Usually, when people hear about a walk-off in Dodger Stadium, it involves an Andre Ethier walk-off home run. Although he was a part of a turning point in this game, and although he was back in the lineup for the first time in 15 games after suffering a broken pinkie finger, he wasn’t the reason why they won last night: Casey Blake was.

The latest walk-off victory for the Dodgers happened against the Diamondbacks on Monday, when the jesting third baseman played possum with relief pitcher Esmerling Vasquez.

The sneaky veteran took a few steps away from third base for his normal baserunner lead, faked making a run for home, and moved back to his regular lead. As Vasquez came to a set position, he reacted by taking the baseball out of his glove and then stepping off the rubber. As first-base umpire Tim Timmons saw this, he called the balk, giving Blake the extra base from third and the 5-4 win.

“Most of the time it doesn’t work,” Blake explained. “But sometimes it does.”

The victory finished the Dodgers’ May with a 20-8 record—their best May since they went 21-7 in 1962.

Joe Torre had no reason behind how the Dodgers won the game except for the simple fact that “[they] lucked out.”

Not only did they win the game in a bizarre way, but they also tied the game with a little help from the Diamondbacks’ defense. Down by two runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Andre Ethier (baseball’s top clutch performer who just got re-activated into the lineup) came up in the clutch again by hitting a routine ground ball to Kelly Johnson with runners on second and third.

Johnson bobbled the ball, giving a chance for Ethier to make it to first. The second baseman then threw the ball away, allowing both Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp to score and tie the game. Johnson was charged with two errors on that play.

“He made an error at a really bad time,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s been very sure-handed; he’s played every day and done a nice job for us. It’s unfortunate that it came at that time. It’s a killer. The ball was hit pretty hard and things like that happen, but it’s a play he normally makes.”

There was one more piece to this crazy puzzle. Before Blake’s little stunt, James Loney was on base. After drawing a walk, Blake singled to center field, putting runners on first and second. With nobody out, Russell Martin comes up to the plate.

The ball squirted away from catcher Chris Snyder, and third baseman Augie Ojeda had run toward the infield; it’s funny because the ball was about to be thrown to the pitcher by the time Ojeda moved inward. Loney attempted to steal third, but was too wary about being caught in a pickle and tried running back to second base.

In that situation, it was too late to think, as he was caught in a rundown anyway and was tagged out a few steps away from third; luckily, Casey Blake was smart enough to move to second during the rundown.

“I just saw him real close to the mound and I just reacted to him being so close to the mound,” Loney said. “If I kept going, I probably would’ve got there. But even in that situation, still, I mean why risk it? I just reacted in a bad way.”

All of that happened in one game. If that’s not a crazy game, then I don’t know what is.

On a few more notes:

This marks the first balk-off win for the Dodgers since Roger McDowell of the New York Mets balked in a run on May 28, 1989.

It is the first time a Major League game has ended on a balk since September 8, 2008.

The Diamondbacks hit three home runs in the first two innings of the ballgame. Justin Upton hit a two-run shot to the opposite field in the first inning, Chris Young led off the second inning with his eighth homer, and Chris Snyder hit his eighth of the season, as well. That’s right: all the Diamondbacks runs came off of home runs.

Manny Ramirez went deep in the second inning, hitting his 550th career home run. The solo shot put the Dodgers on the board, but still trailing, 4-1.

Chad Billingsley settled down after giving up those three home runs in the first two innings. He struck out 11 batters, which is a season high for him. The last time he struck out that many batters was on June 30, when he struck out 11 against the Rockies.

Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds was pulled out of the game in the ninth inning due to the recurrence of a right quad injury. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

This marks the Diamondbacks’ eighth straight loss. After winning four in a row, they’re back in the saddle.

After a month of battling out of last place, the Dodgers finally look like they have things back on track. They’re currently in second place (two games out of first), battling with the Padres, who look like they’re coming down to earth. The Dodgers’ pitching is only getting better, and Andre Ethier is back. Plus, they’re coming off a very good month, winning 20 games. What more could a Dodgers’ fan ask for?


Blake’s balk-off.

Kelly Johnson’s mishap.

Recap of the game , courtesy of

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