At this point, really, is it any surprise? Sure, the Giants are a gazillion games behind the Dodgers, a season best left forgotten. But still, this is the hated Dodgers these Giants are facing, and LA has already won the first two games. Madison Bumgarner is moved up specifically to start this game. And he pitched incredibly well, going seven innings and allowing only five hits, no runs, one walk, and striking out seven against one of the best offenses in the major leagues. But at the end, that didn’t matter.
Bumgarner famously had a tiff with Yasiel Puig previously, telling Puig not to look at him. Puig didn’t win this game. But that didn’t matter. What Puig did to help the Dodgers get to the win was way more important. In the bottom of the ninth, with Chase Utley on second, Puig worked a full count before singling up the middle to score Utley, and tie the game at one. Puig showed great plate discipline, laying off two pitches that previously he might have been too impatient to lay off of. But not this time.
The Dodgers failed to score again, and so the game went to extra innings. Nothing doing in the 10th for either side, although there were chances. The Giants got a run in the top of the 11th, and then it was the Dodgers turn. With two on and one out, Dave Roberts sends Kyle Farmer to the plate. Just called up from the minors, and this is his major league debut. The Dodgers best batter, Justin Turner, is walked to get to you. Runners on, down two, eleventh inning, against your team’s biggest rivals. No big deal.
Roberts had pulled Cody Bellinger from the game after the ninth inning. Bellinger had popped up with the bases loaded to end that rally. So his spot went to the newest Dodger rookie. Farmer didn’t look too great with his first two swings but he worked the count full and then sent a pitch down the right field line for a double that scored both base runners. His first major league hit was a walkoff double, the first Dodger in history to do so. Because of course.
There’s a lot being thrown around that this is a team of magic, and team of destiny. I try to refrain from that, becausing of jinxing and all that, but man. Something is going on here. It doesn’t matter who’s at the plate, or how far behind the Dodgers are at any point, no game feels unwinnable, or no moment too big.
I think this explains it best. And you can just see it happening too, right? Puig turns to his teammates and says “He’s gonna do it. I’ve seen this movie before”. And even though Joc and Kiké don’t believe him, it happens. And it will continue to happen, might be with someone new, might be an old faithful. It won’t matter, because that’s just what this team does. They are truly something special.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)