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A Hollywood Ending, A Dodger Victory
“He can really get the job done, can’t he,” Dodgers starting pitcher John Ely said rhetorically of Andre Ethier through a huge grin.
With bases loaded in a 3 - 3 ball game, the last of the ninth, the Los Angeles Dodgers most clutch hitter in recent memory crushed a walk-off grand slam home run to center field off of Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.
“For some damn reason, I just keep getting up in that situation where I get the opportunity to do it,” said Ethier.
His 11th career walk-off hit scored Jamey Carroll, Xavier Paul, and Matt Kemp for a 7 - 4 Dodgers victory. It was their first win of the three game set against the Brewers.
“The fact that he’s done it so often is so impressive,” said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre. “I don’t remember anyone being as heroic of anyone that I’ve managed.”
Prior to the night’s crowd-thrilling third act, there were two strong acts. For the Dodgers, it was a tale of pitchers of the same first name. Rookie John Ely pitched six and two-thirds strong innings (1 ER, 7 K) but Jonathan Broxton (2 - 0) blew the save in the ninth, won the game, and took away Ely’s potential first Major League victory.
“I think he showed you what pitching is about tonight,” Torre said of Ely’s dominance. “He hit locations, changed speeds and had a very good hitting team eating out of his hand.”
Broxton entered the game’s final frame with a 3 - 1 lead. He surrendered four hits to the Brewers including Craig Counsell’s pinch hit single that scored the hefty Prince Fielder and tied the game.
“99 percent of the time Broxton will pick up that save,” said Ely who joined the Dodgers in The Juan Pierre Trade with the White Sox.
When Ely handed off the ball to relief pitcher Ronald Belisario in the seventh inning, he returned to the dugout before the ovation of the season from the Dodger Stadium crowd of 38,456.
“That’ll give you cold chills won’t it? Gosh. That was cool,” the Illinois native said through his Midwestern drawl.
“What great fans we’ve got here. This is just a great city.”
* Jonathan Broxton’s ninth inning strikeout of Jim Edmonds meant tonight Edmonds earned a Golden Sombrero.
* The surfer-looking John Ely on being told that Vin Scully said he resembled “Failure To Launch” actor Matthew McConaughey: “I’ve been getting that a lot more and more lately. I guess I can’t complain. I could be compared to worse people, I suppose.”
* Milwaukee Brewer hefty slugger Prince Fielder was booed regularly.