I was over at Dodger Stadium this afternoon, and despite the fact that the game was on televisions in the Top of the Park store, and the fact that I wrote the Game Thread for this game, I totally spaced out that it was a live broadcast of today's game. Maybe it was the fact that I don't normally get Time Warner Sportsnet broadcasts. Maybe it was the fact that the Dodgers had a ridiculous 14-3 lead at the time (to which either Nomar or Orel mentioned that the Cubs needed at least a touchdown to narrow the gap). Or maybe the thought of A.J. Ellis having two HR in a single game seemed totally preposterous.
When I finally got done perusing Dodgers items for purchase (more on this in a later post!), I realized that it was today's game, a pummeling at Wrigley Field at the hands of A.J. Ellis (two two-run HRs, in the first and third innings), Matt Kemp (a three-run HR in the first), and Yasiel Puig (a three-run HR in the sixth). With a six-run inning in both the first and sixth innings, the Dodgers cruised to victory on offensive power, which was fortunate as Clayton Kershaw battled control to eke out five innings (7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB and 9 Ks) and barely earn his major-league-leading 20th win of the season. Congratulations, Clayton; you've lifted the team so many times this year, it's the least they could do to lift you up for once.
With the Pirates' comeback victory over the Brewers, catalyzed by former Dodger Russell Martin's eighth-inning, three-run HR off of former Dodger Jonathan Broxton, the Dodgers have clinched a berth in the playoffs. (At this point, I think we want Milwaukee to start winning, in the hopes that they steal a wild-card spot from the Giants.)
More importantly, with the Giants' defeat to the Padres tonight, led by Tim Hudson allowing four runs in the first inning, the magic number for the division diminishes to 6 with eight games to play (nine games to play for the Giants). Favorable outcomes in only six of those 17 opportunities means the Dodgers win the West. Keep it coming, boys!