Los Angeles Thursday’s declared crowd of 46,539 at Dodger Stadium had two types of fans: those who beat the traffic, and those who saw firsthand that no lead was safe.
The Dodgers rallied from a six-run deficit to tie the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth inning, only allowing two runs for a 9–7 loss en route to the ninth.
After their 7–1 lead evaporated, the Phillies loaded bases against Dodgers pitcher Daniel Hudson in the ninth. Odubel Herrera started the rally by splitting for a single. Hudson landed his glove on a grounder in the middle by Rhys Hoskins but could not make a play; Had he let go of the ball, the Dodgers could have opened a double play.
Instead, with two runners up and no one out, Hudson (1-3) went to Alec Bohm to load the base. Then, with Bryce Harper batting, the veteran right-hander threw a wild pitch into the dirt that bounced past catcher Will Smith, allowing Herrera to score from third base. A sacrificial fly by Harper nets Hoskins the goal with the Phillies’ final run.
“Probably not expecting the first pitch bunt (from Herrera) there,” Hudson said. “Obviously that ground ball pricks the middle ball a bit too.”
Hudson also suffered a loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, allowing Daniel Vogelbach a 3-3 home run in the seventh inning of the game. Both times, Hudson allowed the winning run after a game-tying rally in the previous half-inning.
“It’s been a disappointing two days for me,” said Hudson, who allowed an earned run in his first nine appearances before allowing three in his last two.
The Dodgers were trailing 7–1 in the sixth inning, with Smith throwing a ground ball down the third base line into left field, bringing home two runs and knocking out Phillies starter Zack Wheeler.
The Dodgers still trailed 7-3 in the eighth inning, when Smith batted with loaded bases – this time against left-hander Jose Alvarado. He poked a single through the shallow infield to score another run.
Justin Turner pinches left-handed pitcher Alvarado on the mound for Edwin Rios. Turner’s double down the line made it to Tree Turner and Max Munsey with the Dodgers’ fifth and sixth runs.
Alvarado pitched a left-handed hitter, Cody Bellinger, who opened first base and dismissed him. But Chris Taylor hit a single punch to the left of the infield to drive Smith, leveling the score 7-7.
The Dodgers had opportunities to build their lead but were unsuccessful. Pinch hitter Hanser Alberto held up a safety squeeze, but the ball quickly found the glove of first baseman Hoskins. Pinch-runner Austin Barnes was kicked out trying to score from third base.
“(Alberto) did it well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Hoskins charged well and (made) a perfect throw.”
The Phillies’ next pitcher, Andrew Bellatti, went to Mookie Bates to load the base. But Freddie Freeman – the third Dodger to bat with the bases loaded in the eighth inning – came out with a foul to kill the rally.
The Dodgers loaded the bases again in the ninth inning against former teammate Corey Nebel. Barnes then flew into right field, too shallow to tag Tree Turner and score from third base. Bellinger is out in the foul zone below the left-field line. Taylor finished the count, ending the game only for a lazy fly ball to hit center field.
“Our pitching is so good that we’re not often put in that position,” Taylor said of the Dodgers’ 7-1 deficit. “I don’t know how many times we’ve been there, but we were able to rally in eighth and ninth, just couldn’t come up with big hits.”
“We showed a lot of fighting,” said Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson, who took one for the team.
The veteran left-handed pitcher was no secret. Home runs from Harper and Johann Camargo left the Dodgers 4-0 down after two innings. Single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings cemented the Phillies’ lead. On most nights, Anderson would leave early for the rain.
Instead, the Dodger bullpen felt the effects of a long road trip, and due to a densely packed schedule, Anderson slogged through six innings, allowing seven runs.
“Before the game I just had a feeling, no matter what happens, I was going to be out there for a while,” said Anderson, whose ERA rose from 2.78 to 4.40. “I just tried to throw as much as I could.”
No opponent had scored seven runs this season since April 10 against the Dodgers, which they lost 9–4 in Colorado. Julio Urius conceded six runs in that game. Since then, only two Dodger starters have allowed more than two runs in a single game.
Anderson’s performance was not a rarity for this season. It was a rarity for this century. No Dodger pitcher had allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits in six innings since Darren Drefort on August 13, 1999.
Win or lose, Roberts determined the Dodgers needed all 88 of Anderson’s pitches to get through Thursday’s game. Triple-A call-up Ryan Papayat lasted only three innings in his debut Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Five relief pitchers were needed to close that game. Four relievers were pitched on Tuesday. Amid a stretch of 31 games over 30 days, Roberts could not clear his bullpen for the third time in three days.
A home run by Bellinger was the only run Wheeler had before the sixth inning. Bellinger later missed Wheeler’s second home run off a right field foul hitting the pole a few feet wide.
Smith and Tree Turner each had two of the Dodgers’ 12 hits. The defeat dropped the Dodgers’ record to 20–10, one game ahead of the second-placed San Diego Padres in the National League West.