The final out was secured at 1:42 a.m. EDT Thursday, finally bringing to conclusion a game that began 6 hours 35 minutes earlier, giving the Dodgers another memorable victory as the pile continues growing at an unmatched pace across the majors.
This one, which bled from Wednesday night into Thursday morning at Citizens Bank Park, featured nine hits, two errors, three replay reviews, 10 pitching changes, 16 walks, 23 strikeouts, 366 pitches and a 2-hour 37-minute rain delay before they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2, adding an extended chapter to a loopy seven-game trip out East that will conclude with a matinee Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m local time. The baseball schedule can be cruel.
While most of his teammates played cards during the stoppage, David Freese, the club’s sage 36-year-old, took a nap. He said it was a good one. He later provided the go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning, immediately responding after the Phillies offense showed its only signs of life. Justin Turner came off the bench and supplied a two-run home run in the eighth for insurance.
“I think we were all just trying not to go into extras tonight,” Freese said.
Six Dodgers pitchers, starting with Kenta Maeda’s two scoreless innings, held the Phillies to two hits. The Phillies also reached base on six walks and two errors by third baseman Max Muncy.
The Dodgers arrived in Philadelphia after 4 a.m. Monday after needing 12 innings and nearly six hours to beat the Boston Red Sox. They took the field that night and drubbed the Phillies by 14 runs. On Tuesday, they overcome a five-run deficit with a home run in the ninth inning before squandering the victory.
“It’s been a long three or four days for us,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But it was good because as fatigued as these guys might be, we didn’t really take that to field.”
Menacing clouds could be seen drifting over from behind the video board overlooking left field in the second inning. In a flash, rain poured and wind whipped at once, blowing trash onto the field and impelling a rapid response from the grounds crew. The game was paused at 8 p.m. local time in the top of the third inning with one out and a runner at first base.
Twenty minutes into the delay, a shirtless man stormed the field and used the tarp as a gigantic water slide. Three security guards in blue ponchos raced out to capture him. It took a circuitous route but they eventually chased him down. The man walked off to cheers from fans lined under shelter.
On-field activity ceased from there until the grounds crew emerged to remove the tarp at 10:25 p.m. A few minutes later, Roberts reappeared in the visiting dugout with a cup of coffee. The game resumed at 10:37 p.m. when J.D. Hammer, a bespectacled right-hander who relieved Nick Pivetta, fired a high fastball to Freese.
The Dodgers replaced Maeda with Casey Sadler. He faced three batters. He retired the first two and walked the third. With Bryce Harper coming up, Roberts elected to insert the left-handed Julio Urias. A battle ensued but it was left incomplete after Scott Kingery was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
Los Angeles had netted a run in the first inning, before the weather stopped cooperating, without a hit. Pivetta issued three straight one-out walks to load the bases and A.J. Pollock drove a fly ball far enough to drive in Muncy. They doubled the lead in the sixth inning on Urias’s two-out single up the middle.
On the mound, Urias was keeping a bizarre no-hitter intact. The Phillies had four runners reach base but no hits against Maeda, Sadler and Urias. Three reached on walks and one on an error. A fifth, Cesar Hernandez, reached to lead off the sixth inning on Muncy’s second error. The no-hitter finally died when Kingery followed with a bloop single to shallow right-center field. Philadelphia’s only other hit was a single by Adam Haseley in the ninth inning.
After Harper flied out and Kingery advanced to second base on a passed ball, Roberts chose to intentionally walk Rhys Hoskins to bring up Brad Miller, a left-handed hitter, with the bases loaded and one out. Urias walked him with his 61st pitch, after a seven-pitch clash, and the score was tied. That ended Urias’s outing. Pedro Baez was summoned. The right-hander gave up a run-scoring groundout, tying the score 2-2, before striking out Nick Williams to escape.
The tie was short-lived. Muncy led off the seventh with a single and Freese hit his two-run home run to the opposite field against right-hander Juan Nicasio. Turner soon matched Freese, ensuring the Dodgers at least a series split after another long night.
“We’ve done a good job this year,” Freese said, “of just staying on the pedal.”