Five double plays? No problem! The Dodgers overcame shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly, rallying for their most satisfying win of the season, a 5-4 win in Arizona to maintain a 3½-game lead in the National League West.
The Dodgers had a runner reach base in every inning, yet failed to score after the first inning. They grounded into five double plays, tying the Dodger record. The previous times a Dodger team hit into five double plays:
- May 27, 1974: a 7-2 loss to the Cardinals; the last out of all five double plays was recorded at first base by none other than current Dodger manager and Bigelow Tea afficianado Joe Torre.
- May 24, 1973: a 7-3 loss to the Mets, but this game lasted 19 innings. Only four of the double plays came in the first nine innings
August 21, 1956: a 2-1 win by the Brooklyn Dodgers, over the Cardinals
With one out and Russell Martin on first base in the eighth inning, Juan Pierre tried his best to make history, grounding a ball to second. Martin was forced at second, but Pierre beat the throw to first base, narrowly avoiding infamy. Then, a funny thing happened: they rallied.
Down 4-1 with two outs, the Dodgers were relieved of the pressure of hitting into another double play. They proceeded to do the following:
- Rafael Furcal singled, Pierre to third
Matt Kemp singled, Pierre scored, Furcal to third. 4-2 Diamondbacks
Andre Ethier singled, Furcal scored, Kemp to third. 4-3 Diamondbacks
- Manny Ramirez walked, Ethier to second
James Loney singled, Kemp scored, Ethier to third, Manny to second. Tied 4-4
- Ronnie Belliard singled, Ethier scored, Manny to third, Loney to second. 5-4 Dodgers
Just like that, a night of whining and bellyaching turned into a night of joy and perserverence for Dodger fans. Gone were the concerns of Billy Buckner allowing but one run in his seven innings. Gone were the worries over Chad Billingsley allowing Buckner to get a pair of run-scoring hits. All that was left was a glorious Dodger win, closed out by Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton, and another day marked off the calendar.
The first two Arizona runs came on sacrifice flies in the first inning, and Billingsley now leads the major leagues with 11 sacrifice flies allowed.
The Dodgers have now scored five or more runs in two straight games for the first time since August 6-7 against the Braves.
Ex-Diamondback Jon Garland faces his old teammates, again, tomorrow, facing off with Dan Haren.
WP - James McDonald (5-4): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts
LP - Daniel Schlereth (0-3): 1 batter, 1 hit, 1 run
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (34): 1 IP, 1 strikeout