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Dodgers come from behind to beat Rockies for 110th win of season

LA Daily News 10/2/2022 Bill Plunkett, Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES — They opened Forbes Field midway through the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 110-win season in 1909 as the Pirates ran away from a National League that included the Brooklyn Superbas. The Pirates are on their third stadium since then. The Superbas have changed names (twice) and states (once).

It’s been a while.

The Dodgers scored three times without a hit to tie the score in the seventh inning then scored twice more in the eighth to beat the Colorado Rockies, 6-4, Saturday night for their 110th win of the season.

The 110 wins are the most by a National League team since those Pirates led by Honus Wagner also gave it 110. Only one team in NL history has won more games in a season (the 116-win Chicago Cubs of 1906).

“We’ve been talking about it the last few days,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “You’ve got to appreciate what’s going on. You never know if this could happen again. It’s hard to realize it when you’re doing it. We’re just trying to win each and every game every single night. But when you’re in the high-five line and you see (on the scoreboard) ‘New Franchise Record – 110 Wins’ you realize we’re doing something special this year.”

Those 1909 Pirates went on to win the World Series. But it’s Wagner’s legacy that lives on.

“I know his baseball card is worth a lot of money. A lot of money,” third baseman Justin Turner said accurately. “Recently sold for a lot of money.”

Indeed it did – a Wagner card went at auction for $7.25 million in August. It sets the bar pretty high for a Clayton Kershaw NFT 113 years from now.

“It’s remarkable,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of becoming just the seventh team in major-league history to win as many as 110 games in a season. “To look at 110 wins, it’s uncharted territory. A lot to be proud of.”

One hundred and fifty-eight games into a season, it’s difficult to hide what you are. While the Dodgers are historically good, the Rockies demonstrated why last-place teams find their way to last place.

Two home runs off Dodgers starter Michael Grove produced four runs in the fourth inning and the Rockies took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning.

To that point, the Dodgers’ only offense had come in the third inning when Mookie Betts doubled and scored on Freeman’s RBI single.

For Betts, it was his 40th double of the season to go with 35 home runs. He is only the second player in franchise history with that combination, joining Babe Herman who had 48 doubles and 35 home runs for the 1930 Brooklyn Robins (that’s how long ago it was).

But in the bottom of the seventh – they did nothing. And it was their best offense of the night.

Rockies relievers Dinelson Lamet and Chad Smith combined to walk the first five batters in the inning, loading the bases then forcing in two runs. Twenty-six pitches were thrown in the sequence. Only six found the strike zone.

It wasn’t until the 31st pitch of the inning that the Dodgers put a ball in play. That was Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice fly to drive in the tying run.

“You don’t see that too often in the big leagues,” Roberts said of the five consecutive walks. “I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed something like that. I think this environment might have gotten to those guys because there were some bad misses. When they did make competitive pitches, we did a good job of still taking them and earning walks.”

Roberts actually had witnessed something exactly like that and Turner came pretty close to recalling the details of a July 2, 2019 walk-off win for the Dodgers that ended with five consecutive walks.

“I’m not 100 percent sure. But I think in ’19 against the Rockies they walked six straight guys and we walked them off,” Turner said. “It might have been Greg Holland. I’m not sure.”

It was Holland who issued the first four walks (after retiring the first two batters in the ninth inning). But he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the time.

Saturday’s walk on the wild side also brought to mind a 2017 game against the Rockies when the Dodgers scored five runs on wild pitches.

“We were talking about both those games in the dugout,” Turner said. “I’m not 100 percent sure of the year and the numbers. But we were talking about it in the dugout.”

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Max Muncy drew the sixth walk of the inning to re-load the bases before the Rockies’ third pitcher of the inning, Gavin Hollowell, struck out Gavin Lux and got Betts to ground out.

Forty-four pitches were thrown – only 16 strikes – in a half-inning that lasted 35 minutes.

“I think the story is we just continue to take great at-bats, find a way to get back in the game and win a game late,” Roberts said.

An inning later, the Dodgers got the bats off their shoulders to put together the winning rally.

Trea Turner and Freeman led off with singles – their 191st and 196th hits of the season, respectively. Trayce Thompson drew yet another walk to load the bases.

Joey Gallo lifted another sacrifice fly to center field to drive in the go-ahead run. Bellinger followed with an RBI single – his third hit of the game, although the first to leave the infield.

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