I’m still trying to recover from what exactly happened last night.
I’ve been watching Dodgers games for many years and I don’t remember a regular season game that took me through a roller coaster of emotions quite like last night.
Between the Giants defeating the D-backs 1-0 and the Dodgers blowing a 5-1 lead, last night just seemed hopeless. If the Dodgers were to lose, their elimination number would be two games, meaning in order just to tie the division, LA would have to finish the season 4-0 and the Giants would have to go 1-3.
After falling behind by four runs in the seventh inning, it looked as if the division streak would be coming to a close. It seemed like the dagger and the final nail in the coffin.
Then, the magic happened.
Mookie Betts hit a solo home run in the seventh, cutting the deficit to only three runs. In the eighth inning, Max Muncy started the inning with a solo homer, cutting the deficit to two. Then AJ Pollock hit one, cutting the deficit to one.
Chris Taylor flew out, nearly bringing the house down with what would have been the third straight home run. The third home run of the inning shortly followed, as Cody Bellinger crushed the game-tying home run to right field. Just like that, hope was somehow restored.
After a Justin Turner double, Corey Seager turned the game into a Hollywood movie by hitting the go-ahead two-run home run, putting the Dodgers up 11-9.
Kenley Jansen shut things down in the ninth, giving LA their biggest win of the regular season.
I won’t lie, I was drained. Watching what happened in the seventh inning, I had accepted the fact that the division winner would be the Giants. The energy just seemed to be sucked out of the stadium and you could feel it on TV. It just seemed like a reality check. This was where we all need to accept the Dodgers being in the Wild Card.
Although the Dodgers are still likely Wild Card bound, this game still gives them hope at winning the division. With four games left, the Dodgers trail by two games. To force a tie-breaker, LA needs to go 4-0 with the Giants going 2-2. It’s still a lot to ask, but hey there is still hope.
In addition to keeping themselves alive in the division hunt, last night gave the Dodgers a much-needed boost that seems to have been missing all season. Although this will go down as one of the best teams in franchise history, this team just didn’t have that late-inning magic like in years past. When trailing late in the games, the Dodgers almost never seemed to come from behind for the victory like in previous years.
Last night showed that this team is capable of coming from behind, which will all but surely boost their confidence heading into October. No matter what the score is in the game, the Dodgers know now that they are truly never out of it. This was the kind of momentum shifter and confidence booster that can only help the team next week. Plus, maybe this is the kind of game that will really get the bats heated up.
Last night was a lot, and like I said I’m still recovering. What matters is that they can still take the division. They’ll need some help from the DBacks and Padres, along with taking care of their own business, but there’s still hope. Plus, maybe last night was the game that completely shifts things in that clubhouse. They played like the best team in baseball while mounting that comeback. If they carry that mindset to close things out, we may be in store for a special October.