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Dodgers Walk Off Paved By Bullpen and Fielding Adventures
See what happens when I go to the game as a fan? The Dodgers lost to the Phillies 16-1 Friday night, their worst home loss since 1947 just months after Jackie Robinson made his debut in Brooklyn.
Sanity was restored on Saturday as I returned in a professional manner, meaning I had not a drop of the Coors Light that flows aplenty at the stadium, and the Dodgers beat the Phillies 4-3.
Okay, it wasn't quite sane thanks to the Dodger bullpen and the adventures in the outfield. After Hanley Ramirez singled and Andre Ethier walked, A.J. Ellis' single to right field scored Ramirez for the win.
"That's a good feeling right there," manager Don Mattingly said.
"Whatever you do to get that W is fun," Ramirez said.
The Dodgers held the 3-2 lead in the ninth inning with closer Kenley Jansen on the mound. Michael Young laced a single down the right field line. Yasiel Puig couldn't get his glove on the ball and it rolled down to the wall allowing Young to jog to second base. That added on to the ball Ben Revere hit that Puig booted into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Chase Utley grounded to second allowing Young to get to third with one out, and Jimmy Rollins hit a fly ball to shallow center field. Matt Kemp fielded the ball, and Young started towards home plate but retreated back to third. However Kemp made a throw to the plate that was so offline, catcher A.J. Ellis had to slide towards first base to try and cover the ball unsuccessful. Young saw the error and raced to the plate to tie the game.
The adventure wasn't over as Domonic Brown's fly ball to left field sent Andre Ethier to the wall. Although it seemed playable Ethier didn't make the catch. The play ended up being a triple. Thankfully Jansen struck out Delmon Young to keep the game tied.
"To come out of that tied is huge because we have the advantage at that point," Mattingly said.
The player of the game, of the last two weeks has been Ramirez. Going 3-for-4 he extended his hitting streak to 11 games hitting .500 with five homers, three doubles, 14 RBI, eight runs and a stolen base in that span.
"Hanley basically single-handedly won the game for us," Ellis deferred.
With the Phillies already leading 1-0, Ramirez started with a three-run blast in the first inning. His home run on Tuesday that hit off the left foul pole was calculated by ESPN stats as being the fasted ball to leave a major league ballpark this season.
While the ball probably didn't get out as fast as the one on Tuesday, the towering fly ball to straightaway centerfield bounced off the desk of "Dodgers Live" 439 feet away from the plate and into the centerfield camera tower bringing up memories of Jose Canseco's grand slam in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
"I thought it was huge because of what happened last night," Mattingly said. "To get three back for [Ryu] and give him a little breathing room eases him back up."
After Ramirez grounded into a force in the sixth inning, it appeared a hit-and-run play was called on the first pitch of Matt Kemp's at-bat, a pitch he swung on and missed. Ramirez was safe at second with a stolen base, but it was curious that he would be running since Mattingly on Thursday said he didn't trust Ramirez's legs.
Mattingly confirmed that wasn't a hit-and-run play and that it was Ramirez's call to steal second base. Mattingly isn't worried anymore because of "the way he's been moving.
"A couple of days earlier it looked like he might have felt something trying to beat out a pitch, but obviously he said he didn't." Mattingly couldn't help but get in a dig though. "Hanley tells the truth all of the time."
"I know what I'm doing," Ramirez said. "I know when I can run and when I can't run. Things are feeling good right now."
That helped stave off the damage Chase Utley did to Dodger starter Ryu Hyun-Jin. In the first inning a breaking ball that hung out over the plate was sent into the right field pavilion, and in the third inning a fastball down the heart of the plate was sent into the right field box seats. In neither home run did Yasiel Puig attack the wall with his armpit.
"I tried going inside him both times," Ryu said. "They went for home runs. Perhaps I should have started pitching him outside."
After Friday's nightmare, the Dodgers responded by sending reliever Peter Moylan who accounted for five of the runs in two innings yesterday back down to Triple-A Albuquerque. Coming up is 22-year old right-hander Jose Dominguez in his first stop inn the big leagues.
Dominguez is most noted for having served a 50-game suspension in 2010 after testing positive for the performance enhancing substance Stanozolol late in the 2009 season. He was also suspended for 25 games this season having been found in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program in November.
Josh Beckett will have thoracic outlet surgery to relieve pressure on his nerve and will be out the remainder of the season.