Reliever hurls three scoreless frames, gets win in 14-inning battle
By Steve Bourbon
LOS ANGELES -- When starter Brett Anderson was pulled after five innings Monday, the Dodgers knew they would have to rely on their bullpen. As the game stretched into a 14-inning marathon, the club's relief corps was its savior.
The Dodgers' relievers fired nine innings, allowing just one run, and no one was better than Chris Hatcher, who earned his second career win in the 5-4 victory over the Giants.
Hatcher (2-5) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out four and even hit for himself in the longest outing of his career.
"I'm out of gas. Not so much my arm, but my legs are shot," Hatcher said. "I don't know if it's conditioning or what, but I'll take it."
He threw 45 pitches, the most he's thrown in an outing since 2012, and kept the Dodgers alive until Adrian Gonzalez's walk-off single in the 14th inning.
"It was moreso 'We'll come pull you when we think you're tired,'" Hatcher said.
"You've got to extend guys because you don't know how long it's going to keep going," manager Don Mattingly said. "You don't have a true long man out there that can go five, six innings."
In the top of the 14th -- Hatcher's third inning and second time through the lineup -- he allowed a one-out single to Matt Duffy before striking out Brandon Belt. After a Buster Posey single to advance the go-ahead run to scoring position, Hatcher struck out Marlon Byrd to end the inning.
"I try not to be an emotional guy on the field but in that situation, that was huge," Hatcher said. "I guess the emotion just came out."
On a lighter note, Hatcher was forced to hit for himself with the bases loaded in the 13th inning -- his first at-bat since June 26, 2014, and just the 11th plate appearance of his career. A converted catcher in the Minors, Hatcher is officially listed as a switch-hitter, but he stepped to the plate as a right-hander against righty George Kontos and flied out to right.
"I haven't seen a ball come at me since, I couldn't tell you; the last thing I'm going to do is step up there left-handed," Hatcher said. "I'm a right-handed-dominant guy so in that situation, I think I have a better chance right-handed."
It was just another successful outing for Hatcher, who has been effective since coming off the disabled list Aug. 15. In eight appearances, Hatcher has a 1.08 ERA, and in Monday's outing alone, Hatcher lowered his season ERA from 5.32 to 4.73.
Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.