And on the 51st game, the Dodgers lost.
After blitzing to a 42-8 record in their last 50 games heading in Sunday’s contest against the Phillies, the Dodgers’ magical run came to an end.
At least, for one day.
The Phils took advantage of two errors by Hanley Ramirez in the 9th to squeak out a 3-2 win over the Dodgers, a loss which will almost certainly push Los Angeles into a deep, swirling abyss from which they will almost certainly not be able to recover.
That 51st game is always a pisser.
The Phils got yet another outstanding start from Cole Hamels, who is all the way back from some early season struggles. Since his third start of the season, Hamels has a 3.12 ERA and since June 5 has a 2.66 ERA. And while he didn’t pick up the win yesterday, his 8 strikeouts and 0 walks in seven innings was vintage Cole.
Of course, the Phillies came into Sunday’s finale against the Dodgers having been shut out in the first two games of the Ryne Sandberg era and the big question was, would the Phillies ever score again? So, of course, in order to jump-start the offense, Sandberg put Michael Martinez at shortstop and had him lead off.
The Phillies are now 1-0 in games this season in which Mini Mart is the leadoff hitter. That Ryne Sandberg ain’t a Hall of Famer for nuthin’, folks.
The Phils finally broke through thanks to a Darin Ruf homer, his 8th of the year. The Phils scored their second run when Cody Asche beat out a potential double play ball with the bases loaded, and scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth when Hanley booted Michael Young‘s potential inning-ending double play ball.
In other words, the offense still stinks. It just managed not to be a horrendous affront to humanity for one day.
Yes, the Dodgers gave a game away to the Phillies on Sunday. The good news for them is, they can afford to.
L.A. fans can only hope that losing to the Phillies doesn’t destroy the confidence of a team that had won 10 straight games and was on one of the most historic rolls any team has experienced in MLB history.
Yeah, that would be a real bummer.