The Los Angeles Dodgers were three outs from suffering a second consecutive loss to the New York Mets and faced the challenge of needing to come back against vaunted closer Edwin Diaz.
They rally began immediately and in full earnest, with Joc Pederson and Max Muncy combining for back-to-back home runs. Diaz then allowed consecutive doubles to Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, with the latter tying the game.
After an intentional walk and infield single loaded the bases, Alex Verdugo’s sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers their second walk-off win of the season. It was also their first victory in 17 games when trailing after eight innings.
Bellinger compared the Dodgers’ comeback win to efforts seen by the 2017 club, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“That was very 2017-ish,” said Bellinger, the Rookie of the Year that season when the Dodgers made commonplace the comeback win, just like this one.
The Dodgers led the Majors with 104 wins in 2017, and had 10 that were of the walk-off variety. They took off during the summer, following a 19-9 month of May by going a combined 41-10 during June and July.
While the Dodgers are coming off a World Series loss for a second straight year, this season’s club more closely resembles the 2017 team rather than the 2018 group that got off to a sluggish start.
Particularly Bellinger, who leads the Majors in several statistics and is hitting at a level that’s exceeding what was a remarkable Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017. While the Dodgers may share parallels with the team from two years ago, they of course are hoping for one notable difference.
Even as they have rattled off six consecutive National League West division titles and back-to-back pennants, a World Series championship has eluded the franchise since 1988. The Dodgers face long odds, as there has not been a three-time NL champion since the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942-44.
Furthermore, the Dodgers would need to become the first team since the 1923 New York Yankees to win a World Series after losing it in each of the two seasons prior.