Punch, counter-punch. That was the theme of this Tuesday’s game, and after a four-run comeback in the ninth, the Dodgers walked it off on a James Outman 10th-inning double off the wall to beat the Blue Jays, 8-7.
If you're reading this, it's too late. James walked it off. pic.twitter.com/Mk6AymwrTC— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 26, 2023
Trailing by four with three outs to go, the end seemed near, but in a ninth inning highlighted by a Matt Chapman error, the ball bounced in the Dodgers' favor. As they secured one of the more thrilling comebacks of the season.
The Dodgers kept this one close for much of the evening and managed to respond every time the Blue Jays took the lead. Although unable to take the lead themselves at any point, until they walked it off in the bottom of the 10th.
In the first frame, after allowing a run in the top of the inning, the offense countered with a solo shot from Freddie Freeman, his 21st of the year.
In the third, after allowing the Jays to take the lead 3-1, Freeman again came around to score, this time after a leadoff walk, as Max Muncy drove him in on a sac fly, making it a 3-2 game. The Jays scored one more in the eighth, and the Dodgers countered, with a J.D. Martinez solo bomb.
After Toronto scored three insurance runs in the top of the ninth, it looked like this one was over. As the offense had a near-impossible mission to score four against Erik Swanson, with Jordan Romano unavailable.
However, Outman, Miguel Rojas, and Mookie Betts led off the frame with three straight singles which allowed the Dodgers to dream as not before long, the tying run was at the plate.
After a Freeman out, the Jays made a pivotal misplay, as Matt Chapman butchered a Will Smith groundball, allowing the Dodgers’ catcher to reach safely on what was ruled a single.
Following a Muncy walk, and Martinez groundout, the Dodgers trailed 7-5, and had the tying run on second, with Chris Taylor as its last hope. Taylor grounded a ball to first, which deflected off Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and allowed Smith to come around and tie the game, running through third base coach Dino Ebel’s stop sign.
Taylor would’ve been safe no matter what, but if Guerrero gets to that ball cleanly, the game is 7-6, and LA still needs another hit to tie the game.
Urías Houdini's his way into a quality start
Once again, Julio Urías was plagued by the soft contact just at the right spot to begin his outing. Three of the first four hitters he’d faced reached base on a combined zero hard-hit balls. In fact, the only hard-hit ball in the first was an out, albeit a productive one, as Brandon Belt opened up the scoring with a sac fly.
A couple of innings later, the Jays took the lead again, on a Bo Bichette two-run home run, and although they would threaten more across the six frames Urías tossed, the southpaw would keep the scoring at three.
The Dodgers’ starter would only experience a single clean 1-2-3 frame across his outing, instead relying on upping his game in the most important spots, stranding a whopping seven runners on the night.
Dave Roberts gave Urías a vote of confidence and was rewarded when he allowed the lefty to stay in the game with two on and two out. After the Dodgers’ starter surrendered a ringing double to the Jays’ ninth-hole hitter, in Kevin Kiermaier.
With runners at second and third, Whit Merrifield up, Urías over the 100-pitch mark, and Yency Almonte warmed and ready to go, the most logical call would be a switch. However, Urías stayed there, and struck Merrifield out looking, with a beautiful slurve, at the bottom of the zone.
Defense swings the pendulum late in favor of the home team
While Chapman’s getting eaten up on Smith’s ball in the ninth played a huge part in allowing the Dodgers to come back into this one, a pivotal defensive play in the 10th was also crucial.
Bo Bichette looked like he was driving in the 8-7 run in the tenth, but Betts gunned him down at home plate with a throw up the first-base line, which Smith got to it then lunged back to tag the runner.
MOOKIE THROW. WILL TAG. GOT 'EM. pic.twitter.com/uoQOBuhGLR— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 26, 2023
Jonny DeLuca came in the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, but left but strained his right hamstring trying to beat out an infield hit. Dave Roberts said after the game DeLuca will be placed on the injured list Wednesday, which clears an active roster spot for Enrique Hernández.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (21), J.D. Martinez; Bo Bichette (17)
WP — Brusdar Graterol (4-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
LP — Mitch White (0-1): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 unearned run
The Dodgers and Blue Jays will the rubber match of this series on Wednesday (1:10 p.m, SportsNet LA), with Tony Gonsolin getting the ball against veteran left-hander Yusei Kikuchi.