They tell us the Brewers have been doing all of the little things right while winning 19 of their last 21 games. Today, they did a little thing wrong and it could have had big consequences.
With men on first and third in the bottom of the third inning of the game against the Dodgers, Jerry Hairston Jr. was given the sign to try a suicide squeeze and Josh Wilson took off for home plate with the pitch.
Hairston, though, missed the sign and instead hit a hard-grounder to third baseman Aaron Miles, which turned into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning for Clayton Kershaw.
Fortunately, Hairston’s grounder passed harmlessly about 10 feet wide of Wilson. If could have done some real damage if it had been right at him or, potentially much worse, if it was instead a line drive.
Hairston, who was just acquired at the end of last month and who apparently still lacks familiarity with the Brewers’ signs, was caught completely off-guard afterwards and had no idea the squeeze was on. He got a talking to in the dugout afterwards, so he’ll likely pick up on it next time.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.