Tag Archives: Fernando Valenzuela

Does History Repeat Itself…Like 1981 ?

If this series against the Nats has taught us one thing, it’s that regular season success does not translate to post-season success. Going into the series, in the eyes of many, including your’s truly the Blue we’re the runaway favorites to take down the Nats. The Blue had taken 5 of 6 in the regular season against the Nats and the Nats came into this series a battered team, minus Stephen Strasburg. 

Like 1981, when these two met and the Nats we’re the Montreal Expos, it is coming down to a decisive Game 5. 

Like 1981, the Dodgers staved off elimination in Game 4 thanks to Tuesday’s exhilarating 6-5 win at The Ravine

 

Like 1981, when some future manager named Dusty Baker was controlling left field for The Blue, some young Mexican kid could be thrust into the spotlight on the road under intense circumstances with every pitch being watched ever so closely…

FERNIE

Rockies Dodgers Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Like 1981, it could very well come down to a clutch 9th inning hit from some left-handed hitting former ASU Sun Devil right fielder who wore the number 16…

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS

Drei’s Thoughts…

With Rich Hill scheduled to match Max Scherzer, Like 1981, Game 5, this has the makings of a low-scoring game. Both Hill and Scherzer we’re victims of key home runs in their previous defeats. 

Beating Scherzer a second time is going to be tough and if The Blue can create scoring opportunities they cannot be leaving runner in scoring position as they have been prone to in this series. 

If the game is close as is anticipated, the bullpens will be huge. As with any deciding game, all pitchers including starters can be called upon at anytime. 

It just could very well come down to that one hit late in the game…

As Drei here write’s this “script”, it just may come down to one number 16 to come off the bench and deliver, just like another 16 did 35 years ago… ( I will be more than happy if we can do this without the…Dre-Matics…)

Just like 1981…

Drei says Dodgers 2 Expos, ahem Nationals 1

Just like 1981…

ethier Hey Dre, is 16 a Magic Number that comes through…LIKE 1981 

(To Be Continued…From The Nations Capitol…)

 

 

 

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Throwing Back Thursday…El Toro and Doc

Leading Off…Drei’s Thoughts…

In spite a 16-16 record, the Boys in Blue, thanks to the rest of the NLWest going through their own struggles, find themselves in a first place tie with the Giants heading into the final game of a 4 game set with the Mets. Kid K takes the hill for The Blue against Bartolo Colon, no spring chicken himself as the Blue tries to salvage a split. The Blue has lost 8 of their last 10 home games averaging just under 3 runs a game. While the Dodgers have struggled at home, they have been the opposite on the road, winning 10 of 16 away from Chavez Ravine.  Runs should once again be at a premium tonight. It’s only a matter of time before the offense gets on track up in the hills of Chavez Ravine…

Throwing Back Thursday…El Toro and Doc

The Dodgers and Mets have produced their share of outstanding pitchers over the years. Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden we’re no exceptions. These two 80s phenoms once combined to pitch 20 shutout innings in a September 1985 showdown, El Toro pitching 11 of them. ( Imagine the backlash a manager would face today if he let his starter even go past the 9th ? ) The two would also combine to  strikeout 6 consecutive batters in the 1984 All-Star game, 3 that would some day make their presence in Cooperstown. El Toro and Doc, 2 pitchers many thought would be future HOFers, never really quite reached the pinnacle of their careers, both suffering arm injuries that wouldn’t allow either pitcher to regain their dominant form of their early 80s prime. The battles these two would display we’re still pretty epic.

1984 All-Star Game, Fernando and Doc

Drei’s Game 1 Thoughts…Looking Back, Fernando and Doc

Drei’s Game 1 Thoughts…Dont Pin This on Kid K

Here we go again with all the Kershaw playoff talk. Kershaw struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings, allowing only a solo home run to Daniel Murphy before hitting a wall in the 7th, leaving with the bases loaded. David Wright would lace a single to center off Pedro Baez and the two runs plated would be the difference ( Does this scenario sound familiar Dodger fans ? ).

The offense, who actually outhit the Mets ( If anyone noticed…) did not exactly help out either leaving RISP early and often. So we find the Blue trailing the Mets in this Best of 5. I always felt that regardless of the venue winning Game 1 in a Best of 5 is always key because even a one game deficit in a short series puts the trailing team in an immediate hole. Lets see if Zack can even it up come Game 2…

Home Field Advantage ?

Visiting teams so far in the playoffs… 6-2

Looking Back at Fernando and Doc

Dodgers_Fernando and Gooden Throughout the 1980’s Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden we’re two young phenoms who frustrated many a batter. In a September 1985 showdown these two combined to pitch 20 shutout innings, with Fernando pitching 11 of them ( Imagine the backlash a manager would face today if he let his starting pitcher stay past the 9th let alone throw over 100 pitches…) Both pitchers captured the hearts of baseball fans beyond their home cities. With all the K’s both pitchers put up you would have thought both these pitchers would have hall of fame careers and someday their busts would be displayed in Cooperstown. However, arm injuries to both pitchers, as well as a cocaine addiction that faced Doc Gooden, would derail the hopes of either pitcher making it to Cooperstown. 

Both pitchers threw a lot in the 80s. Complete games we’re still in abundance and pitch counts we’re not used in the context we use today. One thing many have pointed out is the fact both pitchers started out at such young ages and combined with the amount of pitches thrown their arms wore out at the prime of their careers. Fernando, whose first real full season was 1982 ( If you leave out his late season call up of 1980 and the strike shortened season of 1981 ), went on the DL  for the first time in 1988. Gooden, whose first full season was 1984, his true rookie season, would suffer the same fate as Fernando in 1989. 

I bring up those facts because Kershaw is at the same point these two were at this point of their careers. If the emphasis on pitch counts and the way relief pitchers are used today applied then, would Fernando and Gooden gone on to the dominant careers we expected ? We’ll never know…

Dodgers_Fernando and Gooden 80s Going back to my childhood…

Los Angeles Dodgers during game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. Photography by Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers during game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. Photography by Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2013                        

Extra Innings… Kid N Drei 

wpid-picsart_10-09-10.36.46.jpg Yo Drei, it’s been 27 years. I was barely past my toddler days when The Blue last got one of these. Hey Viejo, you remember ’88 right ?

wpid-picsart_10-09-10.47.34.jpg Of course Kid ! Viejo Drei here also remembers the Blue losing Game One of the NLCS to the Mets that year as well, and well, you know the rest… ” Is that right Drei ? “

Magic Number Fun Facts…3

wpid-screenshot_2014-09-21-21-09-47-1.png Steve Sax

Steve Sax, also know to many as Saxie, would don the Dodger Blue from 1981-88 .  During his 8 seasons with the Dodgers, Sax would be the last of 4 consecutive Dodgers Rookie of the Year winners from 1979-82.  Sax would be nominated to the All-Star game as a Dodger in 1982, ’83 and ’86.  A solid fixture at 2nd base, Sax of course will always be remembered for his defensive misfortunes in 1983, the season he committed 30 errors.  Pedro Guerrero, not exactly a handiest 3rd baseman either before returning to left field, once said ” First I pray to God that nobody hits the ball to me.  Then I pray to God that no one hits the ball to Steve Sax ”  

Other Dodgers to Wear Number 3

Willie Davis

Alex Cora

Cesar Izturis

and currently…

CARL CRAWFORD Carl Crawford

Down Memory Lane With Dre, 2004

Of all Dodgers/Giants games I’ve attended in over 30 years, this of course is without a doubt my most memorable.  With the slam by Steve Finley, the Dodgers would win their first division title in 9 years , and their first in a non-strike season since 1988.  

FERNIE On this day, 1986, Fernando Valenzuela would win his 20th game, beating the Houston Astros at the Astrodome 9-2, becoming the first Mexican born pitcher to win 20 games in the bigs.  Thank you Dodgers-LowDown !!!  For all your Dodger fun facts and Dodger related news, follow the Dodgers-LowDown on their facebook page.  Tell them Drei here sent you !!!  

DLD_9222014 Round 1 of 3 begins tonight, with Dan Haren taking on Jake Peavy at The Ravine.  The Dodgers are coming off a 4 game series against the Cubs in which they took 3 of 4, with the bullpen by committee doing just enough yesterday as the offense lifted the Blue over the Cubs 8-5.  Haren, who was originally slated to start yesterday, was held back so that he could start tonight’s huge game against the hated ones as the Blue looks to move one step closer to clinching another NL West title.  The Giants come into Dodger Stadium limping, having been swept over the weekend in San Diego by the Padres.

wpid-img_20140916_222740.jpg Just a reminder, the Dodgers want a Blue Out for these 3 games against the hated ones !!!  Time for a DODGER BLUE OUT !!!   

 

26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 1, 1989 And The 90’s

Re-blogged from last season.  It is 26 years now since Chavez Ravine has hosted a World Series.  Here’s a recap of each season, part 1, from 1989 to 1999

 

On the eve of the 109th World Series will mark 25 years now since the Dodgers won their last World Series title, let alone appear in one.  While I enjoy telling stories what it was like being a fan experiencing the Dodgers triumph in 1988, explaining the feeling to the fans who have potentially graduated college in the last 4 years certainly is not making me feel any younger.  Now that I have all but let it out that i’m up there in years, lol, let’s now look back on the last 25 years, first with the 90’s, with it’s highs and lows.  And let’s hope by this time next year i’m writing a piece about The Boys in Blue in the World Series.  But first…

OK. Let’s look back upon the last 25 years of non World Series years

1989 77-83 4th Place

Despite leading the NL with a team ERA of 2.95, the last time anyone finished the season with a team ERA below 3.00, the Dodgers, one season after shocking the world, would finish in 4th place 14 games behind the Giants. So anemic was the offense that Orel Hershiser, despite winning 15 games with an ERA of 2.31, would also lose 15 as well , finishing the season with a .500 mark.

So the 80’s finished on a down note. However, the Dodgers was still a strong decade for the Boys in Blue, winning two World Championships (1981 and 1988), four National League Western Division titles (1981, 1983, 1985 and 1988) and 825 games, tying them with the St. Louis Cardinals for most victories by a National League team during the decade. The 80’s was also a strong decade in L.A. sports as well. Between the Dodgers 2 titles, the Lakers 5 titles, and the Raiders lone Super Bowl in 1983 9 This is a 49ERS fan acknowledging this), 8 championship titles we’re won for the great city of Los Angeles. Oh yeah, let’s also not forget the 1984 Olympics, with baseball debuting as an olympic sport here, played at, of course, Dodger Stadium. Those we’re some fun times as a sports fan in the 80’s. The 90’s certainly look promising, right ? kirk-gibson One last look of the 80’s

The 90’s

The United States enacts Operation Desert Storm, destroying the Iraqi army and ending the Gulf War in a few short weeks. A video is released of driver Rodney King being beaten by L.A. police officers following a traffic stop, igniting a national controversy. Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the United States. Magic Johnson announces his retirement from the NBA after contracting the HIV Virus ( What’s Magic up to these days ? ). In the meantime, on the field…

1990 86-76 2nd Place

Even without Orel Hershiser for much of the season due to shoulder surgery and an injury plagued Kirk Gibson a mere cry from his 1988 season, the Dodgers would finish 5 games behind the eventual World Champion Cincinatti Reds. This would also be the last season for Fernando Valenzuela in a Dodger uniform, as he would be released prior to the 1991 season.

1991 93-79 2nd Place

Hometown product Darryl Strawberry, who put up big numbers in his eight stormy seasons with the New York Mets, would be signed in the off-season for a then whopping 5 years, $20.25 million dollars. After a slow start, Strawberry would lead the team in both home runs (27) and RBI’s (100) In spite of a strong 20-8 finish to the season, the Dodgers would finish 1 game behind the upstart Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown.

1992 63-99 6th Place

Eric Davis, the one time Cincinatti Reds outfielder, would team up with childhood buddy Darryl Strawberry in the outfield. However, both Strawberry and Davis would miss much of 1992 and the Dodgers, for the first time since 1905, would finish the season in last place

1993 81-81 3rd Place

In the final season before the current 3 division alignment, the Dodgers would improve upon their 1992 performance by 18 games. Though they would miss out on the post season , the second of 5 consecutive Rookie of the Year winners would don the Dodger Blue as Mike Piazza , with 35 home runs and 112 rbi’s, would take home the prize, Eric Karros winning the award in 1992. 1993 also marked the final season a 100 plus win team would miss out on post-season play as the Dodgers, on the final game of the season, highlighted by Rookie of the Year winner Mike Piazza’s 2 home runs, would knock out the Giants 12-1, leaving the Giants 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown ( Yup, I was at that game folks ). The following season would be the year divisional re-alingment would take place as well as the wild card. From 1969-1993, only the division winners qualified for the LCS. So yeah, had the wild card been in effect in 1993, the Giants would have easily made the post season. Bummer huh ? ( In my sarcastic voice, LOL ) piazza93 Mike Piazza being greeted by future 3rd base coach Tim Wallach after belting one of two home runs to knock the Giants out of the playoffs

1994 58-56, 1st Place *

In the first year of 3 division aligment, the Dodgers would finish in 1st place, and yes, that is an asterisk next to the feat, if one can consider being 2 games over .500 one. That is because in August, a bitter labor dispute between the players and owners would lead to the cancelation of the remainder of the 1994 season and wipe out post-season and World Series play altogether. Raul Mondesi would win the 3rd of 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Awards. Darryl Strawberry, with his countless off the field problems during his time in L.A, would be released prior to the season.

1995 78-66, 1st Place

One year after the strike had put a black eye on Major League Baseball, in a 144 game season due to the previous season’s strike that carried over into 1995, the Dodgers would capture the NL West by one game over the Colorado Rockies 3 years into their existence. Hideo Nomo, The Tornadoe, would win the NL Rookie of the Year. In the first official League Division Series, not counting 1981’s ” intra-division playoffs “, the Dodgers would be swept in 3 straight by the NL Central Champion Cincinatti Reds.

1996 90-72 2nd Place, Wild Card

Tommy Lasorda, one of only two L.A. Dodger managers along with Walter Alston dating back to their arrival from Brooklyn in 1958, would step down from his managerial duties after suffering a mild heart attack. Bill Russell would take over the reins for Tommy. With a 2 game lead over the Padres and 3 to play against the Friars, San Diego would sweep all 3 games at Dodger Stadium to win the NL West by 1 game, pushing the Dodgers to Wild Card status. They would be swept in 3 straight in the LDS by the Atlanta Braves, ending the season on a 7 game losing streak. Todd Hollandsworth would round out the 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Award winners dodgersROY The 5 consecutive ROY’s would surpass the 4 consecutive the Dodgers had from 1979-1982 when Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, and Steve Sax won the prize

1997 88-74 2nd Place

This time, a late September swoon would cost them. Leading the NL West over the Giants by 2 games on September 16, they would be swept in a crucial 2 game series in San Francisco, the beginning of a 1-6 stretch that would find themselves 2 games behind the hated one’s heading into the final weekend of the year, in which the Dodgers would eventually finish 2 games behind the Giants but miss out on the Wild Card. This would also mark the final season of ownership under the O’Malley family

1998 83-79 3rd Place

In their first season under the Fox group, Mike Piazza , after a lengthy contract dispute, would find himself traded to the Florida Marlins along with Todd Zeile for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson and Jim Eisenrich before landing with the Mets one week later. With a 36-38 record in June, Bill Russell would get his pink slip, as well as general manager Fred Claire. The thought of a Dodgers manager was unheard of at the time considering up until 1998 they had only 3 managers. Glenn Hoffman, brother of Padres relief phenom Trevor Hoffman, would finish out the season as the skipper. 1998 would also be the year that future Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa we’re involved in the home run record chase, with McGwire finishing with 70 home runs. piazza Though he did put up big numbers in Dodger Blue , Piazza will forever be remembered as a Met. To this day, I still don’t believe he has buried the hatchet towards the Dodgers and his fans. I wonder if he will blame me next for the Dodgers fans turning on him .

1999 76-86 3rd Place

Davey Johnson would take over as manager, and Kevin Brown, coming off 3 straight dominant season and two World Series appearances with the Marlins and Padres, would be signed to a 7-year $105 million contract just one year after Piazza had been offerred 6 years at $80 million, rasising some questions amongst the fans why the same deal could not be offered to Mike, an everyday player, as opposed to Brown, who only toes the hill every 5 games. The Dodgers would finish 24 games behind the 2nd year Arizona Diamondbacks.

So the 90’s we’re not exactly some glorious times for L.A. sports fans. The Lakers, though they would continue to make it to the post season, making the playoffs in 9 of the 10 years, also failed to bring L.A. another championship . The Raiders and Rams would leave L.A. after the 1994 season ( I really didn’t care since i’m a 49ERS fan ) , the Clippers we’re a far cry from what they are today, and the Kings would appear in the Stanley Cup in 1993 to lose to the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games. So next, the new millenium. Glory day’s are bound to return to L.A, right ?

Hoping To Reverse History In L.A.

Before I discuss reversing history, here’s some other historical tidbidts that may be of interest to all you Dodger fans, including those of you who have already pushed the panic button. Four other times in post-season play the Dodgers have overcome 2-0 deficits. OK, the most recent was in 1981, when they did it twice that season and some rookie southpaw and future Dodger Spanish broadcaster would capture the hearts of L.A. . But hey, who says history can’t repeat itself, right ?….

1955 World Series

1955-dodgers-win
No doubt the locals, after falling behind 2 games to none, had to be thinking ” Here we go again…. Dem Bums…” . But the beloved Bums of Flatbush, after coming up short against the Yankees in 5 previous tries, finally bring home Brooklyn’s lone World Championship, beating the Yankees in 7…

1965 World Series

1965
In observance of Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, Sandy Koufax is missing in action for Game 1 against the Twins, and Don Drysdale would get rocked. Upon being taken out in the 4th inning, Drysdale reportedly quipped to manager Walter Alston ” I’ll bet you wish I was the Jewish one…” . The Twins would shock the Dodgers and Koufax in game 2 as well and head to L.A. with a commanding 2-0 series lead. The Dodgers would win games 3 through 5 in L.A., and lose Game 6 in Minnesota. Sandy Koufax, on only 2 days rest !!!! ( Yup, for those of you who questioned Kershaw going on 3 days rest in Game 4 of the NLDS….) would silence the bats of the Twins en route to a 2-0 shutout , delivering the Dodgers 3rd World Title in L.A. .

1981 Division Series

1981nlds
In what was deemed the intra-division playoffs due to the mid-season strike of 1981, the Dodgers would be matched up against the Houston Astros in a best of 5 to determine the NL West Champ. After dropping the first two in Houston, the Dodgers would sweep the remaining 3 at home to advance to the NLCS against the Montreal Expos…

1981 World Series

1981WS
After dropping the first two in The Bronx, The Blue would once again rally at home, taking games 3 through 5, all by one run, and in Game 6 in The Bronx the Dodgers would take home their sixth World Series title and their third over the dreaded Yankees…

From The Twitter Feed….

Not coming through in the clutch would be an understatement, especially Yasiel Puig, who seem’s to be pressing in his first tast of NLCS action. One of the big reason’s the Dodgers got by Atlanta in the LDS was their ability to come through in the clutch, especially with 2 outs….

Should, coulda, woulda ( I think that’s how it goes….) . In a series so evenly matched up where great pitching is displayed on both sides, every move is subject to scrutiny, including the managers, and now for the 3rd time in the playoffs the people of L.A. are 2nd guessing Don Mattingly’s

decisions. Before we discuss his recent blunder from Game 1, let’s also not forget a couple other moves from Game 2 of the NLDS having Paco Rodriguez pitching to Jason Heyward and the 8th inning of Game 4 where the inablility of Juan Uribe to lay down a bunt ACTUALLY benefited The Blue !!!!! And now why Adrian Gonzalez would be removed in the 8th inning of a tie ballgame for a pinch runner in Dee Gordon is beyond eveyone’s belief. There was still plenty of ballgame left and the way both pitching staff’s we’re performing, it was not out of the question that AGon would be needed if the game went extra’s, which of course it ultimately did. And well, we all know what happened when it was Michael Young instead of Gonzalez at the dish with a chance to take the lead. So yeah, while I do agree with Mattingly’s quote that we’re a couple of hits away from being up 2-0, Mattingly is still as much to blame for the Dodgers being where they stand right now. Now, as for his managerial status after the season should we not have a parade in DTLA later this month, I won’t be in panic mode>, though it seem’s some people are already….

Some words of encouragement from L.A. King Dustin Brown. Of course Brownie would know something about coming back from 0-2 deficits to teams from St. Louis….

Hoping To Reverse History

Why I bring this up ? The only other time the Dodgers and Cardinals met in the NLCS was in 1985, the first year MLB would use a best of 7 format for the LCS after previously using a best of 5. The Dodgers, led by the pitching of Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, would take a 2 games to none lead heading to The Show Me State for games 3 through 5. Then….

“2 of the darkest days of my life as a Dodgers fan occurred within 2 days of each other. And this 11 year old kid certainly did not GO CRAZY after this series….

You had to pick this game to hit your first ever home run from the left side of the plate Ozzie ?That home run by Ozzie would be voted by Cardinals fans as the number all-time greatest moment in old Busch Stadium’s history….gocrazy1

gocrazy2

And…

Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? The question asked in L.A. all winter long in ’85….

I’m still trying to figure out how I picked up enough courage to reflect upon my 2 darkest days as a Dodger fan. I never really came down hard on Tom Niedenfuer for giving up those home runs. If anything, I was actually harder on Lasorda for having Niedenfuer pitch to Clark with 1st base open and 2 outs. The hitter on-deck ? Andy Van Slyke, father of future Dodger Scott Van Slyke. Yes, I am aware that Andy is best remembered for his playing days with the Pirates, but at the time, no one knew who he was. As we said 28 years ago…. ” WHY DID YOU PITCH TO JACK CLARK !!!! “…. Speaking of the number 28…Guerrero-thumb-362x800-7893
My favorite Dodger as a kid, Pedro Guerrero. Put up some big offensive numbers for The Blue througout the 80’s , yet my lasting memory is of him throwing his glove down in disgust after Jack Clark’s decisive 3 run home run sent the Red Birds to the World Series against their in-state rivals the Kansas City Royals, in which they would eventually lose in 7 games. ( To any Cardinals fan that may be reading this, yeah, Don Dekinger blew the call at 1st base in Game 6, but having broken the heart of this 11 year old kid 10 days prior, my only feeling was and even at 11 years old… ” Hey Cards fans !!!! Oh well !!! Life’s a B***H isn’t it ? ” . 28 years later those feeling’s haven’t changed….LOL . “

http://dodgerdrei.mlblogs.com/2013/10/11/nlcs-show-down-at-the-show-me-state/

The exact dates when all this happened ? Monday, October 14, 1985 and Wednesday, October 16, 1985. Well, let’s see, we’re scheduled to play tomorrow on Monday, October 14 and Wednesday, October 16 ( Yes, I’m saying it right now. THIS WILL NOT BE A SWEEP !!!! ) and in ’85 it was the Cards who came from a 2-0 deficit. Oh yeah, what’s is it about Dodger manager’s being second guessed in the NLCS ? Anyways…..It’s our turn now to reverse all this. It’s time to REVERSE SOME HISTORY !!!!

holliday Matt Holliday, you’ve always had a place in my heart since 2009…

blue LETS DO THIS BLUE !!!!