Monday, October 13, 2008

Game 4 - Disgust

The Dodgers had this one. Up 5-3 with 2 innings to go & Hong Chi Kuo pitching his tail off. It was there's to lose & lose it they did. Joe Torre's surprising decision to lift Kuo for Corey Wade only to have Wade give up a line drive homer to Dodger arch-foe Shane Victorino, then have him lifted in the 8th for Jonathan "Can't pitch under pressure" Broxton was baffling. To say Broxton folds under pressure is like asking Jack Clark if he can hit a Tom Niedenfeur fast ball. Broxton threw a pitch to Matt Stairs that may still be going. The Dodgers had the best era in the NL this season. The best bullpen & with Manny pne of the best lineups, but it is in an odd configuration to say the least.

Russell Martin should bat 2nd. Andre Ethier or James Loney should bat 4th. Torre should not keep goofing around with the lineup. He started doing that in his last years with the Yankees, batting A-Rod eighth, but leaving the underachieving over-hyped Derek Jeter in the 2 slot. This is a manager who won 4 championships in New York with what were essentially Gene Michaels' and Buck Showalter teams. He has proven he can not manage young players & needs a presence like Manny Ramirez to change rules that he had established in the club house since day one (No music, no long hair, etc.). Joe Torre doesn't have the wherewithal to adapt to the everchanging landscape of baseball.

If the Dodgers are to succeed they will have to get a presence much like the Angels in that of Mike Scioscia. Well the Angels lost in the first round to the Sox and Torre helped the Dodgers win their first series in 20 years, you say. B.S.!!! Manny Ramirez won that series & is the only reason the Dodgers are where they are today. He elevated that team to a playoff contender, without Manny this team would be languishing somewhere near the bottom of the division. If this offseason is to be any kind of success, McCourt better open up that moth ridden wallet of his and pay Manny accordingly. He'll make up the money in revenue in the first year alone. Also, if there's a chance to land Mike Scioscia at any point within the next few years it'd be worth the hurt feelings of Joe Torre to get a manager that isn't sleeping on the rail during the game.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lineup Game 2 NLCS

A few changes in the lineup today:

Same folks, slightly different arrangement:

Furcal- SS
Martin- C
Ramirez- LF
Ethier- RF
Loney- 1B
Kemp- CF
DeWitt- 2B
Blake- 3B
Billingsley- 1

The Phillies swap in Greg Dobbs for Pedro Feliz at third, but beyond that it's the same.

Rollins- SS
Victorino- CF
Utley- 2B
Howard- 1B
Burrell- LF
Werth- RF
Dobbs- 3B
Ruiz- 2
Myers- 1

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bring on the Phils

So the Dodgers finally know that their counterpart will be Philly in the NLCS. Not an easy task to go up against one of the best hitting teams in baseball. The Pitching seems to favor the Dodgers. Hamels is a stud and Moyer has pitched well, but Lowe is a seasoned veteran having been here many times, Billingsley has been the Dodgers best starter all season and Kuroda is good for 5 or 6 decent innings. Myers has pitched well since August, but earlier in the season was sent back dowbn to the minors to regain his form. The Bullpens are pretty equal except for the closer which heavily favors Philly.

Hitting is something of a toss-up as well. While the Phillies did have the 3rd most runs scored, but had the 10th best batting average which is indicative of a team that scores all their runs by the long ball. The Dodgers pitchers gave up the fewest homers in baseball so that could bode well against a team with the likes of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The Dodgers hitting has seen a resurgence since the acquissition of Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake and the reemergence of Rafael Furcal after spending nearly the entire season on the DL.

What really favors the Dodgers is if they can take at least one in Philly then they play the middle three in LA where they had one of the best records in the NL. I'm picking the Dodgers in 6 to win and face the Red Sox in the World Series.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Game 2

Chad Billingsley is the new ace of this staff. It's undeniable now. This blog has taken an exceedingly homer turn possibly for the worst lately and for that I apologize but really the Dodgers look great. Timely hitting along with Cub miscues have given the Dodgers quite a large series lead, but do NOT think that this series is over. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, the Cubs were the best team in the National League and will not give up easily. Fukudome will not be in the lineup & the Cubs are throwing haren who has pitched well of late. The sweep in possible but don't rule out a return to Chicago.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Game 1 - NLDS

Watching the Dodgers systematically dismantle the Cubs tonight was something that can not be taken lightly. After the Dodgers sputtered along for 4 listless innings, Ryan Dempster gave them the pick me up they needed by loading the bases and serving a fastball to which James Loney promptly banged over the Left/Center field Ivy covered wall for a grand slam. Derek Lowe looked like the same Derek Lowe that helped carry the 2004 Red Sox to a championship, throwing 6 strong ininngs of 2 run ball.

Even Broxton looked good tonight which is surprising since recently he's been hit harder than Sarah Palin on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" Manny also added a golf shot, as did Russel Martin in the ninth. Let's not get carried away though, while this is the first series lead the Dodgers have had since 1988, it's still only one game. The good thing is now they have the home field advantage. They looked flat the first 41/2 but really started to knock around the beleagured Chicago pitching staff after that.

Carlos Zambrano goes up against Chad Billingsley tomorrow in the late game and it should be great. I will say this, though, Rafael Furcal looked off, like he wasn't ready to play. Perhaps, he shoud be relegated to bench duty with Jeff Kent and let Angel Berroa play SS. Just a thought. Other than that the lineup was great, the pitching was phenomenal, Lowe, Wade, Broxton & Maddux (Mad Dog closed...weird). Let's hope the Dodgers keep this barrage of hitting up & sweep the Cubs out of the playoffs.