Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where have I seen this before?

Phillies fans probably aren't going to like this, and I'll probably pay by watching Hiroki Kuroda get lit up by the Phils this afternoon, but I couldn't help but notice some similarities between last night's comeback by the Dodgers and a certain game 32 years ago also against the Phillies.

First last night's game.

The Dodgers entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2 and facing Phillies closer Brad Lidge.

Rafael Furcal struck out. One out.
Orlando Hudson grounded out weakly to the pitcher. Two out.

Then, Casey Blake, down to his final strike, singled on a 1-2 count.

James Loney worked a seven-pitch at-bat into a walk.

Russell Martin hit a hard grounder to third on a 1-2 count that Pedro Feliz couldn't handle for an error and loaded the bases.

Then Andre Ethier blasted the first pitch he saw into the right field corner for a double that scored Blake and Loney and gave the Dodgers a glorious 4-3 walk-off victory.

Now, on to the game 32 years ago. October 7, 1977. Game 3 of the National League championship series between the Dodgers and Phillies in Philadelphia.

The Dodgers entered their last at-bat in the top of the ninth trailing 5-3. They were facing reliever Gene Garber, who was in his third inning of work.

Dusty Baker grounded out to third. One out.
Rick Monday grounded out to second. Two out.
Then Vic Davalillo, pinch-hitting for Steve Yeager, lay down a perfect bunt on the right side and reached first safely.

Manny Mota pinch-hit and doubled into left field, scoring Davalillo and reaching third on an error.

Davey Lopes then singled to third and Mota scored, tying the game.

With Bill Russell at bat, Lopes was picked off of first, but he reached second on Garber's error. Russell then singled to center field, scoring Lopes with the go-ahead run. The Phillies were retired in the bottom of the ninth and the Dodgers won Game 3, 6-5.

Now, there are several differences here. Last night's game was a walk-off win. The Dodgers were a little more efficient in their hitting last night, too. And the win in 1977 was much more important, being in the postseason and all.

But both games were quite dramatic, both came down down to the final out. Several Dodgers players gained their clutch hit with two strikes on them (both Mota and Russell had two strikes on them in 1977), and both games showed that the Dodgers have what it takes to win.

Throw in the five-run, eighth-inning rally against Arizona just three days earlier, and L.A. has a real fine team on their hands this year. A team that knows how to win regardless of the obstacles. And there have been a few this season.

(EDIT: Ethier did it again in the 12th inning today with a game-winning HR! WOW!)


  1. As a Phillies fan, I have to come back with something, and its not even good. Ready?
    "I know where you DIDN'T see this before. The 2008 Playoffs."

  2. As a NY Met fan all I can say is Thank You to the Dodgers. Here's hopin the Dodgers can sweep.