What. A. Game.
Unless you are a Dodgers fan, last night’s Game 4 was one of the best baseball games you’ve ever seen. And Rangers fans can sympathize with Dodgers fans when it comes to losing “one of the best games ever.”
But from a purely product standpoint, Major League Baseball couldn’t have asked for a better four-hour and ten-minute commercial for baseball.
The game was perfect.
The Dodgers led 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, then 4-2. Then the Rays took the lead at 5-4. Then the Dodgers scored two to lead 6-5. Then the Rays came right back and tied it 6-6. Which was quickly followed by the Dodgers scoring again to lead 7-6. Then the Rays scored two in the bottom of the ninth to win it.
But it’s not only that they scored but how they scored. With two out and two on, Brett Phillips, who had entered the game earlier as a pinch runner, came due. The Rays had no other choice on their bench. They had to go with Phillips, who has been traded three times in the past six years, from the Twins to the Royals to the Rays in September.
He batted .150 for Tampa Bay this September. Maybe he had a miracle in him.
He did. Its name was Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers struggling closer who their manager insists on staying with.
Phillips got the biggest hit of his life last night. The biggest hit for Tampa Bay this year. And it triggered one of the most unbelievably joyous moments you’ll see on a field when Rays Randy Arozarena, who had stumbled and fallen and was a dead duck for the third out of the inning, noticed the Dodgers catcher didn’t catch the ball, and he walk-crawled to home, slapped the plate about a half-dozen times with the big broad smile of a happy kid, soaking in the biggest run he’d ever scored. And the most unlikely.
What. A. Game.