Updated: Jan 18
Aside from Casey Sadler being traded to the Cubs, it's been a pretty slow day in comparison to the rest of the week, so I decided to look at the 5 best and worst (coming soon!) moments of the 2019 season. Here are the best:
Buehler's 16 Strikeouts and Matt Beaty's Walkoff Home Run (Dodgers win 4-2). This was when the Dodgers essentially won the NL West. They were already about 10 games up on the Rockies for the division lead, but the Dodgers hammered them and absolutely broke their spirit that weekend, and it all started with Walker Buehler. He was on from the first inning that night and perfect once through the order, throwing only two bad pitches to the Rockies' two best hitter. Roberts made an uncharacteristic decision to leave him in for the ninth inning and, although Buehler gave up a single to that pesky Charlie Blackmon, he struck out Nolan Arenado to end his night and fire up the crowd along with himself. In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Beaty crushed his second career home run for a walkoff bomb, starting the three consecutive walkoffs by rookies.
Four Runs in the Ninth to Beat the Mets 9-8. Only the Mets. After a poor outing from Walker Buehler in which he gave up two runs to eventual National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso. Entering the ninth down 5-8, the Joc Pederson and Max Muncy obliterated back to back home runs off revered Mets closer Edwin Diaz, whose season would disintegrate after this game. Later in the inning, with Turner on base, National League MVP Cody Bellinger laced a double perfectly into the gap to send Turner home, tie the game 8-8, and, most importantly, cause Edwin Diaz to throw his arms into the air in indignation, probably wondering why he had to have been traded to the Mets of all 29 other teams. One out later, with the bases now loaded, Alex Verdugo sliced a sacrifice fly to left, bringing Bellinger to the plate and capping off an insane walkoff rally, and, in my opinion, epitomizing the Dodgers' regular season. As Joe Davis so eloquently put it, "What a magical night!"
Bellinger's Walkoff Home Run (Dodgers beat D-back/D-bags 5-4). Ah, the Diamondbacks. No matter how bad they are, they're always an annoyance. Rarely will they go down easily. Such was the case in a back and fourth game in July at Dodger Stadium. Walker Buehler, while unexceptional, pitched a fine game, but the game was tied leading into the tenth after the Dodgers had already retaken a lead late in the game. Bellinger, who had earned a fifth consecutive walk the night before to walk the game off for the Dodgers, stepped into the box with Hotel California emanating from the speakers, perfectly encapsulating Bellinger's cool and collected demeanor. Moments later, Bellinger threw Dodger Stadium into absolute and sheer pandemonium, launching a no-doubt missile into the Right Field Pavilion and unleashing the 5th best bat flip of the year, according to Mlb Network. Moreover, after ascending to momentary godhood, Bellinger thumped his chest, imitating and mocking the celebration that the pitcher, Yoan Lopez, had performed after striking out Pederson at Chase Field earlier in the year.
Ryu Hurls a Gem and Turner Returns. The Braves failed to get revenge for their 2018 NLDS elimination against the Dodgers during a May series at Dodger Stadium, highlighted by a game in which the Dodgers smoked the Braves as National League Cy Young Award runner-up Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a complete game shut out, reinforced by Justin Turner’s three home runs.