09/28/2004 11:19 PM ET
Dodgers win with stunning rally
Four-run ninth-inning deficit erased against Rox 'pen
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
|Steve Finley drove home the tying and winning runs on Tuesday night. (Chris Carlson/AP)
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have won games with miracle comebacks of every shape and size, but they pulled off the most stunning one yet Tuesday night in as emotional a game as they've played all year.
An inning after Milton Bradley was ejected, the teammates he left behind rallied from a four-run deficit with a five-run ninth inning, Jayson Werth doubling home two and Steve Finley's two-run, one-out single through a drawn-in infield winning it over Colorado, 5-4.
"We don't give up, and when we start smelling the blood, we go after it," said Finley. "We got a couple walks that inning and smelled the blood."
The emotion of the win was at least partially blunted by the ejection of Bradley, who threw a plastic bottle to the ground in the stands after it was thrown at him in the top of the eighth inning.
The winning rally featured four consecutive walks from Rockies closer Shawn Chacon, followed by Werth's double and Finley's bouncer into right field off
"Destiny? It's hard to argue with that," Shawn Green said after the Dodgers trimmed the magic number to three with their 51st comeback win of the year.
|Beltre's 2004 records|
Through Rockies at Dodgers, Sept. 28
|Homers by a third baseman (MLB):||48, tied with Mike Schmidt (1980)|
|Dodgers homers by a right-hander:||
|Dodger Stadium homers by a Dodger:||
23, tied with Gary Sheffield (2000)|
|Grand slams by a Dodger:||
3, tied with
Kal Daniels (1990),
Mike Piazza (1998)|
|Total bases by an LA Dodger:||
Within Beltre's reach|
Five games remaining
|Homers by a Dodger (49):||
|Homers at home by a Dodger (25):||
|Extra-base hits by an LA Dodger (84):||
|September RBIs by a Dodger (31):||
"Weird things are happening," said Werth, who has emerged in his first full season in the Major Leagues as a clutch performer in the stretch. "Every night we come back somehow. I don't think there's any amount of runs that's an obstacle. No matter what we need, we get it."
Especially against the Rockies. They trailed Monday night by two runs and won. They trailed by five runs Sept. 19 and won. Also by five Sept. 17 and won.
"The most unbelievable comeback I've ever been a part of," manager Jim Tracy said of this latest in a series. "There are no words to describe it."
The game also featured a surprisingly fine start from Kazuhisa Ishii. The befuddling left-hander came up with an unexpected beauty, and if Sunday's game has any significance, he probably earned the right to pitch it.
Ishii (13-7) has been a starter lately by default, having replaced the injured Wilson Alvarez, who replaced him. His two previous starts totaled as many innings as this one, in which he allowed only two hits (both in the first inning), four walks and struck out nine in 115 pitches.
Since coming to the Dodgers, Ishii hasn't duplicated the success he enjoyed in Japan. But he was known to rise to the occasion of a big game there, and he did that this time.
"The bullpen's been working hard helping the starters, especially me, so I wanted to pitch many innings," said Ishii. "I'm most excited being able to cheer on my teammates and share the feeling after a win."
However, Ishii got a no-decision because the Dodger offense got nothing off Rockies starter Jamey Wright, wasting three golden scoring opportunities and going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Elmer Dessens (2-6) picked up the win in relief.
Ishii walked the second batter of the game, Royce Clayton, and he was moved around the bases with singles by Vinny Castilla and Garrett Atkins to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead.
Ishii wouldn't allow another hit. He escaped further damage in the first, then hit Brad Hawpe in the back with a breaking ball leading off the second inning.
Then Ishii's evil twin disappeared. He retired the next nine batters and struck out seven of 11.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers had two early chances to get to Wright. They drew a walk and single leading off both the first and second innings. But Finley, Adrian Beltre and Bradley couldn't drive in a run in the first and Ishii, Cesar Izturis and Werth couldn't get it done in the second.
The key at-bat was Ishii's in the second, when he bunted in the air to Wright.
Nor could the Dodgers score when Wright walked the first two batters in the sixth, as Shawn Green bounced into a force, Bradley struck out and Alex Cora grounded out.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.