LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Dodgers have spent many recent Octobers
watching postseason baseball on television.
This year, they'll be playing.
"We do it the Hollywood way -- that's for sure," closer Eric
Gagne said. "It's amazing."
The Dodgers qualified for the postseason for the first time
since making it as the wild card in 1996. They won the division the
Now, they'll look to win their first postseason game since
upsetting Oakland in the 1988 World Series. The Dodgers will play
at St. Louis if Houston wins the wild card or at Atlanta if San
Francisco wins the wild card.
"We never quit -- we're winners," said Odalis Perez, who will
pitch the playoff opener. "We know how to do it. We finish."
Finish, indeed. The comeback victory was the Dodgers' NL-leading
53rd of the season, setting a franchise record. The old mark was 52
by the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers.
Thirteen of the team's last 14 wins have been comeback
victories, and they've won 26 in the final at-bat.
The 39-year-old Finley, acquired by the Dodgers from last-place
Arizona at the trade deadline, was only too happy to come to the
plate in such a spot.
"For the last two weeks, I've been putting myself in that
situation," said Finley, drenched in champagne in a raucous
"I was dreaming about it, and it happened," Finley said. "I
wanted it. I knew I was going to get it done. When I walked to the
plate, I knew the game was over. I even had a smile on my face, if
The stunning loss -- keyed by three walks and a critical error --
left the Giants in a precarious position.
Their division hopes dashed, the only way Barry Bonds and Co.
can make it back to the postseason is if they beat the Dodgers on
Sunday, Houston loses its home game to Colorado, and then they beat
the Astros in a one-game playoff Monday in San Francisco.
The Astros beat the Rockies 9-3 Saturday night for a one-game
lead over the Giants.
"We lost -- we didn't win," said Marquis Grissom, who burned
his former team for the second straight day, driving in all three
San Francisco runs. "We played a good game, we gave it up at the
end. It doesn't matter how we lost. We've got to come out and win
After it was over, pitcher Jose Lima took a victory lap around
Dodger Stadium to the roar of the crowd. Perez dumped a bottle of
champagne over Lima's head near the backstop.
Four days after rallying for five runs in the bottom of the
ninth to beat Colorado 5-4, the Dodgers did it again -- and then
Blanked on four hits by Brett Tomko and two relievers entering
the ninth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out on a single by
Shawn Green and two walks by Dustin Hermanson (6-9), who was pulled
after walking pinch-hitter Hee-Seop Choi to force in the first Los
Jason Christiansen relieved and got Cesar Izturis to hit a
grounder to the left side, but shortstop Cody Ransom, inserted into
the game for defensive purposes, misplayed it for an error,
allowing Robin Ventura to score.
"I battled the whole at-bat, kept fouling off pitches," Werth
said. "Then I got something I could drive, and I hit it the other
With the winning run at third and one out, Finley hit an 0-1
pitch from Wayne Franklin into the right-field seats, and the
celebration began immediately.
Finley was mobbed at the plate and the party continued for
several minutes as the sellout crowd of 54,594 went wild.
"Everything was appropriate about that," Werth said of
Finley's heroics. "He's unbelievable. He's brought a lot to the
table for us this year."
Yhency Brazoban (6-2), the sixth Los Angeles pitcher, worked one
inning to earn the win.
"Everybody's fine," Franklin said in a somber San Francisco
clubhouse. "We're sad that we lost. We have to think about
Hermanson was pitching for the fifth straight day, and
questioned some of plate umpire Tim McClelland's calls.
"I feel a little overworked and tired, but I wanted to be out
there," he said. "I made some good pitches he called balls. That
kills you. I gave it everything I had today.
"This is crunch time -- I want to be out there."
Tomko allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings before being relieved
by Scott Eyre with two on and one out in the eighth. Eyre retired
Finley on a grounder to second and Hermanson came on to induce
Adrian Beltre to ground to short, ending the inning.
Little did anyone think at that stage that Finley would get
Dessens, making his first start in 2½ months, was relieved by
Wilson Alvarez after allowing three hits and two runs in four
It was the 27th sellout of the season at Dodger Stadium.
... Bonds walked three times, extending his single-season record to
231. ... Beltre (200) and Izturis (193) have teamed up for more
hits than any Los Angeles duo since Steve Garvey (200) and Bill
Buckner (193) had the same total in 1976. ... The Dodgers have won
93 games this season -- their most since 1991, when they also won
93. ... The only Los Angeles players on the current roster who
played on the 1996 team were RHPs Darren Dreifort, currently on the
disabled list, and Hideo Nomo, who doesn't figure in their
2021 MLB playoffs: NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario helps send Braves to first World Series since 1999
Rosario was a fourth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and has basically flown under the radar ever since. He was named NLCS MVP after the Braves defeated the heavily favored Dodgers to advance into their first World Series since 1999.
Braves vs Astros: A World Series 6 decades in the making
Freddie Freeman swinging onto baseball’s biggest stage for the first time, Jose Altuve & Co. back for more. Luis Garcia, Framber Valdez and a fresh set of Houston arms facing Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and these eager, young Atlanta bats.
2021 MLB playoffs: Three questions for Los Angeles Dodgers as World Series title defense ends in defeat
There will be no Fall Classic repeat this October. So what's next for the Dodgers following their NLCS loss to the Braves?
Braves advance to 1st World Series since 1999 after dramatic finish
Dansby Swanson makes an incredible sliding stop and throw to first base for the final out to seal a 4-2 win for the Braves over the Dodgers to advance to their first World Series since 1999.
Atlanta Braves back in World Series for first time since 1999 after upsetting Dodgers in NLCS
Eddie Rosario's three-run homer in the fourth inning proved to be the difference as the Braves beat the Dodgers 4-2 in Game 6 of the NLCS.
2021 MLB playoffs: Schedules, postseason bracket, analysis and updates
All the latest information about the teams, storylines and highlights of the 2021 MLB postseason, from the start of October through the World Series.