LOS ANGELES -- The game lasted so long, Matt Kemp forgot who the starting pitcher was for the Philadelphia Phillies when it started more than four hours earlier.
Not that it mattered as he stood outside the Dodgers’ dugout after his two-run walk-off home run to give Los Angeles a 5-3 win to turn around the fortunes of a team coming off a four-game losing streak.
It was the type of win the Dodgers enjoyed earlier in the season when they had the best record in baseball, one they hope will now turn around their season. “Don’t give up on us guys, we’re going to make the playoffs,” Kemp said. “We’re going to do it.”
KKKKKKKershaw. It was a solid outing for Clayton Kershaw, who pitched eight innings, giving up only one run and five hits. The 24-year-old left-hander struck out seven and was in command from the start of the game. The Dodgers, however, were unable to give Kershaw any run support, as he exited the game after the eighth with the score tied 1-1. He has yet to beat the Phillies in his career, holding a 0-4 record against Philadelphia with a 4.95 ERA.
Kemp is back. He's officially back. After a seemingly never-ending 12-inning game, Kemp delivered his first home run since April 30, a walk-off, two-run shot to give the Dodgers the win. “I was struggling all game; I had to do something, man,” Kemp said. “We fought to the end and we got the W.”
Rivera homers. Dodger manager Don Mattingly joked before the game that he didn’t have many guys on his roster who could see Cliff Lee well, which was one of the reasons he gave Andre Ethier the day off (although Ethier did pinch hit in the ninth inning after Lee was gone). The one player who saw him best Wednesday was Juan Rivera, who homered on a fly ball to left-center field in the second inning to give the Dodgers an early lead. It was the Dodgers’ first home run in four days and only their third since the All-Star break.
Uribe at it again. Juan Uribe’s struggles have gotten so bad that simply watching him walk to and from the batter’s box at Dodger Stadium have become painful. Uribe was roundly booed Wednesday as he went 0-for-3 and now has just one hit in his past 37 at-bats. As if Uribe’s offensive struggles weren’t bad enough, he threw in an error as well against the Phillies.
Offense, again. The Dodgers’ inability to score runs, let alone get consistent hits, continued for much of the game Wednesday, as they wasted a one-run, five-hit game from Kershaw by putting up only one run of their own on three hits against Lee. Sure, most teams have a hard time producing much of anything against Lee, but the Dodgers looked far worse than most in doing so. Thankfully for the Dodgers, they were able to finally get going after Lee exited the game, finishing with five runs on 10 hits.
Loney strikes out. Much like Uribe, James Loney has been a punching bag for Dodgers fans for much of this season. He was hitless through 28 at-bats earlier this year, and the Dodgers have been trying to find his replacement before the trade deadline. So with the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, there was more than a collective sigh from the crowd when Uribe went back into the dugout and Loney pinch hit for him and, of course, proceeded to strike out.