Dodgers Historic 13 Runs Put the Braves on the Brink of Elimination
The Dodgers tied a franchise postseason record with 13 runs scored in their 13-6 rout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NL Divisional Series. The Dodgers take a 2-1 series lead and can win the series tomorrow night at home.
The 13 runs tied the franchise record for most runs in a postseason game with Game 2 of the 1956 World Series against the New York Yankees.
The rout explains what I heard at the Ravine. I never thought I would ever hear this, but I heard a good majority of the soldout crowd of 54,646 at Dodger Stadium do the Tomahawk Chop during the eighth inning.
There was nothing nice about the cheer. It was aimed straight to the Atlanta first base dugout as they were trailing 10-4. Dodger fans are mean like that, and it had me laughing in what was a laugher of a game.
It was nothing like the three-hour game Saturday night that the Tigers and the Athletics played. That was a well-pitched and tension-filled 1-0 game, a scoreless game through eight innings. Every pitch made by starters Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray had the gravitas expected of a playoff game. This one?
Once the smoke from the fireworks cleared and the pomp of the pregame ceremony gone, reality quickly hit the both teams. Neither starter Ryu Hyun-Jin nor Julio Teheran made it to the fourth inning.
Ryu followed his regular season form in giving up two runs in the first inning — of the 64 runs Ryu Hyun-Jin gave up in the regular season 17 of them were given up in the first inning, that's 27% for those of you calculating.
"Yeah, it's funny, but I never actually try to go out there and give up runs in the first inning," Ryu said in his press conference yesterday. "It's just the way it happens. It's out of my control."
While there was concern of a possibility of an arm injury with Ryu, he flat out denied it after the game. "There was absolutely no injury whatsoever," he said. "Of course there was anxiety, and I was a little bit nervous taking the mound."
Ryu blamed the four runs he gave up in the first three innings to a lack of concentration. "When I had the count going my way, I should have honed in and focused a little more," he said.
The Dodgers trailed 2-0, led 4-2 in the second, tied 4-4 in the top of the third, took the lead for good with a four-run fourth.
One of the heroes for the Dodgers was Hanley Ramirez who went 3-for-4 with a walk, a homer shy of the cycle. With six extra-base hits this series, Ramirez tied the Dodger postseason record with Steve Garvey (1978 NLCS vs. Philadelphia Phillies) and Duke Snider (1952 World Series vs. New York Yankees). He is batting 7-for-13 (.538) through his first three postseason games.
The secret. "I'm not thinking," Ramirez said. "I look at the ball, and I hit it."
Those were the same words Juan Uribe told me on Sept. 9 when he belted three home runs in one game. Even he got in on the action with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. "Every time I go to the plate, I want to make sure I have a good swing, a good at-bat," he said.
Uribe obviously has a lot of fun with Ramirez, or perhaps it's the other way around. I've heard Ramirez call Uribe a gorilla and a red oompa-loompa. Despite the jesting, Uribe is not surprised by what Ramirez is doing. "Hanley can hit. He's a good player."
For Ramirez, this first taste of the postseason is sweet.
"It's an unbelievable feeling, just the ewnergy around you, in the dugout, on the field," Ramirez said. "I knew that is was going to be crazy tonight, and you've got to thank the fans for bringing that energy from the beginning."
Just last season in the middle of his second subpar season after having surgery on his left shoulder, he admitted there were some hard times.
"It was really tough," Ramirez said. "I don't want to remember those moments the last two years. It was awful."
Ramirez credited the trade to the Dodgers and the team's acceptance of him from the very beginning. "[Donnie] just told be to just be you," Ramirez said.
Ramirez also credited the Dodger medical staff. "I think I wouldn't be where I am right now without them."
There is not enough room to describe everything that happened. The Carl Crawford home run. The Carl Crawford tumble into the stands to catch Brian McCann's foul ball in the eighth inning. "I'm on all kinds of medication right now, so I won't feel it until tomorrow," he said. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton.
But here's one last thing. I saw Dodger reliever Peter Moylan in the clubhouse. He had joked that being a recent ex-Brave he would give scouting reports to the team. I told him that it looked like his scouting reports worked. "Until it's finished," he replied.
The Dodgers can finish off the Braves tomorrow.