Logan Forsythe hit a bases-loaded walk-off single in the tenth inning, leading the Dodgers to a 5-4 victory over the Braves. Austin Barnes hit a three-run home run and Cody Bellinger hit his 27th home run of the year. Kenley Jansen blew his first save of the year, setting the stage for Forsythe’s walk-off. The win, however, was bitter-sweet as the Dodgers lost their Ace, Clayton Kershaw, to the disabled list with right lower back tightness.
Do you remember what happened last year? I sure do. On July 1, the Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with a mildly herniated disk in his lower back. The Dodgers trailed the first place Giants by six games at that point. When the season seemed hopeless, the rest of the Dodger ballclub stepped up to the plate, literally, and battled, taking first place from San Francisco.
What’s my point? Well, yesterday afternoon, Clayton Kershaw was removed from the game with right lower back tightness. You can read all about the injury here or on Dodgers.com. The Dodgers did exactly what they did last year. Austin Barnes stepped up and hit a three-run home run, Cody Bellinger hit a solo shot, and Logan Forsythe hit a walk-off single.
“I think it’s been a good series for us, to battle back from two losses at the start,” said Forsythe, who went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored.
Nothing much happened in the first two innings, other than the fact that every Dodger fan watching or listening to the game forgot how to breathe in the second when Dave Roberts went out to check on Kershaw. The third inning is when the scoring began. The frustrating thing is that it all started when Ross Stripling issued a two-out walk to Ender Inciarte. Inciarte then stole second base and scored when Brandon Phillips doubled down the right field line.
In the fourth, Braves’ pitcher, Sean Newcomb issued back-to-back walks to Forsythe and Kiké Hernández to open the inning. Barnes then came to the plate and hit an 0-2 fastball down the left field line. The ball stayed fair and went over the wall for a three-run home run that gave the Dodgers the lead.
The Dodgers weren’t able to add any insurance runs until the eighth inning, but they emptied their bullpen due to the fact that they only got two innings from Clayton Kershaw. Stripling pitched three innings in a game that he never thought he would even warm up. Luis Avilan pitched 2.1 innings, followed by 0.1 innings from Josh Fields. Pedro Báez threw 0.2 innings before he was relieved by Jansen. Brandon Morrow pitched the tenth inning, but now I’m getting way ahead of myself.
In the eighth, Cody Bellinger decided that it was time for the Dodgers to tack on some insurance runs. With two outs, Bellinger got ahead in the count 3-0. He was given a green light and Rex Brothers threw him a fourth straight fastball. While the other ones were low and away, this one was in the inner half of the plate. Took the green light and drove the ball over the right field wall and into the Braves bullpen. It was his 27th home run of the year and the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead.
Usually, a three-run lead is enough for Kenley Jansen, but you can’t be perfect every day. Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Jansen induced two lineouts. Matt Adams then hit Jansen’s cutter over the right field wall for a home run. It was Jansen’s first blown save of the year and it tied the game at four. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Adams chose yesterday to hit his home run, when the Dodgers had used most of their bullpen due to a short start by Kershaw.
The Dodgers waited for the tenth inning to do anything, perhaps just to see how many pitchers they could use. Perhaps they wanted to walk off against former Dodger Jim Johnson. They did both. Morrow pitched the tenth inning and Johnson pitched for the Braves in the bottom of the frame. Chris Taylor led off the frame with a single, then he traded places with Corey Seager on a force out. Justin Turner then singled, sending Seager to third. The Braves then decided to intentionally walk Bellinger and face Forsythe.
With the Braves’ infield drawn in, Johnson missed with a curveball for ball one. He then threw a fastball and Forsythe hit it off the pitcher’s mound and into center field. Seager scored, and after everybody touched their respective bases, the Dodgers mobbed Forsythe on the infield. All except for Clayton Kershaw.
Keys To The Game:
Kershaw Headed To The DL:
Not only did Clayton Kershaw the game early, but Dave Roberts announced that it is a DL situation for Kershaw. There is no timetable for his return, but we know it will be at least ten days.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Dodgers had the bases loaded against Jim Johnson in a tie game. With the bases loaded, Johnson could either throw strikes or lose the game. His first pitch to Forsythe was a ball, so he decided to get a strike by throwing a fastball. That is the pitch that Forsythe hit. There was not much else that Johnson could have done other than throw the first pitch for a strike instead of waiting for the second pitch.
The Braves will lead Chavez Ravin and the Minnesota Twins will come to Los Angeles for some interleague play. Former Met and former Brave, Bartolo Colón will take the mound in game one of the series. He will be facing Hyun-Jin Ryu, who will make his first start off the DL. Colón allowed four runs in just over four innings in his Twins debut. Ryu is returning from the DL after suffering a left foot contusion that he suffered when he was hit by a comebacker on June 28. The game will start at 7:10 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.