A lot will be said and written about tonight’s eighth inning. Like whether plate umpire Angel Hernandez made the right call (he did, according to Andre Ethier, who was tagged out). Like whether Andre Ethier made a good or bad slide into the plate. (“You have to pick one side or the other,” Joe Torre said.). Like whether Larry Bowa should have sent Ethier in the first place (“I think so. You have to force them to make not only a throw, but a catch and a tag. I never even thought he would do anything other than that.”) But — and you have heard me sermonize on this subject time and time again — Juan Pierre, whether it was on his own or on orders from the bench, did the Diamondbacks a huge favor when he sacrificed the runners into scoring position. He put them one out closer to getting out of the jam, and he might have even put Bowa in a position where he felt he HAD to send Ethier on that shallow fly ball by Matt Kemp, which was the second out. Yes, Pierre might have GIDP’d (in which case there still is a runner on third with two outs). And no, there is no guarantee he would have gotten a hit or a walk or gotten on base any other way. But IMHO, you have to AT LEAST take a shot at it, instead of GIVING the opposition an out. Believe me, Brandon Webb doesn’t need any gift outs. Dodgers fall to 54-54 and two behind the Snakes. There is an old baseball axiom that every team will win one-third of its games, and every team will lose one-third of its games, and it’s what you do with the other one-third that determines your fate. Well, the Dodgers have now won one-third and lost one-third, with that other one-third all out in front of them beginning tomorrow night. So we’ll see. But even with ManRam coming, they can’t afford anything worse than a split in this series.