Roberts’ Walk-Off Grand Slam Keeps Homefield Hopes Alive
If “I don’t believe what I just saw,” was the first thing that came to your mind after Ryan Roberts’ walk-off grand slam Tuesday night, you weren’t alone. Roberts pumped his fist as he rounded second, a tribute to Dbacks manager Kurt Gibson’s 1988 World Series Game 1 walk-off homerun for the Dodgers.
This time, the Dodgers got the short end of the the stick, and in the most dramatic way possible.
In a game that was itching for an offensive explosion - the teams went a combined 5 for 24 with runners in scoring position, leaving 17 on base - it took extra innings to get things going.
Tied at 1, the Dodgers seemed to run away with the victory in the 10th, and take with them the Diamondbacks’ hopes of winning home-field advantage in the postseason. Micah Owings pitched the inning for Arizona, and a double, fielder’s choice with a throwing error, a pair of singles and triple later, the Dodgers were up 6-1.
After a pair of quick groundouts, the Diamondbacks were an out away from preparing to face the dominant Phillies in the first round of the playoffs. That’s when the magic started.
Cole Gillespie, who entered the game in right-field after Justin Upton was struck in the head when a flyball ricocheted off the wall, started the two-out rally by legging out an infield single. Montero kept the action alive with a single that moved Gillespie to third, and followed it up by stealing second. Chris Young walked and the bases were loaded.
John McDonald, pinch-hitting for Micah Owings, hit a hard grounder that ate up Dodgers third-baseman Aaron Miles, plating a run and keeping the inning alive. After a pitching change, Aaron Hill drew a bases-loaded walk on a full count, scoring Montero and bringing “Tatman” Ryan Roberts to the plate.
Roberts was 0-4 with two strikeouts in the game, but now he represented the winning run in a game that was all but lost 5 batters before him. He began the game by popping out after swinging at the first pitch he saw in the 3rd inning, and didn’t change his aggressive style in the 10th.
Roberts drove the first pitch just over the wall in left, rounded the bases with Gibson’s fist pump and jumped into the dog-pile of Diamondbacks at home plate after tearing his jersey off halfway down the third-base line.
With that, the Diamondbacks won 7-6, scoring 6 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th. Micah Owings, who gave up 4 hits and 5 runs in the 10th, ends up with the W.
The win keeps their chance at winning home-field advantage alive, though they trail the Brewers by 1 game going into the final game of the season.
A Brewers loss and a Dbacks victory means Arizona will host the wild-card winner (Atlanta or St. Louis) in the NLDS. A Brewers victory or Diamondbacks loss means Arizona travels to Philadelphia in the first round. In either case, one can only hope the Diamondbacks haven’t used up all of their magic in the regular season.