Some baseball games are tougher to watch than others. And sometimes, there are games like the Dodgers’ 10-7 win over the Phillies, which almost seem like some kind of advanced torture from Guantanamo.
But it was a labored, silly, excruciating game. It lasted over four hours. There wasn’t a traditional one-two-three inning on the night by either team. The Dodgers used seven different pitchers. And if their play was anything but crisp, it looked pretty stellar compared to the Phillies, who almost seemed determined to demonstrate why they have the worst record (28-57) in baseball.
The Phillies committed only one error, but slid around the outfield, let infield balls bounce below their gloves and over their heads, and missed outfield throws.
Everybody’s pitching was pretty bad, the Dodgers’ conglomeration just a tad better.
The silliness started in the bottom of the first when Howie Kendrick tripled – with the help of a Ben Revere slip on the track – and scored on a Justin Turner sacrifice fly. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a solo homer, his third home run in four games.
In the second inning, the Phillies tied it right back with shortstop Freddy Galvis hammering a two-run homer off Yimi Garcia. The Dodgers regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier.
That lead lasted until the next inning when left-hander Eric Surkamp took over for the Dodgers -- all part of their master plan to turn the Phillies lineup around and get a quick pinch-hitter in for Garcia. Some master plans work better than others, Surkamp quickly gave up a three-run homer to the left-handed-hitting Ryan Howard (who entered with a .129 batting average and .258 slugging percentage against left-handers).
The Phillies made it a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning on a solo homer by Odubel Herrera, his fourth of the season. Surkamp lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and two hit batters, which just happened to be the two Phillies who hit homers off him.
Leads, however, never felt too safe on this night. The Dodgers tied it back up with three runs in the fifth off Philadelphia right-hander Sean O’Sullivan, who began the night 1-6 with a 5.76 ERA. He gave up a three-run homer to newly dubbed All-Star Yasmani Grandal. His 13th of the season was drilled halfway up the pavilion in right-center field.
It stayed a 6-6 game until the Dodgers pushed a run across in the sixth. Rollins singled, but should have been erased on a double play when Joc Pederson hit a bouncer to Cesar Hernandez at second. Instead, he dropped the ball and had to settle for throwing out Pederson. Kendrick singled to score Rollins with the go-ahead run.
Which, naturally, lasted until the next time the Phillies came up. Third baseman Maikel Franco led off the seventh inning with a double against Pedro Baez. Three batters later, the Phillies had the bases loaded after a pair of Baez walks. It was thrilling stuff. Galvis hit a ball to right field to sacrifice Franco home to tie the score.
But that didn't last long. The Dodgers busted through for three more runs. Puig singled and Ethier hit a sharp bouncer to Franco, who did the matador thing for what was ruled a hit. Pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo bounced out to advance the runners and set the stage for Rollins. He lined a hit to left, scoring two when Cody Asche’s throw home was dropped by catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Pederson doubled home Rollins and the Dodgers had their 10-7 lead.
Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth, and after allowing a walk, closed down the Phillies to pick up his 14th save. Kendrick had four hits.