The Dodgers did what they do best — walk-off. Sure, it means they are often losing near the end of the game, but it also means they are really clutch.
Wednesday’s walk-off hit belonged to Russell Martin. The Dodgers veteran came up to bat with two runners in scoring position and two outs. He singled on a ground ball to centerfield on a 2-2 pitch, sealing the Cardinals’ fate.
Despite the exciting ending to the game, all eyes were on the two young starting pitchers. Dustin May and Jack Flaherty — two pitchers of the future — showed spectacular pitching in the series finale.
Dustin May, 21, looked even better than he did in his major league debut. He was attacking the zone on all four quadrants and mixed up his velocity nicely. The left hander dealt seven strikeouts, five swinging and two looking.
May only made one mistake in his outing, giving up a solo home run to Marcell Ozuna in the sixth inning. The ball just went over the fence, breaking the stalemate and putting the Cardinals up 1-0. Neither team scored for the rest of the game until Martin’s walk-off base hit.
May recorded one more out before the Dodgers made the call to the bullpen. He finished after 5 2⁄3 innings and 83 pitches, only letting five hits and one walk get past him. His
Pitching was flawless on the other side with Jack Flaherty, 23, on the mound. The Dodgers offense couldn’t get anything going against him, stranding five runners on base.
Flaherty had command of his fastball and slider. He got six of his 10 strikeouts on with his slider. Batters kept swinging because it looked like it was coming straight down the middle before it cut.
He only let four Dodgers get a hit, but was quite close from giving up two home runs. Joc Pederson and Edwin Ríos just missed home runs, settling for doubles instead. The baseball gods ruled in his favor and gave him the pitching gem instead.
Though the game belonged to the two starters, neither one received a decision. Instead, the win and loss was given to pitchers out of the bullpen.
The Dodgers bullpen has continued to hold the score recently, and Wednesday was no different. Adam Kolarek, Yimi García, Joe Kelly and Casey Sadler combined for 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings, giving the Dodgers room for a comeback. Kelly impressed in his one inning where he struck out the side.
Sadler earned the win with his scoreless ninth inning performance.
This win marks the 10th walk-off win for the Dodgers this season, which is an MLB best this season.
WP: Casey Sadler (2-0), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 K
LP: Carlos Martínez (2-2), 1⁄3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 K
The Dodgers take a day off to participate in Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong for Purpose. They continue play on Friday night in a weekend series against the division rival Diamondbacks.