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@NLCS…”Now Pinch-Hitting For The Dodgers, #14 Kiké Hernández”

From A Latino Perspective: Hernández & Urías Play Huge Part In Title Game Victory

Photo Credits: Los Angeles Dodgers and Jon SooHoo

(East Los Angeles, CA) October 19, 2020 [From The Editor’s Desk]: Although it was inaudible to the Dodgers at Globe Life field and millions of MLB NLCS fans who were watching the game “Live,” there was a gigantic and collective tidal wave of synergetic sounds that originated in the City of Angels which included cheers, car-horns honking, rhythmic applause, jumps for joy, the always present “high fives,” and “Let’s Go Dodgers!!” as soon as “Nuestro Hermano Puerto Riqueño,” Enrique “Kiké” Hernández blasted a clutch pinch-hit 425′ solo homer to left-field in the bottom of the 6th inning that tied the game with the Atlanta Braves at (3-3). Dodgers fans of all backgrounds could only imagine had this game been played here at home without the dreaded COVID-19 Coronavirus that is still plaguing our country and the world. The always present, vibrant and cascading “sold-out” Dodger Stadium fan-support alone would have whisked away any doubts that may have been on the crowd’s and the players’ minds during the first half of the game. But back to Kiké and his Game 7 heroics. As a reminder, this difficult spot was not unusual for him to be in. Quick rewind to 2017 when he smacked (3) HRs, one a Grand Slam, in Game 5 vs. the Chicago Cubs, that helped send the Dodgers to their first World Series appearance in 29 years. Remember Kiké’s at-bat as part-1 of the Dodgers comeback.


(Photo Gallery Credit): Los Angeles Dodgers and Jon SooHoo


To follow the Dodgers in the World Series, click, https://www.mlb.com/dodgers. 


But enough of the virus negativity, and on to the positivity of part-2 of the comeback. It starts with a game difference-making decision by Dave Roberts that will go down in Dodgers’ history. After Hernández’s game tying home run, it was time for him to make a serious, but confident pitching change to start the 7th. It needed to be one that would steady the ship, help the team re-gather its offensive momentum, and then have it topped off with the insertion of his young, proven, and playoff-dependable southpaw, Julio Urías, “El Mexicano.” Not only did he take the mound, he owned it as he blanked the Braves for three complete innings, closed it out in dominant fashion, and was ultimately rewarded for the win. Urías went (2-0) in the series after picking up his first during the (15-3) romp in Game 3. In Sunday’s Game 7 finale, the lead was preserved as Julio’s star was shining brightly for our Boys In Blue, giving a stellar performance with these very impressive stats: IP-3/H-0/R-0/Ks-0/BB-0/ER-0/ERA-1.12/NP-39….Lights Out!! Dodgers Win!! (4-3). 


But, not to forget for even a minute…that this historic pandemic-era game was decided in the 7th inning, when we all witnessed Cody Bellinger, step-up, and then stride-in to hit his MegaBlast-Homer deep into the right-field stands, some 425′ away. With that super-stroke of his bat, the Dodgers, could envision the NLCS title as theirs, while playing yet once more in a dramatic “come-from-behind” style. Another unsung game hero was catcher, Will Smith, whose 2-out, 2-run RBI single brought in Justin Turner and Max Muncy, tying the game at (2-2) in the 3rd. And, of course, there is the magnificent player highlight to this incredible Dodgers season, who with his daily super-play and super-powers on both offense and defense, was the one and only, Mookie Betts. His contribution to the win was a (2-4) in at-bats and a defensive gem like no other when he robbed Freddie Freeman of a home run in the 5th inning. His professionalism, his zeal, passion, and leadership from the Wild Card Series through the Divisional Final and onto the NLCS Finals were all exciting to see. He was simply remarkable, electrifying, motivational, inspirational, and any other praiseworthy adjectives you want to use…and ALL perfectly on display at any given time!!


At the end of the day, it was yet another remarkable and most memorable win, emphatically stating to the baseball world, that the Dodgers are truly the Best in The West and are the 2020 National League Champions. And with this win, they’ve earned their 3rd trip in the last four years to the World Series, this time against an ALCS more recent newcomer, the Tampa Bay Rays who knocked out the Houston Astros. The Rays last appeared in the 2008 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, losing by a margin of (4-1). 


(Final Thought): At the exact moment that Game 7 hero, centerfielder, Cody Bellinger, emphatically snagged the direct fly ball to him to end it, imagine hearing and experiencing the numerous forms of elations and celebrations by Dodgers fans who were passionately watching their TVs, “live-streaming” on their smart phones, tablets, laptops, or just listening in on radios. Then, go ahead and multiply that by our vast L.A. Basin residential neighborhoods of North, South, West, and East L.A., while not forgetting the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the South Bay, and everywhere else in between, where the Dodgers’ adoring and faithful Latino fandom exists. With those two realities in play, there was expectant joy and glowing happiness in Dodgers Nation on this great Sunday night, October 18th. Now, it’s onward and upward to the 116th edition of the World Series, aka The Fall Classic. Let’s Go Big Blue!!


(Next Up): Tampa Bay Rays, @ Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX, Game #1 – Tuesday, Oct. 20th, @ 5 pm, Channel 11, FOX; Game #2 – Wednesday, Oct. 21st, @ 5 pm, Channel 11, FOX; Game #3 – Friday, Oct. 23rd, @5 pm, Channel 11, FOX; Radio: KLAC, 570 AM; (Spanish) KTNQ 1020 AM.


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