Thursday morning’s Leading Off with True Blue LA is the day after the day after the division clinching, and Wednesday night saw rare rest days for the top three hitters in the Dodgers lineup.
Freddie Freeman sat for the first time all year after 141 consecutive starts, and Trea Turner was down for just the second time all year. Mookie Betts also sat, meaning the Dodgers were without the top three hitters in the lineup in the series finale in Arizona. Justin Turner sat as well.
Despite all that, plus a spot start for Michael Grove to give the rest of the rotation extra rest, the Dodgers almost won anyway. Wednesday’s scoring through nine innings was solely on home runs, two solo shots for each side.
Things got weird beginning in the bottom of the ninth, when Jake McCarthy tried a mad-dash, walk-off (run-off?) steal of home on a throw back to pitcher Evan Phillips but was unsuccessful. In the top of the 10th, two errant throws by old friend Reyes Moronta produced a run for the Dodgers.
Craig Kimbrel walked a batter to start his 10th inning, but got the next two outs, putting the Dodgers within one out of a sweep in the desert. But then Sergio Alcántara turned on an up-and-in pitch for a three-run, walk-off home run, the first hit Kimbrel allowed since August 17. Opposing batters against Kimbrel were 0-for-27 with three walks in his last nine appearances, before that home run.
Thursday brings an off day for the Dodgers, one of only two remaining over the final four weeks of the regular season.
Episode link (time: 12:38)