The Dodgers play Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the middle of the eigth inning every game at Dodger Stadium. Tonight, trailing 5-1 entering their half of the eighth inning, the Dodgers took those words to heart, scoring five runs with two outs, to improbably win 6-5 over the DIamondbacks. Coupled with waiting until the ninth inning Monday to score, perhaps the Dodgers should change their song to "Save The Best For Last."
Dan Haren was great, allowing only one run in seven innings, even outhitting the Dodgers three to two when he left the contest. The one run Haren allowed was a mammoth home run by Andre Ethier in the second inning.
It's hard to say someone who gave up five runs in six innings had a good start, but tonight's effort by Randy Wolf might just qualify. Wolf struggled in the first, loading the bases with nobody out, yet escaped with only one run scoring. Wolf pressed his luck by again loading the bases in the second, but this time Justin Upton made sure he did not get out of the inning unscathed, launching a grand slam to left.
After two innings, the Dodgers trailed 5-1 and Wolf had already thrown 49 pitches. However, as he has done all year, Wolf got into a groove, pitching four scoreless innings using only 26 pitches. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter after pitching six innings, but with only 75 pitches thrown he probably could have thrown at least two more innings.
Once Haren left the game after seven innings, the Dodgers got to business. Here is their eighth inning rally, which started off Monday's near-victim Tony Pena:
Matt Kemp singled to center
Brad Ausmus popped out to shallow center
Mark Loretta struck out swining
Juan Pierre singled to right, Kemp to third
Rafael Furcal walked, Pierre to second
Orlando Hudson walked, Kemp scored, Pierre to third, Furcal to second
Daniel Schlereth relieved Pena
James Loney doubled to deep right center field (off the wall), Pierre, Furcal, and Hudson scored
Loney to third on a wild pitch
Casey Blake singled to center, Loney scored
Blake to second on a wild pitch
Andre Ethier popped out to center
5 runs, 4 hits
Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for his 12th save.
This was the Dodgers largest comeback win of the season, and was only the second time they have won when trailing after eight innings.
On Tuesday, every team in the NL West lost...except the Dodgers.
WP - Jeff Weaver (3-1): 2 IP, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts
LP - Daniel Schlereth (0-1): 0.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run (first major league decision)
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (12): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts