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Gamblin' Tim Wallach helps run the Dodgers back into series

October 15, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis rounds second base on his way to a triple in the Dodgers' 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday. Ellis was rewarded for his faith in third base coach Tim Wallach on the hit.
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis rounds second base on his way to a triple in the… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Obviously, Tim Wallach is trying to kill off Dodgers. Watch them go up in a cloud of infield dust. Ah, yes, Carl Crawford, we knew him well.

Either that or he’s seen "Forrest Gump" too many times.

“Run, A.J., run!”

Wallach is the Dodgers’ third base coach who suddenly has a windmill arm. Ethier that or he understood the Dodgers were down 2-0 in games to the Cardinals and would need every run they could manufacture against ace Adam Wainwright.

So after the Dodgers had scratched together a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Ellis led off the fifth with a perfectly placed drive. That’s to say he hit it to center fielder Jon Jay.

Jay ran to the right-center gap, stuck out his glove and watched the ball flick off.

Ellis, who might be the slowest runner on the team save for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, saw this too -- while Wallach waved him to third.

“I hit the ball and turned at second base and saw that they were picking it up and I’m like, 'This is either going to be really cool or the biggest mistake of my life,’ ” Ellis said.

“[Daniel] Descalso was there waiting for the throw and I’m like, 'He’s deking me. I’m out. I’m out.’ Wally’s telling me to slide and I get in there and go, 'What did I just do?’ You don’t go for third with nobody out unless you’re sure, and coming around second I wasn’t sure.”

Ellis remained on his knees, on the bag for a long while. He may still be gassed.

“The oxygen mask was waiting for me when I got down below,” he said.

Despite the leadoff triple -- he had only one triple during the regular season -- Ellis never did score. For some reason they didn’t want to try and squeeze him home.

Not that Wallach was undaunted. In the eighth, Crawford tactfully lined a single to Jay in center and Mark Ellis followed with another base hit.

Hanley Ramirez and his cracked rib then sent a bloop single that landed in shallow center. Second baseman Kolten Wong slid and scooped it up, and Wallach waved Crawford home.

“He just kept waving me,” Crawford said. “I gave him a look as I was running like, 'Are you sure?’ It’s just one of those plays where if you’re not running hard right out of the gate, then you don’t make it.”

Run, Carl, run!

Crawford just slid under the tag of catcher Yadier Molina, though the Cardinals believed they had him out.

“The umpire said I was safe, so I’m safe,” Crawford said.

Also, alive.

Much like the Dodgers now. Tim “Doc Holliday” Wallach had gambled and won, in a game the Dodgers had to win.

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