A 5 run first highlighted by this 3 run blast from Puig would get the ball rolling toward the Magic 5…
Of course that wouldn’t be the only highlight of the night from Puig. Has Puig finally rediscovered his form of 2013?
(Corey Seager. Photo Robert Gauthier/LA Times)
While Corey has blown a bubble or two, not many pitchers have been able to blow much by our no doubt N.L. Rookie of The Year…
Other Magic Moments From the Number 5…
(Juan Uribe, Harry How/Getty Images)
Who could forget this 8th inning blast from Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS from Juan Uribe…
(Mike Marshall, L.A. Times)
Remember Mike Marshall? The outfielder who donned the Blue from 1981-88. Most fans dont remember that he led the team in RBI’s in 1988, not, well, you know… While many Dodger fans remember one home run from the ’88 World Series, Mike Marshall would also come through huge in Game 2…
9th Inning…Drei’s Tale…Presented by Vin…From The Left Field Pavillion With Kid n Drei…
Kid: Hey Drei, what’s up with Corey Seager’s walk up song?
Drei: What’s wrong with his walk up song Kid? So Corey goes country? Hey, if it brings him NLROY and maybe MVP honors he can play what he wants… Just because he ain’t playing what you want, you know…Miley Cyrus…
Some House Trance beats to start your week off, from Mid City L.A.’s resident DJ Reno Sparkz
It Never Rains in Southern California ?
With a rare rainout for the SoCal locals, both of Sunday’s games in the southland, the Rockies vs. Padres as well as the Sunday Night matchup between the Angels vs. Red Sox have been postponed. So rare are postponed games in the southland, for the Padres, this is their first ever postponement in the month of July due to inclement weather. Their game will be made up September 10th, a mutual day off for both clubs.
From 1969-1993, the Atlanta Braves resided in the NL West. (The folks at the MLB office at that time either flunked geography or something of the period messed with their minds…). During that stretch, 12 NL West Titles we’re won between the Dodgers and Braves as these two clubs have had some pretty intense battles.
In 1982, the Braves, managed by Joe Torre, would start off hot, winning their first 13 games of the season and at one point would lead the Dodgers by 10.5 games. The Dodgers, coming off a Championship season, would go on a hot streak of their own, taking over first place in less than a two week span, twice sweeping a four game series against the folks from Georgia. To this day, Braves fans still believe the removal of Chief Noc a Homa’s teepee in the bleachers to make room for additional seats for the stretch drive playeda major role in the Braves summer swoon,in which they would lose 19 of 21. (Could you just imagine the backlash if Chief Noc-a-Homa was around today ? )
The Dodgers would find themselves 3 games in front of the Braves in late September however after an 8 game losing streak The Boys In Blue would find themselves in a second place tie with the Giants, trailing the Braves by one game heading into the final weekend at Candlestick Park. The Dodgers would take the first 2 of 3 against the Giants, keeping pace with the Braves heading into the final game of the regular season. The Dodgers would have to win game against the Giants and hope for some help in San Diego. The help would come, however, the Giants, who had been knocked out of the race by the Dodgers the previous day, would return the favor as Joe Morgan would smack a 3 run home run in the home 7th that would knock the Dodgers out of the division race, allowing the Braves to win the west by one game. 1982 would be the final season Steve Garvey and Ron Cey would don the Dodger Blue, as both would flee via free agency. Three quarters of that famous infield was now gone, leaving Bill Russell as the last one standing.
The two teams would go back and forth with each other again in 1983. One of the more memorable games of that season took place on a Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. With the Braves leading 6-3 heading into the home 9th, the Dodgerswould mount a furious rally, capped off by a successful squeeze bunt by R.J Reynolds as Pedro Guerrero would score the winning run. The Dodgers would win the NL West over Atlanta by 3 games
Chief Noc a Homa. This name and image would be so wrong today if it wasn’t then…
The teepee where Chief Noc a Homa made his summer home in the stands at old Fulton County Stadium. Each time a Brave would… Noc a Homa… Noc a Homa would do a dance
It would be eight years until the Braves returned to relevance, during that time, the Dodgers would win 2 more division titles as well as the World Title in 1988. The Braves had some quality players during the early 80s such as Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, Glenn Hubbard and Brett Butler. The Dodgers had some exciting players as well, among them Steve Sax and Pedro Guerrero. If you recall the 1983 season, you may very well remember the added excitement both Sax and Pete brought to our infield…
The Braves and Dodgers would stage another epic battle for the NL West in 1991, and like 1982 and 83, it would once again come down to the final weekend. The upstart Braves would win the West by one game. It would be the first of 14 consecutive division titles won by the Braves.
1993 would be the final season the Braves would reside in the NL West, and they would once again find themselves in a heated battle for the division that would come down to the final weekend. This time, they would find themselves battling the Giants for the division crown. Both the Braves and Giants would head into the final game of the season tied for first with 103 wins. The Braves would win their season finale against the expansion Colorado Rockies, leaving the hated ones in a win or go home scenario at Chavez Ravine. This time around, it would be our Boys in Blue who would help the Braves out, knocking the Giants out in grand fashion, 12-1. The Giants, in spite winning 103 games, would be left out of post-season play. 1993 was also the final season without the Wild Card.
During their 14 year run as division champs in both the NL West and East, the Braves featured many high caliber players, among them, David Justice, Terry Pendleton, Fred McGriff, Tommy Glavine, and of course Greg Maddux.
The Dodgers and Braves would twice cross paths in the playoffs, in 1996 and most recently, when Juan Uribe provided one of the more exciting moments in the 2013 season with this…
Ironically, Uribe now calls Atlanta home. That’s sports for you. One day, you’re the enemy, the next day, you’re the good guy. Uribe will always hold a place in many a Dodger fans heart.
The Braves and Dodgers may not have as intense a rivalry as they once before division re-alignment. Not that it will ever stop these two clubs from being such thorns on each others sides. The Braves, expected to go through a rebuilding phase, surprisingly sit only 7.5 games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals. The Braves are expected to find themselves in a new ballpark, SunTrust Park,by 2017. By then or before, the intensity between these two clubs should be back in full form.
Nats have the best rotation in the division anchored by Stephen Strasburg. Acquisition of Doug Fister form the Tigers will also be a boost to the rotation. If the Nats, especially Bryce Harper can remain healthy for a good part of the season, Nats will be dangerous in the NL. Nats finished last season strong, going 26-12 down the final stretch.
Braves bats will be providing some heavy lumber again this season, especially the middle of their lineup. The loss of 2 of their starters, Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, could be a hindrance to the rotation. But with an offense that includes the power trio of Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, and a strong back end of the bullpen, the Braves still remain a legitimate threat to win this division.
Phillies starting rotation still sport a formidable 1-2 tandem in Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels but age has caught up to this organization that had made it to the post-season 5 consecutive seasons from 2007-2011, appearing in 2 World Series and coming out on top in 2008. 5 years ago, I would have loved to have Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz in my lineup.
In my surprise pick, I’m picking the Marlins to finish beyond the NL East’s cellar. It will be interesting to how if NL ROY pitcher Jose Fernandez follows up his ROY campaign as he will be anchoring this young rotation. Marlins still have too many inexperience to pose a serious challenge for the division.
The Mets starting pitching should make for a lot of close games, but scoring runs continues to be an issue for them. David Wright is not the home run threat he once was. I’m also interested to see if Bartolo Colon can match his somewhat surprising performance of 2013, and I say somewhat because, yes, he will be turning 41 in May. Can he pitch 200 innings ? Having said that, Colon should still provide a steady veteran presence in their rotation.
So, as for the NL East , it appears that there is no lack of pitching from the top on down the bottom. I still see this being a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves.
Over the last 14 seasons dating back to 2000, the Cardinals have had the most successful run in the National League, with 10 post-season appearances, including 4 trips to the Fall Classic in which they have won 2. Aside from the loss of David Freese, the Red Birds pretty much field the same personnel from last year’s squad that took them to the World Series. Their pitching staff, a good mix of veterans and youngsters from Adam Wainwright to Michael Wacha, could be the deepest in all of baseball. The offense along with Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina is also expected to put up some big numbers.
The Pirates, after going 21 consecutive seasons of sub .500 baseball, not only broke that dubious streak but won 94 games en route to a Wild Card victory over the Reds before taking the eventual NL Champion Cardinals the full 5 games in the NLDS. A lot has been made of the Bucs pitching and defense, which was certainly a huge factor in returning to post-season play for the first time in 21 years. The Bucs and their fans got a taste last year, now everyone in Steel City wants more, and they should. If they can add another solid bat or two to back Andrew McCutchen to their offense ranked 9th in the NL in scoring last year, the Bucs could make another serious run in October.
Overlooked last year was the fact the Reds made it to post-season play for the 3rd time in 4 years. However, closing out the season on a 5 game skid, including a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Pirates in the season’s final weekend at home, capped off by their Wild Card loss to the Bucs, eventually cost Dusty Baker his job as skipper. Fair ? I don’t think so. But that’s life in any major coaching capacity these day’s when even a hint of success is achieved and higher expectations are not immediately met. The big 3 run producers, Votto, Bruce and Phillips remain intact. The health of the pitching may be a question mark. The bullpen will be thin at times with the loss of Aroldis Chapman until at least June. ( Thank goodness he’s OK after being hit in the head by a line drive from Royals Salvador Perez ) .
Ryan Braun return from his suspension will definitely add some pop to the Brewers lineup along with Lucroy, Segura and Carlos Gomez. Pitching, as well as keeping key players off the DL , will be key for the Brew Crew if they are to sneak up toward the NL Central, the only division with 3 teams with 90 plus wins in 2013.
It has been 105 years since the Cubs have won a World Series. With all the youth on their team, it’s highly doubtful Wrigley Field, celebrating it’s 100th birthday, will finally be presented with a World Series triumph any time soon. Anthony Rizzo led the club with 23 dingers, and he could pass that up this season, but with a thin all-around lineup comprised of youngsters, he may not get many opportunities to drive home many runs.
So the NL Central could very well have 3 post season teams this year. St Louis with all it’s depth is the favorite to win the division, but Pittsburgh and Cincinatti, the somewhat forgotten team of last season, could pose a serious challenge for the NL Central crown.
The Dodgers are the overwhelming favorites to repeat as NL West Champions. Many expect the Blue to run away with this division. If only it we’re so easy. However, with all the depth they have, there really is no reason to think the Dodgers will not win the division unless injuries, which no expert prognosticator, can ever predict. The starting 5 could potentially have 2 20 plus game winners in their rotation in Kershaw and Greinke, and a couple of 15 plus game winners with Haren and Ryu. The bullpen, anchored by Kenley Jansen along with the return of Brian Wilson and the acquisition of Chris Perez, could be the best in the game.
Is this the year Dee Gordon solidifies his everyday spot in the infield at 2nd base ? Will the Dodgers be with 4 outfielders the entire season ? Can Matt Kemp ever return to the Matt Kemp of 2011 ? Yasiel Puig, after his breakout rookie season in which he played a huge part in the Dodgers run toward the post-season, how will he handle the pressures of higher expectations in 2014 ? Yeah, I’m being somewhat pessimistic. But that’s what fans who follow their teams closely do. Having said that, this team really is loaded. Many of these so-called issues are ones lots of teams would like to have, especially when talking about the outfield and pitching depth. I haven’t even mentioned the presence of Hanley and AGon in the lineup, also expected to put up some more big numbers this season.
Our rivals up north, the Giants, after struggling through 2013 with many of it’s players spending time in the DL and an unlikely shaky season from it’s rotation, look to give the Dodgers a run for the division. As much as Cain and Lincecum struggled, they still form a pretty formidable tandem along with Madison Bumgardner. The offense may be a question though, however, if the top of their lineup can stay healthy, Hunter Pence and of course Buster Posey could have more run-producing opportunities. How does a lighter Pablo Sandoval do in a contract year ?
There will be no shortage of runs in Arizona this year, as long as they got notorious Dodger killer Paul Goldschmidt in that lineup along with the addition of former Angel Mark Trumbo. The starting 5 is another story and the loss of Patrick Corbin before the Opening Series did not do any favors to the top of their rotation. The usually durable and dependable Bronson Arroyo should provide a good veteran presence. Will it be enough for the DBacks to pose a serious challenge in the NL West ?
The strength of the Padres, celebrating 10 years in Petco Park, has always been their pitching. Even with the changes in the outfield, Petco still remains a pitcher friendly yard. Now if only scoring runs wasn’t such an issue. Not helping matters is Josh Johnson, slated to be the Opening Day starter, is starting the season on the DL. With Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin in their lineup, will they have enough talent in that lineup to provide those two ample opportunities to drive home runs, always a tough task at pitcher friendly Petco.
The Rockies, opposite the Padres, have always been known for high offensive numbers. Playing 81 games at Coors Field certainly helps, especially when you have guys like Tulowitzki, CarGo and Michael Cuddyer in that lineup. Pitching, on the other hand, has historically been an issue for the Rockies. I really think it does have something to do with the thought of pitching in thin air , thus possibly affecting the mechanics of their starters.
As stated earlier, NL West is their for the Dodgers to take. Will they run away with the division ? No. I look for the Giants and DBacks to be the Dodgers closest contender, with the Padres and even the Rockies being possible sleepers to move up in the division. I still feel this is Matt Kemp’s team to lead. He may not be the 5-tool player that we saw in 2011 and may never go back to that form, but his presence in the lineup along with Hanley, Gonzales, Puig and either Ethier or Crawford, can still not be overlooked.
More of Dre’s Take’s…
I also would like to see Juan Uribe to build upon his performance from last year . It’s been noted that Juan struggles after a contract season. We will find out this year which Uribe we see, be it the Juan of 2011-12, or Juan Uribe of 2013.
And of course, let’s not forget our favorite Cuban, Yasiel Puig. Yes, he may be the most talented player the Dodgers have, which, when compared to a healthy Matt Kemp, is saying a lot. Yes, he still has the potential for an even bigger upside. And of course, yes, there’s also potential that dealing with the young Cuban Missile can be an ongoing issue. By now, we all know that Yasiel Puig was called out by manager Don Mattingly after last Saturday’s 7-5 win over the DBacks, in which Puig went 3 for 5. There is no denying the world of talent this kid posses. What is driving Mattingly, and others up the wall , including the fans…. ATTITUDE .
I have in the past questioned Mattingly himself on some of his decision making ( I’m sure you have too ), but in this case I see his point. They often say young talented players are the most difficult to handle. L.A. Sports fans, lets remember some guy named Kobe whom Phil, and even his own teammates, particularly some guy named Shaq, we’re not always on the same page either. Kobe and Phil still found a way to win 5 rings together. Puig will no doubt play another huge role as to how far the Dodgers go this year. Puig will also make more mistakes along the way, you know, growing pains. All of us will feel those pains along the way too. But as former MLB player Gabe Kapler said earlier this week, Mattingly can’t handle Puig by himself . Yes, like anything in any organization, it’s going to take a whole team to make this all work out. Calling a team meeting to address issues surrounding Puig is a start. Let’s see how this story turns out with both Puig and the Dodgers. This may sound crazy, but in some way’s Puig reminds me of another Dodger who had a world of talent as well as a world of baggage. Does the name Raul Mondesi ring a bell to you ? I really don’t see Puig going down the road of Mondesi, a world of talent met with unfulfilled promises. It’s all there for Puig to take, with a little help from his friends…
Dre’s NL Playoff Forecast
Pirates over the Braves. The Bucs vanquish the ghosts of 1992.
Cards taken to the limit again in the NLDS this time by Washington. Could be the premier LDS matchup
Dodgers too deep for the Bucs on the offensive side, Dodgers in 5
A repeat of last year’s NLCS, if all goes to form, this will be another evenly matched series
The World Series
It’s been 26 years, the time is now !!! Dodgers over the Tigers in 6 !!!
Hey Dre !!! Are you really the longest tenured Dodger ? It doesn’t seem that long. It’s time we get you a ring Dre !!!
Also, for more in depth coverage of our Boys In Blue, you can follow the Dodgers Low Down for all things related Dodger Blue.
I guess there is no off-season when it comes to posting stuff is there ? It’s been almost a month now since we last set foot inside The Ravine. My latest thoughts…
NL Rookie of the Year
As much as I would like to see Jose Fernandez build upon his ROY status in 2014, I really do have to question this one. Yeah, our own Yasiel Puig has at times done some things to rub fans, reporters and even teamates the other way but when you compare the impact that these two had on their teams it really does not compare. Before Puig came up in June the Dodgers we’re in the NL West basement looking up until Puig’s June callup provided the Blue Crew some much needed spark. And who could forget his magical June ? He would struggle down the stretch but there is no arguing the impact the Cuban Missile had on the Blue. What is surprising is that the votes we’re not even close.
So you didn’t get ROY. It’s all good. Perhaps the MVP next year ?
Meanwhile, Down South…
It was announced on Monday that the Atlanta Braves will be leaving Turner Field after the 2016 season to move into the suburbs of Cobb County. Should this go through as planned this would be the first of the post Camden Yards era yards to be left in it’s dust. Feelings are mixed amongst the fans in Atlanta about the move. Having been to Turner Field in 2007 I wouldn’t exactly put the Ted amongst the top yards in terms of game day experience but it certainly is nowhere near the bottom either. A lot of it has to do with location. Not exactly in the greatest part of town and access isn’t the greatest either. Having said that, the Ted really isn’t a bad yard at all. If the plans for the new stadium go through in time for the 2017 season ( though a rendering of the yard has not been released ) this would mean that Turner Field will have lasted only 20 seasons not counting the 1996 Olympics. Not good considering that yards built after Camden Yards we’re designed to last a good long time.
With my souvenier tomahawk
Looks like you may be moving to newer digs Hank
Other Post-Season Awards
Puig may have missed out on the Rookie of the Year, but 3 other Dodgers certainly didn’t miss out on their share of accolades. Zack Greinke, while outstanding on the mound even after battling back from a broke collarbone, was also pretty lethal with the bat as well, winning the Silver Slugger Award for his .328 average, best amongst all pitchers. Not too shabby considering his previous 8 seasons we’re spent in the American League where he hit a combined .170
Also, Juan Uribe was named the Dodgers Wilson Defensive Player of the Year for his outstanding work at 3rd base this season. Yeah, like many of you, I had my doubts about Juan coming into the season, and in spite starting the season backing up Luis Cruz, Uribe would have a strong season, highlighted by this 2 run home run off David Carpenter the Braves in Game 4 of the NLDS, sending the Blue to the NLCS.
Congratulations Kershaw on your 3rd consecutive Cy Young !!! Next season, a World Series ring !!!
OK, now back to a more serious topic. By now all of you are aware of the devastation that the people of The Philippines are going through. Over 1,700 have been confirmed dead, and the numbers are likely to rise. I am proud to say that California is home to the largest Filipino community not only in the United States, but also outside the Philippines. I am also proud to say that Los Angeles, with a Filipino population of over 330,000, is also home to the largest Filipino population of any U.S. city, so it would be safe to say that the Dodgers have the largest Filipino baseball fan base as well, ranked even higher than the Giants Filipino fan base ( Yeah, I had to go there. I’m sure our friends up in Daly City are reading this too…LOL… Hey, a little humor to a serious bit never hurt anyone…) . All kidding aside, understandably, there is much concern amongst the Filipino community here in California from San Diego to The Bay Area and of course all the way back here in Los Angeles as many relief efforts are being put to place. In addition , AT&T and Verizon are waiving fees for those who need to contact their loved ones in the Philippines.
If you are interested in helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, you can click here for a list of organizations where you can donate funds to assist those in need. From this Filipino-American Dodger fan, other Filipino Dodger fans in Los Angeles, but more importantly, Filipino’s in Los Angeles, throughout California, and everywhere, we say, MARAMING SALAMAT !!!! THANK YOU !!! Also, a huge MARAMING SALAMAT to the good people of Team Rubicon, a team of military vetrans that are also assisting in The Philippines under ” Operation Seabird “. If you’re unable to contribute, a simple thought and prayer will also do.
Filipino’s repping L.A. and the Dodgers !!!! Thanks Jon for the pic !!! Oh yeah, if you’re a Filipino Dodger fan here in L.A. and have any pics of you and your friends and family at Dodger games, or any sporting events here in L.A, please do send them my way. I would like to feature them here on my blog.
Times may be rough for our fellow citizens of The Philippines, but the sun will shine once again…
Now that I have somewhat fully recovered from my post-season hangover, let’s now reflect….
“One of the key’s to the Dodgers beating the Braves was their clutch 2 out hitting. Both the Cards and Dodgers have outstanding pitching staff’s. The Dodgers, having disposed of the Braves in 4 games, should be well rested and confident with Greinke and Kershaw lined up to go in Games 1 and 2 in Missouri. The Cardinals bring a ton of post-season experience to the plate, having made it to the NLCS 3 years in a row….”
My words prior to this NLCS Showdown. The clutch hitting from the LDS ? Not much of it from either side during the first 5 games, which we’re close enough either team could have been ahead 3-3 or perhaps had the series knotted at 2. Or heck, that could have been the Dodgers up 3 games to 1 ? Well, in a series of what , again, many felt was a matchup between 2 evenly matched teams, it’s usually the team that get’s that one key hit that ends up winning….
Key Moments In the Series….
Don Mattingly’s decision to pull Adrian Gonzalez out of the game for pinch runner Dee Gordon in the 8th inning of a tied game had critics coming out once again, and Gonzalez’s presence would be sorely missed in extra innings as twice, with a runner in scoring position, Hanley Ramierez would be walked intetionally to pitch instead to Michael Young, playing at 1st base for Gonzalez and occupying what would have normally been his spot. In both trips, Young fails to deliver, each time, his at bats ending in inning ending double plays,and Mattingly’s decision making would come into question once again…. In what would be a tight pitched ballgame from both sides into the home 13th, Carlos Beltran’s one out double would give the Red Birds the early lead in the series…. Beltran may have single-handedly beat us in Game 1, but Mattingly’s late game decision making sure didn’t help matters any…
With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no out in the top of the 6th facing Cards rookie phenom Michael Wacha, the Dodgers best scoring opportunity goes all for naught as Mark Ellis would pop out, and after an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez , Yasiel Puig would go down swinging as well as NLDS Game 4 hero Juan Uribe, and Clayton Kershaw would be the tough luck loser despite allowing only 2 hits in a 1-0 decision, sending the Blue back to L.A. in a 2-0 hole…. Personally, I had no problem with this display of emotion even though certain Cardinals would have a problem with some of our players emotional outbursts later in the series. After all, it’s the playoffs !!!!! Everything’s big in October !!!!…..
After taking Game 3 off Cards ace Adam Wainwright, the lumber would finally show up in the series. Unfortunately, it was the Cards who supplied the lumber, keyed by Matt Holliday’s 2 out 2 run blast to the Dodger bullpen. Cards pinch hitter Shane Robinson would hit a solo shot himself, and the Cards, with their clutch hitting, coupled with the Dodgers hitting into 3 DP’s, including a possible momentum breaking one by Yasiel Puig on a 2-0 count in the home 9th, it would be the Cardinals putting themselves in prime position for a return to the fall classic…. Holliday with the big 2 run homer in the 3rd… The Cards are one game away from The Fall Classic…
Facing elimination, it would be the Dodgers who would bring the bats and the Cards who would fail to come up with the clutch hit as Zack Greinke, while not having his best stuff early one, would pitch a clutch 7 innings , pitching himself out of a early bases loaded jam in the first and also out of trouble in the 3rd as well, both times getting Yadier Molina to ground into inning ending double plays. This time, it would be the Dodgers who would bring the lumber, hitting a team post-season record 4 home runs, 2 by Adrian Gonzalez and one each by Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis as they would stave off elimination and beat the Cards 6-4, sending the series back to St Louis trailing 3 games to 2…. Gonzalez rounding 3rd after belting the second of his two homers in Game 5 Not over yet indeed !!!! Back to Missouri we go !!!!
Greinke pitching out of trouble in the 1st….
Dodgers slug 4 solo shots, back to Missouri we go !!!! Gotta like our chances in Game 6 with Kershaw up next, right ?
Well, is it really necessary ? I didn’t think so. But if it comes down to this again next year, I want Kershaw on the hill !!!! Unfortunately he and the boys just had one of those days, and, unfortunately, it was just a bad time to have it. It happens. So it’s the Cardinals who will be representing the National League in the World Series. Does this hurt, yes. Do the emotions run deep ? You bet they do, and if certain St. Louis beat writers don’t think otherwise, well, then they’re just full of it…But as I said in my last post, we win with class, we lose with class….
Aside from Game 6, this was really a close series. A hit here, a hit there, a healthy Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp in the lineup, who knows. But injuries are part of the game and to this point they did a valiant job of playing right through it. It just wasn’t enough….
Yasiel Puig brought a level of excitement that Dodger fans will be privledged to enjoy for years to come. Yes, he did look like a rookie at various times throughout the playoffs ( 4 k’s in Game 2 and his 9th inning double play in the 9th inning of Game 4), and yes, growing pains do come with them ( Yes, even the home run bat flip in Game 3 that went for a double and his stare down of the HP ump in Game 5), but let’s not forget, his presence from the day he went to the big show back in June gave the Dodgers and the fans a much needed boost in energy, some of which may have rubbed off to Adrian Gonzalez as well. And for the last time, for those who did not care for their so-called Mickey Mouse ways of enjoying their feats, oh well, that’s just the way we do it here in our Magic Kingdom we know as Dodger Stadium….
It was fun !!! Next year, we end this with a parade down Figueroa ….
Tonight was a tough one to swallow. Neither the Dodgers or Cardinals had gone yard heading into Game 4 until Matt Holliday launched a rocket toward the Dodgers bullpen in left field to give the Red Birds a 3-0 lead. Shane Robinson would later hit a pinch hit solo shot off J.P. Howell to pad the Cards lead and that’s how it would hold up as the Cards take Game 4, 4-2 to take a commanding 3 games to 1 lead.
A Break Here, A Break There….
Through 4 games, the Cardinals have had a slight edge in total runs scored, 8-7. Tonight, the long ball certainly played big in doing the The Blue in….
3 double plays, 2 of them inning ending and one of them a potential rally killer, as well as Nick Punto being picked off 2nd base after a one-out double and the Dodgers trailing by 2 also spelled doom for The Blue tonight….
The Dodgers have outhit the Red Birds 31-19 throughout the 4 games, however when being asked to come through in the clutch, while neither team has torn the cover off the ball throughout the series, with exception of tonight, it’s the Red Birds who have been that much more clutch than the Boys in Blue….
Other Key Moments The First Four….
After a one-out triple from Mark Ellis in the top of the 10th, the Cards intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez to pitch to Michael Young, who had replaced Adrian Gonzalez in the 8th inning for pinch runner Dee Gordon, who would not score. Michael Young hits a shalow fly to right center, Carlos Beltran catches and fires home to nail Mark Ellis at the plate. Score remains tied…
Top 12, after Carl Crawford leads off with a single and is sacrificed to 2nd by Mark Ellis, up comes HanRam. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he will be walked to get to Michael Young’s spot, the spot originally occupied by Adrian Gonzalez, to set up a double play. Yup, you guessed it. And another rally is shut down. The Cards would end up winning in 13 on Carlos Beltran’s one out hit down the right field line….
With the Dodgers trailing by a 1-0 deficit, Kershaw and Crawford at 2nd and 3rd with no one out, The Blue would fail to score, capped off by strikeouts by Puig and Uribe, 2 key reasons why the Dodgers advanced past Atlanta to reach the NLCS. That would be their best scoring chance of the day and in spite only 2 hits combined off Kershaw, Belisario, and Howell, the Red Birds would hold off the Blue 1-0 and take a 2 games to none lead in the series….
So, again, as I have stated, neither team is really doing much to run away from each other, statistically speaking. The Cards have done just enough to position themselves for their 4th World Series appearance since 2004, and in a series between what many have said was a matchup of 2 evenly matched teams, just enough may be, well, just enough….
Outside The Yard…
A Place Called Home is a non-profit youth center located in South Los Angeles for which my sister currently works for. They provide assistance for at-risk youths in South Central an opportunity to achieve higher education and pursue their dreams. Well, APCH NEEDS YOUR HELP!! They’ve been selected as finalists to win $5,000 for our Nutrition program and we need YOUR VOTES to win! Voting only lasts until THIS Friday, so vote every day this week!! Like and Share to help our members AND their families! Vote at: http://www.greenfestivals.org/fcgg-la THANK YOU!! And perhaps this video clip from January of 2012 will inspire you to cast your votes….
From The Twitter Feeds….
Eleven teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win a best-of-seven series. #Dodgers
As I said earlier and will say again, the Cardinals have not , in any way, shape or form, dominated this series. They have done just enough to get themselves into position to clinch a World Series berth. We get Greinke tomorrow and should we be fortunate to go back to the Show Me State for Game 6 we get Kershaw. Has anyone won back to back games against these two this season….twice ? It will be tough to do it again. The Dodgers just gotta come up with that clutch hit, and not let tomorrow’s starter, Joe Kelly off the hook as they did early and often in Game 1. Momentum can be a fair-weather trait. It’s time we get that back tomorrow !!!!
We shoulda had white towels today, Holliday doesn't like those.
OK, for the 4th time in post season history, the Dodgers and Cardinals will face each other . The Dodgers had a slight edge over the Cardinals in the regular season, winning 4 out of 7, with the visiting teams winning their respective series. How much of an advantage either team may have on one another, who knows ? So how do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup heading into the NLCS ? We do know that this time around both teams will be coming into this series at their best unlike during the regular season, when the Cards took 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium back in May as the Dodgers we’re still mired in their early season funk and the Dodgers took 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium in early August when the Dodgers we’re at the height of their post all-star break run while the Red Birds we’re experiencing a swoon of their own having lost 13 of 18 during that stretch…..
Oh how things have changed much since late May. Let’s see…. Hanley and Greinke we’re still on the DL, Puig had not arrived yet, the offense was in a funk, and who knew what was up with Matt Kemp. Yeah, Kemp won’t be able to contribute, but hey, The Blue found a way to make it this deep into October even without Matt making a significant contribution. Thing’s we’re so bad at the time, the fans we’re getting frustrated, and the “frustration” would reach all the way up to the Top Deck between me and my buddy J on this Sunday afternoon in late May against the Cards…..
Allright J, so you did say we’d snap out if it after the all-star break, we actually snapped out if it just before the break, and Dre to this day still thinks you ” jinxed ” Matt Kemp…. J !!!! LOL….
TEAM L.A. !!!!!
Even though the puck has been dropped to start a new season in the NHL, the Kings of the Staples Center ice show their support for their neighbors up 110…. This was on Dodger Pride Night last season. Speaking of the L.A Kings , who out there is going to outdoor stadium game against Anaheim come January ? Hockey Night at Dodger Stadium !!!
No Strangers to the Postseason….
The Dodgers and Cardinals share a rich history between the two when it comes to October headlines. 17 World Championships have been won between these two storied franchises, with the Red Birds winning 11, second most in the majors only behind the Yankees. As said earlier these two teams will be meeting each other for the 4th time in post-season history, twice in the NLDS and NLCS. Both teams have inflicted their share of heartbreak on each other during the post-season….
2004 NLDS….Cardinals 3-1
Lima Time !!! In the lone win of the series, Jose Lima ( RIP Jose ) pitches a complete game shutout in Game 3, 4-0
1985 NLCS….Cardinals 4-2
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….
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…
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 .
OK, let’s go outside the yard for a bit. Anyone remember this from 1985 ?
2009 NLDS… Dodgers 3-0
After “reminiscing” over my two worst days as a Dodger fan, one out away from tying the series up at one game apiece, Matt Holliday did his best to ” take one for the team…. ” . Cards ace Adam Wainwright feel’s having 50,000 have us waving white rally towels in Holliday’s presence was not fair…. 2 days later, the Dodgers would wrap up the LDS, sweeping the Red Birds in 3 games….
One of the key’s to the Dodgers beating the Braves was their clutch 2 out hitting. Both the Cards and Dodgers have outstanding pitching staff’s. The Dodgers, having disposed of the Braves in 4 games, should be well rested and confident with Greinke and Kershaw lined up to go in Games 1 and 2 in Missouri. The Cardinals bring a ton of post-season experience to the plate, having made it to the NLCS 3 years in a row. Andre Ethier is expected to get more playing time so we’ll see what kind of an impact he has in the series. It’s just too bad someone has to have their heart broke one more time…
Dre’s Pick… Dodgers in 6.
And now, we , one more time, go back to 2009. I’ll let Vinny take it away…
Andrei here,Southern California Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine and StadiumJourney.com, along with the broham, Marlon B, aka Kid Marley Marlz. We like to call ourselves, KID N DREI…2 crazed Dodger fans bringing Da Beatz and Da Talez or sometimes, both. Kid with Da Beats on SoundCloud at MDario GlutenFreeSonds, and Drei with Da Talez.