I LOVE the kids. Love ‘em.
You think this was a big win? The difference between winning 3 out of 4 in Chicago, or merely treading water? The invaluable momentum boost a great comeback like this can give a team heading down the stretch? Well, I suggest you see just how it happened.
Heading into the 9th inning, the Blue were down 4-3. I’d be remiss to not explain that the 3 runs came on: a solo homer by James Loney (23 years of age); an RBI double by Loney; and a solo homer by Matt Kemp (22). So going into the 9th inning, with the team on the edge of a demoralizing defeat, who’s lined up to come to the plate? Martin-Loney-LaRoche. Also known as 3 of the crown jewels of this team’s touted farm system. But the veterans, like Luis Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra, are full of veteran veteranness, which only comes through experiencing experiences – no matter what state they’re in now. Certainly, in a game this team had to win, in a game where two Soriano home runs seemed to deliver the death knell, these kids weren’t going to have the testicular fortitude to come through. Right?
Russell Martin (24) starts us off with a single to right. (Side note: why didn’t Grady pinch-run for Turtle here? He’s definitely a pretty good base-runner, but he’s still a catcher, and one with a sore knee at that. What would have been so bad about letting someone like Wilson Valdez run here and letting Lieberthal catch in the 9th?).
James Loney (23) nubs a bleeder to the right side of the infield and smartly hustles to beat the play at first – men on first and second, no outs.
Next is Andy LaRoche (23), but no – Andre Ethier (25) comes out to pinch hit. First pitch? Strike, looking. Second pitch? No… it can’t be.. GONE! And I tell you, friends, that I was jumping around my office, feeling the same joy as was plastered all over Andre’s face rounding the bases. Pierre and Furcal teamed up for another run, but the game was over at that point. All of the first 6 runs were manufactured by players under the age of 25 – Ethier, Loney, Turtle, and Kemp. Loney and Turtle are obviously every-day players – can someone please explain to me why Luis Gonzalez ever gets to play ahead of Kemp and Ethier? I’d deleve into that further here, but it’s something we’ve been through before, and it’s deserving of it’s own topic anyway.
Enjoy this one, folks. I know I did – had we lost this game, after Soriano’s 2nd homer, I’d have been ready to pronounce the season all but over. But now? Huge momentum, coming off a 3 out of 4 series win vs. a division leader.. 2.5 out of the wild card, 3.5 out of the division lead.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness
Well, well, well… things have certainly gotten interesting around here, haven’t they? Don’t look now, but after their awesome early-August stretch of scoring about 9 runs in 3 weeks, the Dodgers have actually turned it around to win 7 out of their last 10, and are coming off a sweep of Washington. Amazingly, after we’d all but left them for dead, the Blue are only 4 games out of 1st place and 3 behind the Wild Card-leading Padres.
So this is, as they say, “a really big series”. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got ahead of us as we travel down the coast to the Whale’s Vagina:
Friday: David Wells (6-8) vs. Jack Cassel (3 MLB IP)
I think David Wells would love to live on Whore Island.
Saturday: Derek Lowe (11-11) vs. Jake Peavy (15-5)
60% of the time, I hate facing Jake Peavy every time.
Sunday: Chad Billingsley (9-4) vs. Justin Germano (7-7)
That’s got to be 2 out of 3 in favor of the Blue, right? So far, the season series is split 50/50 – but after winning 4 of their first 6 against the Padres, the Dodgers have lost 4 of the last 6.
I hate to say this is a ‘make or break’ series.. but we’re going to find out a whole lot about how badly this team wants to make the playoffs this weekend.
- Go F**k yourselves, San Diego. I’m Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness.
The time has come, friends. The time to break out your fancy, trendy “Sedona red” duds. The time to look south of Chavez Ravine and send all your best wishes to our new best friends, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
What am I talking about, you ask? Why would a Dodger blog support a bitter rival? Well, this falls under the “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” theory. Let’s face it, folks – the Dodgers just aren’t catching the Diamondbacks for the NL West title. That ship has sailed. I don’t even feel that bad about it – sure, the Dodgers have massively underachieved, but how can you explain a team as mediocre as Arizona having the record they do? They’ve been outscored on the season by 32 runs, yet they’re 17 games over .500. How is that even possible? According to Baseball Prospectus’ Pythagorean records, they ought to be 5 games under at 61-66. By contrast, the Oakland Athletics have outscored their opponents by 6 runs, yet are 2 games under .500. I mean, what can you do about that? This might just be one of those years in the desert.
The point is, the Snakes should no longer even be on our radar screen. We’re just not making up 6.5 games in a month. But, as bad as the Blue have played lately, it’s not unreasonable to still look at the wild card, where the Dodgers are only 3.5 out. Sure, it’s not the same as winning the division, but ask all the folks in Red Sox Nation if getting in as the wild card really cheapened their 2004 World Series win. I’m going to say, “no.”But while we don’t care about what Arizona does, we do need to care about what the Padres do, since they’re currently leading the NL wild card race. So nothing could help the Blue more right now than for the D-Backs to waltz into San Diego and whomp the Friars.
Of course, none of that will matter if the Dodgers don’t, you know, win a game every now and then. With Washington coming in to town, followed by a head-to-head with San Diego, now-ish would be a great time to start.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness