Collapse Aborted (for the moment). Dodgers defeat Pirates 4-3 in 12 innings.
As I wipe the sweat off of my brow, I can breathe easier for the moment. The Dodgers somehow survived a super scare in the city of Pittsburgh against the Buckos to stay 4 in front of the Snakes. If Giant Cy Young frontrunner Tim Lincecum can bare down and win his 18th in a hostile ballpark, then our boys will have an overwhelming 5 game lead with a mere 9 to play, 6 of them at Chavez Ravine. Our magic number at the moment is 7, which could be 6 by the end of the evening. If that happens, then I think you can begin counting the outs to a Western division title.
The game had everything that's for sure. The Dodgers fell behind early as Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run, but then really got into a grove. He was taken out early, in my opinion, after throwing only 86 pitches and the Dodgers leading 2 to 1. Torre opted to bring in Takashi "Sammy" Saito early and that did not go well with the recently reactivated pitcher giving up the tying run and making it 2-2. The Dodgers retook the lead 3-2, but Later Torre went to reliever Cory Wade and the normally efficient pitcher coughed up the tying run to the former Dodger Andy Laroche, who was sent to the Pirates in the three way deal that brought us Dreadlocks. Laroche was hitting a mere .156 as a pirate but delivered the lethal blow with two strikes and two outs. The game went into extras and the clutch hitting James Loney delivered the game winner in the top of the 12th with a nervous and rather shaky Jonathan Broxton nailing down the save.
One of the signature moments of the game was when Matt Kemp decided to try and steal third base with runners on first and second and two outs. The wretched pinch hitting "specialist" Mark Sweeney came up to pinch hit for Angel Berroa in the 8 hole and Kemp made an inadvised attempt to steal third and was thrown out from here to the Allegheny, the Mohonga and the Poughkeepsie preventing Sweeney from swinging the bat at all, disqualifying him from the game and negating a double switch with the pitchers spot coming up for the third out. It was one of the most breathtaking plays of the year for its sheer audacity of ignorance. But hey, if I was on second base and Mark Sweeney was up at the plate, I would try to steal home, bonheaded or not.
And so, Dodger Tony and the rest of Dodgerland can breathe easier for at least a day. That is until we begin our annual rite of passage with the hated ones from the bay area for three here, followed by a brief respit with the Padres at home, and then onto SF for the last three, hopefully, meaningless games.