A Walkoff So Nice They Did it Twice: AJ, Ethier, & Dodgers Cruz to Victory

Earlier today, we watched the Giants pull off yet another comeback victory, approximately their 34th in the last two weeks, and then we watched someone called “Andrew Werner” shut the Dodgers down for six innings. Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, & Shane Victorino combined for just one hit, and headed into the ninth we were prepared for yet another evening of “I can’t believe this group of no-name pitchers shut down this offense, except of course I can” groaning that would be punctuated by the fact that each missed opportunity sent them further & further behind San Francisco with time running perilously thin.

But you know what? This team might have a little magic left to it after all.

Just a day after Gonzalez walked off to beat Arizona, Andre Ethier took matters into his own hands by taking Luke Gregerson just barely over the right field wall to tie the game at 3 in the bottom of the ninth. In the eleventh, Kemp & Hanley Ramirez made two quiet outs, and we prepared to see the rebirth of the John Ely era.

Except… well, except that Ethier wasn’t ready for that to happen, singling sharply to right. Neither was Luis Cruz, who advanced Ethier with his fourth hit of the night – a new career high, of course. With two on and two out, A.J. Ellis came up against Cory Burns, the seventh San Diego pitcher of the night, and you know what happened next. A.J. Ellis, superstar.

Honestly, I have to ask at this point, who’s the more fun story for this team, Ellis or Cruz? The fact that there’s even a competitor for the title with everything that Ellis has done this year really shows what an out-of-nowhere contributor Cruz has been. Watching Cruz and Ramirez (who hit his tenth homer in 38 games as a Dodger earlier in the game) produce on the left side the way they have, compared to the Dee Gordon / Juan Uribe / disastrophe we were saddled with earlier in the season… well, it’s nearly beyond words.

To merely focus on the final few innings unfairly ignores the rest of the game, of course, but that’s how these things go. After a first inning homer to Chase Headley – merely the best non-Buster Posey hitter in the NL over the last two months – Joe Blanton settled down for another good start, pitching into the seventh inning before Randy Choate & Ronald Belisario (who somehow both seemingly injured their pitching hands in the span of about five minutes) combined to allow the go-ahead run. Brandon League, pitching for the fourth time in five days, pitched two shutout innings to continue his recent dominating streak. And even Jamey Wright, he of “he’s still here?” pitched in two scoreless of his own.

But that’s not what we’re going to be talking about tomorrow. It’s going to be the tenth walkoff win of the year; it’s going to be yet another late-inning blast in the increasingly impressive Ethier ledger; it’s going to be Ellis & Cruz, surprising heroes for a surprising team.

390 comments
Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

How many walk offs does this team have now?  Gotta be in the lead now after 2 in a row, I think.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

Gotta say it was fun reading comments on the Giants blog MCC during the Dodgers 4th come from behind win last night.  It's downright hilarious how pissed they get every time Cruz gets a hit and they can't believe how extremely lucky he is.  *snicker*

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

Ya know, as much as I'm happy with most of the new guys we got, I'm even happier that trade season is over. The wishing, hoping, surprise, and stress of it all.... meh. I wish they'd move the trade deadline up to May 31st or something. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

I just re-watched the Dre BOMB and the AJ GAME WINNER and man, that stuff makes me a happy goat. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Kudos for not making these comments horrifying to read in the morning.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

Good news for us, the Cards finish up their season with 3 against the Nats and 3 against the Reds.  That should help in the WC hunt.  Still thinking Giants can't keep up this babip fueled streak forever.  Every time they've gone on a run, they've always cooled off, it will happen again.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

I just realized Bud Black is an idiot. Why in God's name would you pitch to AJ Ellis with two out, winning run on third, and a base open with AK, Uribe, or Rivera on deck? Wow, glad we averted that disaster. 

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

OH and tomorrow, whoever's playing 3B for the Snakes, can you try and play a little closer to the bag this time?  Like, not on top of it but not 15 steps away, either.  Ok?  Thanks.

Tangled Up In Blue
Tangled Up In Blue

I'm passing out. Second straight walk off was neat. Hopefully it's unnecessary tomorrow -- I expect a blowout. Sleep well everyone. 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Aight time for bed.  Gotta get up super early tomorrow.  Thank you AJ for saving the season the way AGonz saved the season and the way ____insert name here______ will save it tomorrow

Tangled Up In Blue
Tangled Up In Blue

Stults has a 2.43 ERA and a .389 BA. Can't wait to see those rocket and plummet, respectively. 

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

 @Mike Petriello AJ versus Cruz poll! Can you set it up?  My prediction is AJ dominates 75:25.  As well he should.  But I like Cruz, too.  Man, what a good problem to have!

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @el serracho aw really? I loved this season's trades. I agree that it was super stressful (and sad at times) but the fact that we were finally active after years of Frank was so bloody awesome

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@JohnM What is happening?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

 @Frank J Lapidus Well, we also have 3 against the Nats and 3 against the Reds.  That series with the Cards is going to be huge.

WBBsAs
WBBsAs

 @WestonTaylor Black may have been thinking that AJ had an 0-2 count, but that was a skilled piece of hitting on his part.

Crow T Robot
Crow T Robot

@WestonTaylor I was thinking same thing when Cruz took second on DI

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @Tangled Up In Blue His K/BB ratio was like 14/9 or something like that.  How is it that he's pitched so many starts and walked/K'ed so few?

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @Tangled Up In Blue yeah, I wanna say there's no way that ERA lasts and he will get blasted tomorrow.  I will be totally not surprised however with a 7 inning shutdown performance though.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @el serracho I really like that it was a clean hit. Not off a glove or a misplay by a defender. He just smacked that thing right where he needed it to go. Great bit of hitting.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

I meant even before the at-bat started. With the winning run on third and two out, loading the bases doesn't make a difference. Especially when we're talking about the difference between AJ Ellis and the Dodgers' awful PH options. 

Tangled Up In Blue
Tangled Up In Blue

 @Frank J Lapidus Quoting our own Mike, "someone called “Andrew Werner” shut the Dodgers down for six innings"... I wouldn't be surprised either, but Kershaw will at least match him if not embarrass him. 

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @EephusBlue  @el serracho yeah Scutaro hit what should've been a routine grounder to 3rd if the dude was playing where 3B normally play..oh well...funny, but AJ almost hit it too hard, too

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @EephusBlue  @el serracho and not by a diving 3B who for some reason was playing way towards the hole and leaving the line wide open...on 2 separate plays?  Yeah, thanks AZ 3B.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @WestonTaylor Maybe they just dont regard AJ with any respect and give those other fools more than they deserve