With the Los Angeles Dodgers playing the final regular season game at Dodger Stadium in 2023, they went to extra innings against the San Francisco Giants, where Chris Taylor proved to be the hero of the game.
With a runner already on second base to begin the 10th, Joc Pederson was intentionally walked with one out before Thairo Estrada singled to load the bases against Shelby Miller. Patrick Bailey then pinch-hit for Heliot Ramos.
In a 2-2 count, Bailey hit a comebacker that ended up turning into a double play to get the Dodgers out of the jam. It was anything but routine, however, as the ball first deflected off Miller’s glove.
“It was more of like a reaction,” Miller said. “I know I got my glove on it, but there was no way I was going to be able to make a double play. If I would’ve gotten it, I would’ve gone home. We got a little lucky there. Like I said, if I would’ve just got out of the way, it would’ve been a routine double play.
“I got lucky, for sure. It should’ve been a double play regardless, but me hitting it, definitely got away with that one.”
Taylor was still able to field the ball, which was in the air now rather than on the ground, and required him to make a small jump. After fielding the ball, Taylor stepped on second base and made a low throw to first, which he credited to Freddie Freeman for picking it out of the dirt to complete the double play.
“Just kind of a weird, freak play,” Taylor said. “I was trying to step on the bag and throw it at the same time. I gave Freddie a terrible in-between hop, and he made an unbelievable double play to save us. So hat’s off to Freddie.”
The Dodgers turning two also provided some relief to Miller, who took the blame for making it a tougher play than it should have been.
“I initially didn’t think he was going to be able to make that, quite honestly,” Miller said. “I tipped it and I knew I slowed it down a little bit. It’s on me for not knowing where he was playing. I was trying to make a play that I probably should’ve stayed out of the way on.
“I didn’t know he was right there up the middle. Definitely could’ve gone really bad, but it worked out.”
Taylor has seen most of his time in left field this season, but his versatility is one of the things that makes him a valuable piece for the club, giving Dodgers manager Dave Roberts another quality infield option.
“It’s impressive but not surprising,” Roberts said. “He takes grounders every day and he’s a true shortstop. For me, to be able to have four different guys that we feel we can plug in at shortstop at any given moment is certainly comforting.”
Chris Taylor provides Dodgers walk-off hit
After turning the double play, Taylor came up in the bottom of the 10th inning with Amed Rosario on third base and one out. He promptly singled into right field to drive in Rosario and give the Dodgers a walk-off win for their final game at Chavez Ravine until the postseason begins.
Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!