As everybody knew going into the game, it was literally a must-win contest for the Dodgers, as the magic number of the Cardinals was one for the final playoff spot in the National League.
Buster Posey started the scoring in the top of second inning with a homer off Chris Capuano.
A Luis Cruz RBI groundout knotted the game at one, but Joaquin Arias broke the tie with a homer in the top of the third.
Yes, seriously. Joaquin Arias.
Then Marco Scutaro extended their lead in the top of fifth inning with a two-RBI double.
A.J. Ellis, the miracle man, responded with a two-run homer to right-center in the bottom of the seventh to draw the Dodgers within one.
Two batters later, the turning point in the game happened, as Mark Ellis was gunned down by about eleventy billion feet at third base on a ball hit into the gap.
I mean … what the fuck?
Immediately after that, Shane Victorino tripled, and while I always say that baseball results don’t exist in a vacuum … wow it was tough to watch.
In the ninth, as if to torture us further, Andre Ethier singled to lead off the inning against a lefty reliever, which is a miracle in itself.
So bring in Dee Gordon to pinch run and either let him try to steal second or just let A.J. hit, right? Nope, try to bunt with the guy who got the game to within one in the first place! Don Mattingly everybody! His 2012 season coup de grace.
I mock the move because even assuming a successful bunt, there’s a 5.3% drop in the chance the Dodgers win, and that comes without context. With context? A.J. is a quality overall hitter with .375 OBP skills and you’re going to bunt with him for either Elian Herrera or Bobby Abreu? Does this even make sense to traditional managers? Good lord.
Results-wise, sure enough, A.J. got buntfucked. Bunt attempts put him in a two-strike hole and he eventually struck out. As if to taunt us, Dee then stole second successfully, but Abreu flew out to left.
That set up M. Ellis for an attempt at redemption.
What else can you say?