LOS ANGELES — For the second time in the last four weeks there was a power outage at Dodger Stadium. This one happened near the end of a bizarre game between the Dodgers and Padres. Here’s how things transpired.
The Dodgers had Matt Kemp on second base with one out in the 12th inning of a 4-4 game, with Justin Turner coming to the plate. Then, all hell broke loose.
All of a sudden, everything went dark at Chavez Ravine. The lights were out, and the power was out, all for a few moments.
“It was a little scary when it was pitch black for five seconds,” said Clayton Kershaw, who pitched eight innings in Saturday’s game but was back in the dugout in the 12th.
The irony of the outage timing was not lost on Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle.
And it happened when I was playing Charge!— Dieter Ruehle (@DieterRuehle) August 26, 2018
It would be hard to blame the Dodgers if they wanted a do over, after Kenley Jansen blew a save in the ninth inning for his third straight bad outing, the worst stretch of his career that earned him an off day on Sunday to work on his command. Jansen’s return was supposed to save the Dodgers bullpen, one that saw seven different relievers either blow a save or cough up the go-ahead run in the seventh inning or later in a seven-day stretch when Jansen was out.
After 10 relief duds in their last 13 games, wanting to fade to black would have been a natural reaction by the Dodgers, simply wanting to reset the video game console.
However, their situation was advantageous, with a runner in scoring position and just one out, and one of their best hitters up in Turner.
It took nearly 20 minutes before play resumed and Padres reliever Robert Stock was able to return to the mound. But the fault for this darkness wasn’t an unsolved mystery for long, with the Dodgers issuing a statement citing “a disruption in the city’s power feed to the facility.”
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was more specific, saying it was a circuit outage, and that power was restored within seconds. Most of the delay was waiting for the lights to warm up after getting turned back on.
What’s weird is that this wasn’t even an isolated issue at Dodger Stadium this season. There was also a brief power outage on July 30 against the Brewers, though that was in the second inning and caused by an errant Mylar balloon.
Neither hold a candle to the weirdest occurrence at Dodger Stadium in 2018. That came on the final game of spring training, when the Freeway Series was cut short by a flood on the field near the Dodgers dugout, caused by a faulty drainage issue. That should have been an omen on what an odd year this has been.
After the 20-minute delay ended, the Padres took the field, with Kemp returning to second and Turner to the plate. After all that anticipation, all it took was one pitch to decide the game.
Turner’s lofted fly ball found grass in no-man’s land down the right field line, and San Diego basically stopped. Right fielder Travis Jankowski ran past the ball, and both second baseman Cory Spangenberg and first baseman Eric Hosmer both kept their back turned away from the infield.
Kemp was tagging up at second base, and had the Padres been paying more attention they might have kept him from scoring. Instead, he scored without a throw.
“It was definitely a weird play. I’m glad it landed our way,” Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor said. “It seemed like they kind of gave up on it.”
During the delay, the NL West-leading Diamondbacks lost an extra-inning game of their own, a game that like the Dodgers also saw Arizona blow a save at home in the ninth inning. The Dodgers were keeping tabs while waiting on their own game to resume.
“To say we’re not watching the scoreboard, we all are,” manager Dave Roberts said. “[Turner] gave me a play by play of what was going on during the outage.”
The Diamondbacks loss coupled with the Dodgers win pulled LA to within 2½ games of both Arizona and the Rockies in the division.
“It was super weird. But we needed it,” Kershaw said. “We needed it bad.”