Tag Archives: 2014 NLDS

The Ride That Ended All Too Soon

KERSHAW_ADAMS Just like that, the ride was over…

What Drei Said Before The Series…

 ” The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. “

As I was looking back on my pre-season NL Picks ,  it was both my fear and hope that the Dodgers could survive on a 3 man rotation.  Hyun-Jin Ryu did make it back on the hill and pitched an admirable 6 innings in game 3.  However, Dan Haren, who after a mid-season slump, finished strong but was nowhere to be seen in the post-season.

” St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance … “

Why St. Louis has had continued success against our Cy Young Award winner is beyond anyone’s guess.  Aside from Game 1, runs we’re at a premium, however, even with the momentum of a strong finish and a healthy lineup, the Dodgers, sans Matt Kemp’s solo shot in Game 2, just could not come up with the timely hits, and the Dodger playoff blues against St. Louis continues . 

“Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.”

Make that, 1-10, dating back to 1985, when they  Meet In St. Louis during post-season …

“Does Hyun-Jin Ryu feel no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?”

I think by now you guys know the answer to that last question .

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

So now is the time everyone starts playing the blame game.  Truth be told, there is enough blame to be passed around .  Was this a successful season ?  It would be hard to say it was a total fail with 94 wins and a 2nd consecutive NL West Title in the books.  Compete success ?  Hardly.  When $240 million is spent on player salary, it’s expected by everyone that the season would go well beyond 166 games ( Yes folks, that’s 162 and the 4 playoff games that ended before we all had a chance to blink ) .  So today, we can only wonder, how and why did it all end so quickly ?

Much of the blame will go down to two things.  Don Mattingly, and the bullpen.  OK, 3 things.  Let’s add GM Ned Coletti’s inability to acquire a setup man that may have been the difference between me writing my post post-season post, or giving my insight to the NLCS.  It will be easy to point the finger at Don Mattingly as well, it seems as if that has been a yearly tradition around these parts.  Truth is, he was only playing the hand he was dealt.  Also, who could have seen our soon to be 3 time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw coming apart at the seems in the 7th inning, not once, but twice ?  Want some other daunting numbers ?  Clayton Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to lose 4 consecutive post-season games , bringing his all-time  post-season record to 1-5.  Those 4 consecutive post-season losses ? You guessed it.  All to the St. Louis Cardinals.  So Cy K isn’t quite clutch in October.  YET ( Yes folks, I did that in all CAPS for a reason ) . 

As for Mattingly’s decision making ?  The only glaring one I really could question is using Scott Elbert in the 7th inning of Game 3 .  Nothing against Scotty, but he had only pitched a little over 4 innings in the bigs all season while practically rehabbing all season.  In one of the most crucial moments of the season with a trip to the NLCS in the balance, and we go with a setup man who has pitched , again, a mere 4 plus innings.  On the flip side, that just tells you how much confidence Donnie has in that bullpen.  $240 million spent yet the only one reliable down the stretch was our closer, Kenley Jansen, who mad a mere 1 appearance this post-season.

At this moment, rumors are flying.  The big one of course, is the status of GM Ned Coletti .  Will he be around at this time next week ?  Also, who stays and who goes ?  Do the Dodgers retool at shortstop and let Hanley test the free-agent waters ?  Brian Wilson has already indicated he will $9.5 million player option for 2015Why wouldn’t he ?  With his 2-4 , 4.66 ERA stat lines, it would be hard for him to test the open market. 

So now begins the descent into a long L.A. Winter.  One that won’t be so dry this time around.  L.A. and it’s proud Dodgers fans are thirsty for a championship.  It’s been 26 years now.  Ronald Reagan was on his last term the last time a World Championship was celebrated around The Ravine.  Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy was the chart topper.  Yes, it’s been that long folks.  For those of you born after 1988, I feel your pain. 

I will stop short of calling this 2014 season a disappointment.  It had it’s moments.  It gave us 2 no hitters from Josh Beckett and of course Clayton Kershaw .  This past season also gave us the emergence of Dee Gordon.  This season also gave us the resurgence of Matt Kemp, who I believe will come back stronger next season.  I’ll even go so far as to say 30/30 could come back, provided he stays healthy, and that could be a big question.  We also saw Adrian Gonzalez lead the NL in RBI’s.  There was plenty of highlights to remember in this past 2014 season.  Unfortunately, none coming in a double digit day in October. 

wpid-img_6757157709345.jpeg A bit early for this Thank You card don’t you all think ? 

I do want to thank you the readers for your continued following of Good Dre in L.A. .  I always do my best to provide you with as much of my Dodger knowledge as well as other fun and at times light-hearted posts from my perspective.  I also want to give a shout-out to the Dodgers-lowdown as well for their tireless work and for helping me reach out to you the readers. 

So our off-season begins now.  That does not mean I will stop posting.  Just not as often.  I also do plan on posting other topics non-baseball related at well in a feature I will be calling, Beyond The Yard .  Hopefully, you will all continue to follow my posts and of course I will also be giving some off-season thoughts as well.  It was a memorable 2014 season, especially for me on a personal not.  Unfortunately, this joyride of a season ended all to sudden, and Just Like That… It’s Over

wpid-img_17082643137116.jpeg Hey Dre, Drei says it’s been a fun 9 season’s seeing you in the Dodger Blue !  Does Drei see Dre back in 2015 ?

 

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So We Meet You Again In St Louie…

With the only LDS series tied at 1 , this ongoing feud between the Dodgers and Cardinals shifts to The Show-Me State for games 3 and 4.  Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the mound for The Blue for the first time in 3 weeks against former Angel John Lackey with the first pitch scheduled just past 6.

RYU_PLAYOFFS

No Shortage of Drama 

By now, we all know there is no love lost between these two storied franchises.  If the first two games are any indication, this series should be primed for another dramatic finish.  So far…

*Benches clearing after a hit by pitch to Puig from Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright

*An unforeseen offensive output from both teams with Kershaw and Wainwright toeing the hill in Game 1

*Kershaw surrendering 8 runs in the fateful 7th inning .  Yup, I also thought Friday was money in the bag.  

*Matt Carpenter continues to be a thorn to the Dodgers side in the post-season

*Matt Kemp showing he’s still clutch

*Mattingly’s moves being scrutinized once again

All this adds up to this series being tied at one.  The biggest surprise so far , without a doubt Kershaw’s meltdown in the 7th inning of Game 1.  With a 6-2 lead and already 8 strikeouts to that point, you just had to think the game was in the bag.  But even a sure bet can come up snake eyes, as the Cardinals would score 8 times in that fateful 7th, capped off by Matt Carpenter’s bases clearing double and Matt Holliday’s 3 run shot off Pedro Baez giving the Cardinals a 10-6 lead.

The Dodgers would not go away quietly though as they would rally themselves thanks in large part to a 2 run shot by Adrian Gonzalez and a ninth inning rally that would come up 1 run short, with Puig striking out to end the game.  

Game 2 would see the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead into the 8th inning when starter Zack Greinke, after going 7 strong would be pulled for lefty JP Howell.  However, as they say , ” The best laid plans…” , and Matt Carpenter, once again, would show why he has been a thorn to our sides in post-season play…

A huge inning ending 6-4-3 induced by Brandon League would prevent further damage, setting up what could be the biggest moment yet in 2014 for The Blue…

I think it’s is now safe to say that the love/hate relationship some of you had with Matt as recent as 3 months ago is all positively love by now…

What are the keys for a Dodger win in Game 3 ?   Will Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford break out of their post-season slump ?  Does Hyun-Jin Ryu fell no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?  These are just some of the upcoming story lines as The Blue attempts to salvage at least one in St Louis, where historically, they have had a miserable time in the playoffs…

Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.  Are you all enjoying your Blue October yet ?

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Our Pet Rally Minion Dave is ready !!!  LETS GO DODGERS !!!

So We Meet Again, St. Louie…

For the 5th time in both these team’s rich history, the Dodgers and Cardinals meet once again in post-season play.  A look  back at what drama these two have brought upon each other going back to the 1985 NLCS…

1985 NLCS … Go Crazy !!! ( Not !!! )

Two of the darkest days of my childhood as a Dodgers fan took place within 2 days of each other.  With the series tied at 2 in the bottom of the 9th in St. Louis,switch hitting Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, had never homered from the left side of the plate.  Then this happened…

Two days later at Dodger Stadium, one out away from a Game 7, top 9, runners on 2nd and 3rd for the Red Birds, and Jack Clark , the Cardinals lone true power threat at the plate with first base open… 

To this day, those of us that we’re around, we still ask… ” Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? ”  .  The batter that was on-deck ?  Some unknown at the time, Andy Van Slyke,  Yup,  the father of Scott Van Slyke.  Andy may best be remembered with his days as a Pirate, but when conversation of Andy and Scott come up, most Dodger fans from the day will always remember Andy’s brief time with the St. Louis Cardinals .  OK, we remember more for his role on the on-deck circle on that fateful Wednesday afternoon in October of 1985.  

Of course, had Lasorda walked Clark, he probably brings in Jerry Reuss from the bullpen to pitch to the left handed hitting Andy Van Slyke, who probably would have been pinch hit for by Tito Landrum.  ( Either way, I would have liked the Reuss-Landrum match up over pitching to Clark…)  29 years later… ” Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? ” ( FYI, I’m long over it now…)

GUERRERO

Pedro Guerrero slamming his glove, like a Bad New Bear,  to the grass moments after Jack Clark’s home run sailed deep into the left field pavilion…

Seeing Red

Giving a shout out to my buddy Jason and his band Red Sun performing at Cheers in San Gabriel.   What did you guys think I was going to say  when I said seeing red ?  

2004 NLDS… Lima Time

After an 8 year hiatus from post-season play, the Dodgers would make their first trip back against the Albert Pujols led Red Birds.  After dropping the first two in St. Louis, Jose Lima would pitch a complete game shutout in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers would fall the next evening as the eventual National League Champion Cardinals would knock the Dodgers out 3 games to 1

LIMA

Lima Time !!!

2009 NLDS…. An Early Holliday Gift…

One out away from tying this best of 5 NLDS at one, James Loney would slice a fly ball toward Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday for what should have been the games final out…

Holliday’s drop would prolong the home 9th, and 4 batters later, the Dodgers would complete their unbelievable comeback and send the series to St. Louis with a commanding 2 games to none lead, en route to an eventual 3 game sweep…

I know this is 5 years later, but Matt…

What happened ?

2013 NLCS…Even the Best Are Only Human…

After 5 close games , the Dodgers would head to St. Louis down 3 games to 2 with Kershaw on the mound for Game 6.  Win, and a 7th game is on the way.  Kershaw on the mound, you had to like our chances right ?

Well, even a sure bet can come up snake eyed as Kershaw would uncharacteristically come apart as the Red Birds would knock Cy K and The Blue around for a decisive Game 6 win, sending them to their 4th World Series in 10 seasons.  

What They’re Saying In The Show Me State…

The jabs have unofficially began .  So , what is being said in St. Louie about L.A. ?  Here’s their 10 Reasons Why It’s Better to Live in St. Louis Than L.A. .  You may find some of the reasons to be very funny…

Breaking It Down

So these two storied franchises meet in October once again.  How do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup ? With a healthy lineup this time around and a deep bench, I really like our chances against the Red Birds.  Of course, St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance …

Drei Say… Dodgers in 4

Extra Innings…

DODGER_DAVE

Our Pet Rally Minion Dave is ready !!!

Ninth Inning Magic…

Vin Scully calls the action from Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS, bottom 9, 2 outs.  Yes, this is the Matt Holliday game ….