Cody Bellinger started feeling it in the seventh inning after a double home run by Will Smith.
For Trea Turner, faith kicked in at the top of the round of 16 when the Dodgers lineup began to crumble again.
Manager Dave Roberts covered the entire last three innings as his lineup wore down the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen, stringing together productive shot after shot and staging their final — and greatest — comeback.
And then there was Max Muncy, who, even in the depths of the team’s deficit Wednesday, felt like the Dodgers never flinched.
“We don’t feel like we’re ever out,” he said. “No matter what the score says.”
In fact, the Cardinals lead 6-0 at the end of the sixth inning.
By the end of the game, the scoreboard was reversed: Dodgers 7, Cardinals 6.
“I sound kind of redundant,” Roberts said, “when I say it’s the biggest win of the year.”
It’s certainly up for the Dodgers, who picked up their 26th comeback win of the season, to improve to 57-30 overall.
“Offensively, I just can’t say enough about the guys,” said Roberts. “We now believe that if we keep playing like this, we’ll be in every game.”
Even those that seem unattainable.
Wednesday was perhaps their most unlikely rally as the team bailed out Tony Gonsolin en route to his biggest win since August 2016.
Gonsolin gave up a career-high five earned runs in five innings against the Cardinals (48-43) and shot his ERA to 2.02 from an MLB best of 1.62.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, meanwhile, worked his way in and out of trouble early to keep the Dodgers scoreless for five innings.
In the sixth inning, however, the game began to shift.
Wainwright pulled out just one before leaving the game. And although the Dodgers didn’t score, they got an early crack in the Cardinals’ shorthanded bullpen.
“I know her pen was taxed,” Roberts said. “So it was great to get to her pen.”
With two outs in the seventh, hot-hitting Freddie Freeman grabbed a two-out single — one of five times he made base Wednesday, his third straight game in which he came on board at least four times — before Smith got one Hitting home run with two runs down the middle.
The Cardinals had a 6-2 lead.
In the eighth round, the Dodgers went on the offensive again. Bellinger isolated. Muncy drew a walk, his fourth of the game. Then Mookie Betts doubled a run home before Turner clinched two more.
The Cardinals had a 6-5 lead.
After Craig Kimbrel hit a clean floor in eighth, the Dodgers wasted little time in ninth.
Justin Turner rapped a double in the other direction to dismount. Bellinger followed with a single that missed pinch runner Austin Barnes — Barnes fell on the third round, forcing him to scurry back into the pocket — but put the runners in second and third with no outs.
That left Muncy with a shot at redemption.
In Tuesday’s loss, Muncy had emerged in a similar situation, stranding the possible tie and start clearance on base. On Wednesday, amid a recent slump, he was also dropped to seventh in batting order, the lowest he has achieved in his disappointing season.
“For me,” Muncy said, “it was really important to make sure I got through today.”
This time he did, raising a sacrificial fly down the middle that tied the score at 6-6.
Two batters later, Hanser Alberto produced the crucial momentum: an RBI single with two outs to the left that gave the Dodgers a 7-6 lead that Evan Phillips protected for a save in the bottom half of the inning.
“We know who we are, we know what we’ve been up to lately,” Muncy said. “Even if it seems like it’s going to be really bad, you just have to find a way to stay in the game. We are really good at that.”
The Dodgers weren’t always like this.
Last month, during a series in San Francisco amid an extended offensive slump, Roberts challenged his team to improve their approach and urgency at the plate, stating, “The mindset has to go back to whatever it takes to win a game .”
As he sat in his visitors’ office on Wednesday evening, raving about his team’s recent remarkable rally at the Plate, it was clear that everything had changed.
“It’s just great to see 26 guys play to win a baseball game,” said Roberts. “They don’t worry about statistics. The only value they care about is victory. And that’s obvious.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-07-13/dodgers-rally-from-six-runs-down-late-to-beat-cardinals-7-6 Dodgers rally from six runs down late to beat Cardinals 7-6