Dodgers show us how to lose via a rare walk-off strikeout

Big League Stew

Here’s a unique baseball way to lose a game: A pitcher strikes out a batter in the ninth inning, the ball gets past the catcher, the batter runs to first and gets there safely when the ball is thrown into the outfield, all the while a runner on second base chugs around to score and win the game.

It’s one of those fantastic wrinkles of the game — how a pitcher can get a big strikeout in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position and still walk away a loser. Well, it wasn’t fantastic for the Los Angeles Dodgers or their fans.

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This is how the Dodgers lost Wednesday night. A walk-off loss on a strikeout gave the Dodgers a 3-2 loss to their local rival, the Los Angeles Angels. When you read those words it almost doesn’t seem possible, huh? It was the first walk-off strikeout in MLB since 2010, so not something we see too often.

And it happened just like we explained above. Pedro Baez was pitching for the Dodgers. Ben Revere was on second, Cameron Maybin was at the plate and it was catcher Yasmani Grandal and his air-mailed throw that set the whole wild chain of events into motion.

Pedro Baez leaves the field after the Angels’ walk-off win. (AP)
Pedro Baez leaves the field after the Angels’ walk-off win. (AP)

Grandal saw the zenith and nadir of his night come pretty close to each other. In the top of the ninth, he hit a game-tying homer to make the score 2-2. Then he literally threw the win away.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters after the game:

“We were obviously feeling pretty good about ourselves after the home run by Yasmani – a big hit, huge hit,” Roberts said. “We haven’t lost many games like this. … That’s a tough way to lose.”

Indeed it is. And, admittedly for the Angels, a lucky way to win. Maybin said so himself:

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good and we were lucky tonight.”

That’s the great thing — and the tough thing — about baseball. Every game has a chance to show you something you may have never seen before. Or give you heart break in a new form.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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