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Wallach's gamble to send Crawford pays off

Wallach's gamble to send Crawford pays off

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Wallach's gamble to send Crawford pays off

LOS ANGELES -- The third Dodgers run in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night was scored by Carl Crawford on Hanley Ramirez's single, but only because of third-base coach Tim Wallach.

With Crawford on second and Mark Ellis on first, Ramirez sent a flare just over the outstretched glove of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. Crawford hesitated until he saw the ball drop, then headed for third looking content to stay there.

But Wallach waved Crawford home.

"With the third-base coach, you just do what they tell you," said Crawford. "I knew that it was close, that the ball wasn't too far. I knew the ball wasn't in the outfield. I knew I was going to have to just dig a little bit harder."

Instead of throwing home, Wong flipped the ball toward second base. Shortstop Daniel Descalso's relay home was barely late as Crawford's spikes hit the plate just before catcher Yadier Molina got the tag down.

"He was thinking about staying [at third] because he had to hold a little bit to see if the ball would drop," said Wallach. "But I thought the second baseman would have a tough play. He slid to get the ball and had to pick it up and spin and throw it home. I made the decision to send him before I saw that he threw the ball to second.

"I thought it would be a tough play for him to throw out Crawford at the plate. I thought it was a good gamble to take. Descalso has a good arm and he made a good throw. I don't know if it would have been a lot different if the second baseman had thrown home. It would have taken a perfect throw."

Wallach, in his third season as the Dodgers' third-base coach, is expected to be a candidate for one or more of the four vacant managerial jobs this winter.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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