Sunday, May 07, 2023

Post-Game 35 Thread: Dodgers Destroy Evil Empire


3.3% chance of winning. Not quite one in a million, more like 1 in 30. But that's what Fangraphs had forecasted for the Dodgers, down 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning in San Diego, with two outs and no one on. Up to the plate was Mookie Betts, and if you were paying attention to the graph up above (I warned you, there was going to be a quiz!), Betts had some atoning to do.

In the first inning, Betts had let a Xander Bogaerts ball go off his glove in right field (he may have mis-timed his leap, and the sun was also in his eyes--though while mic'd up with ESPN during the third inning, Betts claimed the sun was not a factor in him missing that ball), allowing Manny Machado to score and putting the Dodgers in a quick 2-0 hole. The game stayed 2-0 SD until the sixth inning, when Will Smith doubled home Freddie Freeman (who reached on a fielding error by Juan Soto), chasing Joe Musgrove (who had only allowed two hits all game, but also gave up 3 BB along with 5 Ks).

Betts was 0-for-3 coming into this ninth-inning AB against Josh Hader, who hadn't blown a save all year in 11 opportunities. And Betts did this:

With Betts' (Han) solo HR, the game was tied. We go to extras, after a great hold from Caleb Ferguson (who got the win), a solid 1-2-3 ninth inning that ended with two Ks.

Top of the tenth, and Smith grounds ghost runner Freeman to third. Max Muncy is rung up on strikes for out number two, and then Michael Busch singles home Freeman to take the lead. Then, James Outman, who going into this AB was 0-for-9 this series, with 3 Ks; not to mention a mortal 3-for-20 in the month of May--launched a home run to right field that cheater Fernando Tatis Jr. could only watch. 5-2 LA, and Evan Phillips comes in to secure the save in the bottom of the tenth.

The Dodgers end up taking two of three on the road in San Diego, and end the weekend in first place in the NL West, 1.5 games ahead of Arizona and three games ahead of the Padres. I'm not going to read too much into this game--we looked pretty bad offensively through most of the game today before the late eruption, and the other two games weren't much better.

But amazingly, the bullpen did a pretty nice job this weekend. 3.1 no-hit innings on Friday; a run yielded in three innings in Saturday's victory (Brusdar Graterol was the victim); and then 4.1 innings of one-hit ball (with no walks) today. If you had told me neither Clayton Kershaw nor Julio Urias was going to get a win this weekend, I would have thought we would be swept. To come away with a series win on the road was pretty sweet indeed.

I'm going to also add the highlights video below, so you can see Betts pointing to the Dodgers' dugout after his game-tying home run. Way to go, Mookie!

Also, I'm aware that the Petco Park folks put up some immature memes and banners about our guys this weekend, en route to losing two of three games against the Dodgers. On that point: