The Diamondbacks pull off a crazy win over the Dodgers

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The Diamondbacks are still playing for home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. And if they get it, they can thank whatever deity gave them their miracle win over the Dodgers last night.

It was tied 1-1 after nine innings. When you see a game like that, you figure that it will end on a sac fly or something.  Not this one.  Instead, it ended with the two teams combining for 11 runs in the 10th inning, thanks in part to a triple that ricocheted off Justin Upton’s face (more on that later this morning), a bases-loaded walk and a walkoff grand slam.  Ho-hum.

The Dodgers got five runs off Micah Owings before even making an out in the tenth, but then they scored no more.  The Diamondbacks grounded out meekly twice against Blake Hawksworth, but then didn’t make another out.  To the contrary, they got singles from Cole Gillespie and Miguel Montero and a walk from Chris Young. Then John McDonald reached on an Aaron Miles error. Then Javy Guerra came into the game and walked Aaron Hill with the bases loaded. Then he gave up the grand slam to Ryan Roberts. Ballgame.

If Arizona wins today and Milwaukee loses, the teams will both finish with 95-wins and the tiebreaker for home field advantage will go to Arizona by virtue of winning the head-to-head season series against the Brewers.  But we’re not even talking about that if it wasn’t for last night’s insanity.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.

Clayton Kershaw’s initial prognosis: 4-6 weeks on the disabled list

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Some seriously bad news for the Dodgers: Ken Rosenthal reports that the initial prognosis on Clayton Kershaw is that he will miss 4-6 weeks with his bad back. A final determination will be made after he gets a second medical consultation.

Kershaw exited Sunday’s start against the Braves with back tightness after just two innings of work. He was seen talking with trainers in the dugout after completing the top of the second inning and did not return to the mound for the third. Kershaw has a history of back problems. Last year he missed over two months with a herniated disc in his back.

Assuming the preliminary schedule holds, Kershaw would be on the shelf until late August at the earliest, but more likely early-to-mid September. The Dodgers currently hold a 10.5 game lead in the NL West so they can withstand his absence. But if they have any hopes of advancing in the playoffs, they’ll need a fully armed and operational Clayton Kershaw to do it.