Dodgers Continue Their Magical Ride
Vin Scully, harkening back to the magical 1988 season, called Dodger Stadium the "Magic Castle."
The Dodgers faced a 2-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth inning having been hamstrung by Mets starter Jenrry Mejia through the first five innings: singles by Ricky Nolasco in the third, Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth and Juan Uribe in the fifth the only glimpses of offense the Dodgers displayed.
But everything changed in the sixth inning. For one, Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis led off the inning with singles that went off the glove second baseman Daniel Murphy — the previous three all came after at least one out was recorded.
Gonzalez lined a single just over the head of shortstop Omar Quintanilla scoring Crawford. Centerfielder Juan Ligares threw the ball to third base, but the ball skipped past Wilmer Flores and into the Dodger dugout. Ellis scored on the error, and Gonzalez was safe on third.
Yasiel Puig broke the tie with a sacrifice fly. As Vin Scully narrated, "And the Dodgers lead 3-2 here in the Magic Castle."
Things surely have been magical around these parts in part because of the patience of everyone involved. The front office was patient enough for the players to start getting healthy doing anything with manager Don Mattingly. Mattingly was patient enough to stick with his game plan. The players were patient enough to stick things through.
All of this perserverence came through clear as a bell in this one game.
Nolasco gave up four singles in the second inning to give the Mets the 2-0 lead. But Nolasco stuck with it and after a walk to Ike Davis in the third inning sat down 11 consecutive batters to keep the Dodgers in the game.
"I was able to roll a couple of good ground balls to keep us in there long enough until the offense came out and broke out," Nolasco said. He didn't make any adjustments after the first time through the lineup. "Nothing major, just keeping the ball down, trying to get ground balls and get us back in the big house as quick as possible."
As for the offense, they looked to be lost facing Mejia. "We had a game plan of letting him make pitches," Gonzalez explained in trying to get Mejia's pitch count up. "But he was getting strike one, strike two, so it wasn't working."
But the Dodger bats persisted, and there you had the sixth inning.
"It wasn't really pretty, but it was pretty in the end," Mattingly said.
After Nolcasco got in trouble in the seventh inning giving up a one-out single to Quintanilla and a walk to pinch-hitter Mike Baxter, Ronald Belisario came in relief. Just to get the tension meter up to a full ten, a dribbler by Eric Young loaded the bases.
Belisario uncorked a filthy fastball that started in and broke away from Ligares to get him caught looking. Paco Rodriguez came in to get Murphy to fly out to right to end the threat.
Nick Punto added a solo homer in the seventh hours after being given the Dodgers Heart and Hustle Award before the game. Everyone saw Punto and Danny DeVito yuck it up afterwards which Punto attributed to Skip Schumaker's appearance on MLB Network's Intentional Talk last week (DeVito/Punto talk begins at 5:00):
"He said that I looked a bit like Danny DeVito," Punto said about Schumaker's little prank. "I'm okay with it. He's my guy — we go way back."
Schumaker evidently stole one of Punto's jerseys from his locker and gave it to DeVito to wear.
The Dodgers won 4-2, and while Scully was harkening back to 1988 the Dodgers are doing something now that they haven't done since 1899. That was the last time the Dodgers (or as they were called then the Superbas) posted 38 wins in a 46-game span. Sure, a statistic like that is very arbitrary, but it just shows how ridiculous the Dodgers are.
This wasn't the 6-0 deficit they overcame on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, but the fact that no one thinks the Dodgers will ever lose no matter the score is just crazy. We certainly didn't think that three months ago.
Patience, hard work or magic, something special is happening with the Dodgers. And fortunate for everyone, we get to witness it.
Mets Scorecard: (click to embiggen)
Dodgers Scorecard: (click to embiggen)