
Clayton Kershaw, who the Cardinals magically missed when they visited the Dodgers on their west coast road trip in August, toed the rubber in game-one. Kershaw would be matched with another left-hander, Big-G, Austin Gomber.
Things didn’t get off to the start any of us had hoped, as the Dodgers would plate 3 runs on 4 hits in the 1st inning on Gomber. Taylor opened the game with a single to LF. After Turner fouled out to Cafecíto in RF, Machado (3-4, 3 RBI) would singe next, bringing in a man who always receives a nice ovation from the St. Louis faithful, David Freese. Freese connected for a two-run triple into the LF corner as Swags chased the ball around the warning track, it was kind of funny looking back at it now. Matt Kemp, April NL MVP, lined an RBI single into RF next to plate Freese to make it 3-0 Dodgers. Dozier (the only LAD not to get a hit tonight) grounded into an inning-ending, 6-4-3, double-play.
Swags got the Cardinals a run back in the bottom of the 1st. Leadoff Guy and Jive Muñoz got things cracking with a single and a double to put runners in scoring position for Cafecíto, who would whiff at a slider offering from Kershaw. Swags grounded a hard ball to Dozier at 2B, scoring Carp to make it a 3-1 game. Kershaw would strikeout Deez on a slider to end the inning.
Kershaw picked up right where he left off in his 2nd inning of work, striking out Trap House (first start since coming off the DL). Kershaw would work around a walk to Yadi (first start 09/05) and a two-out single from Gomber. Kershaw would strikeout the side, bringing his total to 5 thru 2 innings.
The Dodgers opened the 3rd inning with back-to-back doubles from Turner and Machado to extend their lead to 4-1. Gomber then retired the next 3, striking out Freese and Dozier to end the inning.
Kershaw made quick work in the 3rd and 4th, retiring the side in order on a total of 18 pitches, while adding 2 more k’s. Machado would make one dandy play in the bottom of the 4th, taking away an infield singe from Trap House, barehanding a slow roller off Kershaw’s body.
Gomber went back out for the 4th inning, serving up 3 consecutive singles from; Hernández, Barnes, and Kershaw (RBI single). Tyson Ross would relieve Gomber, facing the top of the lineup with nobody out. Taylor immediately greeted Ross with an RBI double to RF, making it 6-1 Dodgers. Turner and Machado then hit back-to-back sac-flys to Bader in CF, extending the Dodgers lead further to 8-1.
Tyson Ross settled in nicely in the 5th inning, working a 1-2-3 on 8 pitches, inducing 3 groundouts.
The Cards inched slowly back into this in their half of the 5th, scoring 3 runs to cut the lead in half. And get this, Tyson Ross, of all people, blasted a solo HR to LCF with one-out to get things started. Yeah you read that right, I promise.
Leadoff Guy (bunt) and Muñoz the reached with back-to-back singles. The struggling Cafecíto would load the bases when he reached on a fielding error from our ole pal, David Freese. Swags then plated his 82nd RBI of the season, ripping a single into LF to score Carp. Pauly Deez cut things into half with a sac-fly to Hernández, making it 8-4 heading to the 6th.
John Brebbia would get the 7th inning, serving up a one-out, solo HR to Machado to open things back up to a 9-5 Dodgers lead. The Cards made sure to get that one run back in their half of the inning. With newly entered reliever Maeda in the game, Swags would knock a one-out double to CF and Deez would cash-in, blooping an RBI single into RF. But Deez would end up being too aggressive on the bases, getting thrown out going first to third on a Trap House single to LF.
Mike Mayers and Brett Cecil worked the 8th and 9th innings tonight, both with scoreless outings. Mayers would give up a pair of singles, but matched it with a pair of strikeouts to work a clean frame. Cec-Daddy would give up a single to Bellinger, stranding him at 1B, getting Puig (pinch-hitting) and Dozier to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen came in tonight in a non-save situation to get some much needed work in, but he would sure make things interesting. Muñoz and Cafecíto reached base to start things off, Muñoz with a walk and Martínez with a single to RF. After Swags popped out to SS for an infield fly, Deez worked a lengthy plate appearance, drawing a walk to load the bases for Trap House. Trap would bring two runners around to score on a 4-6 fielder’s choice, Machado with a throwing error on the play to allow Cafecíto to come around to make it 9-7. With Peña’s spot coming up representing the tying run, Matt Adams would grab a bat and pinch-hit. Adams swung at the first pitch, grounding out to Bellinger to end tonight’s contest.
The Dodgers are now 1 game behind Cardinals for the 2nd place WC spot, making tomorrow nights game a must win.
We get a battle we got when we visited the Dodgers in LA last month, Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.92) vs Walker Buehler (6-5, 3.09). The two best rookie pitchers in the NL ‘bout to duel it out, grab the popcorn (beer preferably) and enjoy your Friday night.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 147 is in the books