Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Help
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Search
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Dodger Thoughts
Archives

2009
02  01 

2008
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2007
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2006
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2005
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2004
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2003
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2002
09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Rinsing the Champagne
2008-10-05 09:34
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Mercy, the excitement. Russell Martin flying in the air to congratulate an ebullient Manny Ramirez on scoring from first base on James Loney's double at the start of Saturday's National League Division Series finale. Jonathan Broxton in full roar after striking out Alfonso Soriano to end the game. The fans. It was some night.

Make no mistake - there was tension. Martin nearly got himself thrown out at third base on Ramirez's first-inning single - I'm told replays indicated he was out - a play that could have turned the entire evening around.

Beyond that, one of the weird aspects of Saturday's game was that Hiroki Kuroda was getting two strikes on numerous hitters without being able to close them out. The crowd would rise, waving their rally washcloths, but the batters kept making contact. My brother and I looked at each other at one point and said to each other, "This isn't working."

Then in the fifth inning, after surviving by getting outs at just the right time (the Cubs left six runners on in the first four innings), Kuroda got hot. He got his first strikeout of the game to close out a one-two-three fifth, then whiffed the final two batters in a perfect sixth.

That Kuroda was getting hotter as the game went on set up Joe Torre for a potential series-changing trap. Leading 3-0, the Dodgers had Blake DeWitt on third base with two out and Kuroda due up. Kuroda had passed the 90-pitch mark, which meant that he only had about 20 pitches left in him - the equivalent of one inning. But impressed by the previous two innings, Torre let Kuroda bat for himself.

The worst happened. Kuroda struck out, then got only one out in the top of the seventh, leaving with runners at first and second (admittedly, Ryan Theriot reached on what could have been ruled an error on Rafael Furcal). Suddenly, the Cubs had the tying run up.

The reason that Torre could have pinch-hit for Kuroda is the reason he was able to get by without pinch-hitting for him. Cory Wade, once again, did the job, retiring Soriano and Mike Fontenot (the latter on a flyball over a hesitiating Matt Kemp's head that he jumped to catch.)

From the moment he brought Wade into the game, Torre managed the bullpen perfectly. He didn't worry about roles. He didn't worry about what inning it was. He just looked at who was most likely on the staff to get the next out. He used Wade until it was Broxton time (after the Cubs finally scored with two out in the eighth, and had the tying run at the plate again), and instead of taking Broxton out just because it was the ninth inning, he kept him in.

This was not a vote of no-confidence in Takashi Saito. It was recognition that you don't take out a pitcher who has his best stuff and has only thrown six pitches, just because it's the Closer Inning.

Some Broxton games are better than others. This was one of his best. Hopefully, it was on a big enough stage for people to remember.

* * *

You always hear talk about hitting with runners in scoring position. But a huge key to this game was the Dodgers' pitching with runners in scoring position. Think about it: the Cubs stranded runners on second or third in the first, third, fourth, seventh and eighth innings of a 3-1 loss. The Dodgers dominated this series, but this was a game won by a razor-thin margin.

The Dodgers only needed to use seven pitchers to get their 81 outs, including Saito, who got none. Wade and Broxton pitched in every game of the series, a luxury they won't have in the next round. But do not fear. The team has weapons it didn't even use this past week.

* * *

In speaking with Tony Jackson of the Daily News, Ned Colletti passed some credit for the NLDS victory to his scouts.

"There are two unsung heroes in all this, and they are (special assistants) Toney Howell and Vance Lovelace," Colletti said in the clubhouse as champagne sprayed in all directions around him. "They were (advance scouting) those guys (the Cubs), and they did a wonderful job learning them and finding out everything about them. Toney was on them for a couple of weeks, and Vance was there for eight or nine days. They brought that information to the coaching staff and the manager, and they executed it to a T. Toney and Vance have a love and a passion for it, and they apply that day in and day out.

"I hated to say goodbye to Toney and Vance, but they have moved on to watch a couple of other clubs now."

* * *

So, remember when it looked like Rafael Furcal would not play again for the Dodgers this year, and it looked like his best chance for returning to the team might be on a one-year, prove-himself-again contract? With the playoffs, Furcal is reemerging as an elite free agent, which might mean Dodger fans should enjoy him while they still can. Ramirez, Furcal, Derek Lowe - three leading cogs that all might be on their way out after this month.

* * *

From Tom Singer at MLB.com: "Of the previous 21 teams to sweep Division Series, only nine went on to LCS triumphs, six of eight in the AL but only three of 13 in the NL."

* * *

So who was your NLDS MVP? Ramirez had the best numbers, but Loney had the crushing hits in two of three victories.

Comments (205)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-10-05 09:46:13
1.   milkshakeballa
The real "MVP" was the Dodgers pitching, but giving it to a single player....without a doubt James Loney. Coming out party for the young man. And wow, Brox, I was pumped. He was UNHITTABLE last night. Absolutely UNHITTABLE.
2008-10-05 09:46:44
2.   MC Safety
Weird Game James gets the MVP in my book.
2008-10-05 09:49:18
3.   MonkeyBlue
The would give it to the pitching staff....or Loney.
2008-10-05 09:51:35
4.   schoffle
0

That was quite an amazing game, and I do think that Martin was out at 3rd but I think that you are giving Torre some undeserved credit saying that:

"From the moment he brought Wade into the game, Torre managed the bullpen perfectly"

I am still wondering why Wade was not pulled for Beimel when Daryel Ward came to bat, why bother to warm up Beimel if you are not going to use him with a man in scoring position and a lefty coming in? That well could have been a turning point had Broxton not bailed out Torre.

But what a great win for the Dodgers, any word on on Kuo's availablity for the Phillies left handed lineup?

2008-10-05 09:51:36
5.   Tangled Up in Blue
Loney deserves MVP but Martin should get some consideration as well. His double against Zambrano changed the series, IMHO. He was the guy who kept the pressure on for the Dodgers.

I am still in shock from last night.

2008-10-05 09:53:52
6.   Marty
I'll say Martin was the MVP. Did TBS actually award one?
2008-10-05 09:54:04
7.   Bob Timmermann
I have a game thread open for all three games today, which are pretty much just going to run into each other in terms of start times.
http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/1153051.html
2008-10-05 09:56:33
8.   tethier
Why not a group MVP? Martin, Manny, Loney and Wade.
2008-10-05 09:57:12
9.   tethier
LAT'D from the previous thread.

What a great day to be a Dodger fan! It's been a long time coming.

I'm old enough to remember back to the 1960's teams and the powerhouse teams of the mid-late 70's. I haven't felt so good about the Dodgers as a playoff team since the 1970's - even though they won in '81 and '88. The current team is vastly underrated (for the moment) and even if we lose the league championship I can't see a blowout coming.

One thing that concerns me, slightly, is Ethier's lack of production. He hasn't looked awful by any means and I keep telling myself he's just been a bit unlucky and he will turn it around in the next series. Maybe he needs to hit in front of Manny? What is everyone else's take on this? I'd hate to see Torre "rest" him and put Pierre in. I'm also not sold on Ethier and Loney hitting back to back. They are too vunerable to the LOOGY.

2008-10-05 09:58:32
10.   Jon Weisman
If Loney doesn't get that slam, I think it's an entirely different series.
2008-10-05 09:58:34
11.   Frip
It would be strange being a man like Van and having your last name be Lovelace. (I'm not referring to the porn star). Especially in baseball. It's just such a feminine sounding name. You couldn't GET a more womanly name unless it was Daisy, or like, Froofroo.
2008-10-05 09:59:35
12.   Jon Weisman
9 - It was three games. Don't panic about Ethier. He OBPed .357 and nearly hit a three-run homer last night.
2008-10-05 10:04:27
13.   CodyS
I thought Martin was out watching it live. But the replay showed that even though the throw was there in plenty of time, Martin's hand was on the bag before Ramirez tagged him on the shoulder. I was amazed the umpire could get that right. very good job by the ump to see that.
2008-10-05 10:04:30
14.   Tangled Up in Blue
10 Its tough to argue with that. Martin's double showed that the Dodgers weren't going away.

As I said, Loney is MVP.

2008-10-05 10:04:36
15.   Humma Kavula
I was at the game last night -- I have a lot to say but I'm about to leave the house to spend some time with the family. I will check in later... but before I go, Mrs. K and I have a question about Kuroda not getting the K.

From our vantage point, it was impossible to tell if Kuroda was getting close strike calls, but we DID notice that (I believe -- tell me if I'm wrong) that neither side had a called strike three all game. The ump would call strikes, but all the strike threes (strikes three?) were swinging.

Did the ump have an especially tight zone? Was he simply refusing to call batters out on anything close?

I'm checking out now but would love to know others' opinions.

2008-10-05 10:05:40
16.   tethier
12 I guess it's more I'm panicking that Torre will panic. :-)

I will say, he seems much calmer lately now that he knows the veterans know their place.

2008-10-05 10:06:07
17.   Bluebleeder87
Broxton truly was nasty yesterday even Eckersley was giving him props... & I have to agree with the advance scout thing, the Dodger pitching staff (collectively) made the Cubbies look pretty bad at times.

NLCS here we come.

2008-10-05 10:07:19
18.   Bob Timmermann
I think Vance Lovelace's scouting has shown that trading Ron Cey to the Cubs was a good idea.
2008-10-05 10:09:25
19.   Tangled Up in Blue
Kemp has looked lost of late as well. I am hoping he turns it around next series.
2008-10-05 10:09:49
20.   MC Safety
9 I heard someone say the Cubs didn't have a decent lefty outside of Marshall, who is more of a long guy.
2008-10-05 10:11:41
21.   Fish
While I loved the game, my favorite moment to watch on TV was the celebration after. Saw Nomar and Kent clowning it up with the younger players, and Kershaw just going crazy. Then, during Torre's press conference, he was often drowned out by the celebration in the other room. Loved when he asked one of the reporters, "Are those your friends?"
2008-10-05 10:24:27
22.   Jon Weisman
Broxton's NLDS line: 3 1/3 innings, no hits, two walks, five strikeouts, two groundouts, two flyouts, one line drive.

12 batters, 56 pitches (4.67 per batter - that is a lot), 35 for strikes.

Two inherited runners, both stranded.

2008-10-05 10:30:11
23.   Bob Hendley
Lets here it for the starters as MVPs. They came up big with our BP,a previous strength, now on the thin side. For heaven's sake, without Hiro coming on strong in the last few innings, Park might have been in for a high leverage situation (admire the guy, but he has been down lately). At this point, I wouldn't mind seeing Proctor back in there. And lets pray that Sammy and Kuo come back strong.
2008-10-05 10:30:48
24.   tethier
20 Cotts looked pretty good against Ethier, Loney and Kemp last night.
2008-10-05 10:33:29
25.   tethier
23 Sammy and Kuo come back strong.

If that were to happen, the Dodgers would be worldbeaters. Would be nice.

2008-10-05 10:34:33
26.   Bluebleeder87
20

it might seem weird but I busted out laughing at that.

2008-10-05 10:37:34
27.   Robert Fiore
I have a feeling this is a Bob Timmerman question: Has a General Manager ever been fired after his team won a pennant? Immediately I'm thinking of Branch Rickey, but technically he was bought out.
2008-10-05 10:37:40
28.   tethier
21 Saw Nomar and Kent clowning it up with the younger players, and Kershaw just going crazy.

That's great. Even though many players did not get in to the series, I think everybody knows, that if the Dodgers are to go all the way, everyone will have to contribute. I can definitely see those three coming through in some way.

2008-10-05 10:40:01
29.   Fish
Bought a plane ticket from MSP to LAX and four tickets to Sunday's Game 3, assuming the Phillies hold on today.
2008-10-05 10:42:03
30.   LogikReader
Is this not the first ever Dodger Thoughts coverage of a Dodger NLCS? What wonderful times these are!
2008-10-05 10:45:59
31.   Bob Timmermann
27
Bing Devine was fired while his team was winning a pennant in 1964. Although they weren't in first place at the time of his firing. Bob Howsam replaced him.

Rickey wasn't fired after 1942. The Dodgers just hired him away, although Rickey and Breadon were headed for a parting of the ways.

The Yankees owners bought out Larry MacPhail after the 1947 World Series because he kept causing problems.

In 1890, Brooklyn manager Bill McGunnigle, who operated as a general manager in that era as well, was let go after leading Brooklyn to its second straight pennant. But that was because Brooklyn pretty much had to hire Monte Ward to run the team, as he was considered one of the best players in the game at the time.

2008-10-05 10:48:55
32.   Bob Timmermann
30
Jon blogged the 1988 NLCS by writing his thoughts on a piece of paper in his apartment and asking people to come by and write comments underneath it.

It wasn't a success.

2008-10-05 10:50:35
33.   RELX
As some many have said, great win, shocking win, surprising win, unbelievable win.

One thing I disagree with from your post, Jon: I do think Torre's use of Broxton in the ninth was a vote of no confidence in Saito. Nothing against Sammy, but he is basically pitching with a torn ligament in his elbow, and even though that experimental injection is allowing him to pitch with some effectiveness, he is not that pitcher we watched for his first 2 1/2 seasons as a Dodger.

While I don't expect Torre to publicly announce it, I expect Broxton to be the closer from now on.

2008-10-05 10:50:39
34.   Bob Hendley
31 - As I recall, 1964 also ended up with moves by the pennant-winning managers.
2008-10-05 10:52:31
35.   Louis in SF
Must say that watching the game taped begining at 1am, I have thought the TBS coverage has been quite good. Everyone seems to have acknowledged the role that Torre has played with managing the young and the older Dodger players, but Torre having the confidence, faith and smarts to go with the talent down the stretch.

If we play the Philadelphia, I think we will see a leadoff homer by Raffy at that ballpark.

2008-10-05 10:52:34
36.   Fish
If it's the Phillies, do we give Clayton a start--albeit with a short leash to Maddux/Kuo?
2008-10-05 10:53:16
37.   Bob Hendley
33 - In the press conference Torre basically said that not PHing for Hiro was because he was unsure of Sammy and that he hoped to work him in during the next series.
2008-10-05 10:58:46
38.   overkill94
Man I'm glad the Dodgers didn't do the thunderstick thing - the Brewers fans look pretty stupid pounding away on those things.
2008-10-05 10:59:33
39.   MollyKnight
One thing I'm sort of worried about is that the Dodgers will lose momentum with five days off. Is that a valid concern? Or am I just paranoid?
2008-10-05 11:02:33
40.   ToyCannon
10
And that is why Sweet Baby James is the MVP. Martin was awesome with all those doubles. Busted the ball hard in games one and three.
2008-10-05 11:03:16
41.   Fish
It'll be the Phillies! My travel plans work!
2008-10-05 11:03:48
42.   ToyCannon
39
Is that the schedule even if Philly close out today?
2008-10-05 11:03:50
43.   Tripon
Phillies 4-0 on a Pat Burell 3 run homer in the top of the 3rd inning.
2008-10-05 11:04:57
44.   Tripon
5-0 On a Jayson Werth solo homer.
2008-10-05 11:05:00
45.   ToyCannon
Victorino leads the charge and Werth ends it with an exclamation point.
2008-10-05 11:07:07
46.   underdog
I wonder if Dale Sveum knew Burrell's numbers vs. Suppan before IBBing Howard. Then again, choose your poison. The Phils will be a dangerous opponent, more hitters that scare me than the Cubs.

Also: I blame the Dodgers for my fairly poor performance in soccer this morning. A few celebratory beers and I'm useless in the morning. But we won. And I'm happy.

2008-10-05 11:07:14
47.   Bilshaw
Please come back to Hong Chin Kuo
2008-10-05 11:07:17
48.   bluekang
Martin was definitely safe. By the time Ramirez put the tag on his shoulder Martin's hand was on the bag.

I am happy about the lack of thundersticks too. That is what separates the Dodgers from the Angels, the Angels have thundersticks and a t-shirt shooters and crap.

2008-10-05 11:07:27
49.   LogikReader
39

I can see that, but since the Phils might close out today, I figure both clubs will have "equal momentum". It's only a one day difference.

2008-10-05 11:07:40
50.   Tripon
Were we sure we wanted the Phillies in the first round? They seem to be better than the Cubs.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-10-05 11:08:29
51.   Fish
Yeah, if I'm reading this page right:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/ps.jsp

2008-10-05 11:09:19
52.   Bob Timmermann
This isn't the NBA where the playoffs start whenever they feel it works best. The schedule is pretty much set except for weather delays.
2008-10-05 11:09:34
53.   jasonungar07
I give alot of credit to Torre. When he decided he would play our best players our season turned around.
2008-10-05 11:09:59
54.   underdog
50 I didn't want the Phils in the first round, either. I wanted the Mets! But I think this will be a good series.
2008-10-05 11:10:32
55.   Bob Hendley
39 - Didn't we have about that much time "off" after clinching. I know we played the Gnats, but still...
2008-10-05 11:11:19
56.   underdog
Where's D4P these days? He needs to be celebrating with us!
2008-10-05 11:14:18
57.   natepurcell
56

He likes to be miserable so I don't know if he would be in a celebrating mood.

2008-10-05 11:15:56
58.   JRSarno
So, Division champ status trumps Wild Card (even if Wild Card team has better record)? -- I suspected this as being the case, although several folks around me last night at the stadium authoritatively proffered that the Dodgs could "never" have home field in the NLCS. Doesn't seem like it matters anyway, Phils up 4-0.
2008-10-05 11:17:03
59.   JRSarno
Jeez, 5-0. Well... the battle of the counter sweeps in the NLCS. That Brewers crowd is silent.
2008-10-05 11:17:42
60.   KG16
I really wanted to be here last night. Really, I did. But I was playing a poker tournament and final table money was too good to do a chip dump, I hope y'all understand. Anyway, this is pretty cool. I got to watch the game, or at least most of it, from the casino.

I have to say, James Loney has to be the series MVP. The grand slam in game one, the two run double last night were game winning shots.

2008-10-05 11:19:26
61.   Bob Timmermann
58
Remember that most people are wrong.
2008-10-05 11:20:26
62.   KG16
I have a Charger-heavy roster on one of my fantasy teams. Losing 10-3 to the Miami freakin' Dolphins is not cool.

Although, I must say, Ronnie Brown is pretty good at football

2008-10-05 11:20:31
63.   DBrim
Prospects of a game 5 are not so great. The Brewer bats are good, though, and if any team can come back, it's them
2008-10-05 11:22:38
64.   ToyCannon
Best 2nd baseman in Dodger history looks to be well.
2008-10-05 11:23:33
65.   berkowit28
36 According to one Matthew Leach, who seems to be substituting for Gurnick along with a Michael Schwartz at dodgers.com (check the "sweep...1,2,3" article), Kershaw will be the starter for the 4th game in the NLCS. He doesn't quote anyone in the Dodgers organization for that statement, so he may be making assumptions or making it up; or he may have an inside track.
2008-10-05 11:23:56
66.   KG16
63 - not if they continue to make the bat miss the ball.

There are way too many old friends coaching in other organizations. I mean, I understand that guys take the jobs that are available, but there's something not right about seeing Scioscia and Mickey Hatcher in Angels uniforms, or Davey Lopes in a Phillies uniform. It'd really be nice if we had more former Dodgers on the coaching staff.

2008-10-05 11:24:30
67.   Bilshaw
NLCS

Derek Lowe @ Cole Hamels
Chad Billingsley @ Brett Myers
Hiroki Kuroda @ Jamie Moyer
Greg Maddux or Clayton Kershaw @ Joe Blanton

2008-10-05 11:31:58
68.   KG16
67 - Maddux should not pitch in Philly.
2008-10-05 11:33:54
69.   Eric L
68 Game 4 would be in LA.
2008-10-05 11:37:06
70.   Eric L
I wish I would have been able to watch the game last night. I agreed to chaperon a field trip to the UCLA game last night. When my wife signed us up, I had no idea that the Dodgers would be in position to punch their ticket to the NLCS.

Other than that, I'm happy to report that WSU is rather terrible football team.

2008-10-05 11:37:56
71.   Branch Rickey
http://tinyurl.com/43ezek

Some fun pictures from last night, including celebration.
Click on the 10/4/08 Gallery.

2008-10-05 12:08:00
72.   KG16
69 - in my defense, I'm running on about 6 hours of sleep.
2008-10-05 12:20:34
73.   dkminnick
So much to say about last night. My throat is still sore from screaming all night long. I was so impressed with the energy and noise in the Stadium last night. I truly don't ever remember it being that loud - except for the night of Gibson's home run. I wonder, did that energy come across on TV? Did any any announcers or writers anywhere give Dodger fans some props?

Also, I've got a little story to share if I can violate Rule 1 in Spanish. May I get a ruling, Philosopher King?

2008-10-05 12:25:27
74.   22 Gallons
71 - thanks for sharing the great pix
2008-10-05 12:25:50
75.   LoneStar7
71 I love the pictures of pee wee with a broom haha
2008-10-05 12:32:59
76.   Tripon
Pat Burnell hits another homer to make it 6-1.
2008-10-05 12:46:26
77.   scareduck
It was oddly anticlimactic; unlike Jon, I felt the Dodgers had the game in the bag all along. Harden's poor postseason ERAs (mainly due to poor health down the stretch) and the Cubs' comprehensible but self-defeating failure to use Fukudome against the one pitcher he should have known fairly well, the Cubs were pretty much sunk from after the first-inning play didn't go their way.
2008-10-05 12:48:20
78.   Cannonball
Howsabout Lowe as the game 4 starter on 3 days if possible? That puts Billz on for game 5 on normal rest, with Lowe maybe available for game 6 (on 3 days again) if needed.
2008-10-05 12:50:47
79.   Preston Bannard
With a day off between games 4 and 5 of the LCS (because god forbid a potential game 7 is on a Friday), in addition to the normal travel days, the Dodgers can throw Lowe in Games 1, 4, and 7 and Billingsley in 2 and 5, with only Lowe going on short rest in game 4. Given that they were willing to that in the Cubs series, I imagine we'll see the same in the NLCS.

Frankly, given that the Phillies have a balanced lineup (2 switch, 3 righties, 2 lefties, 1 platoon), unlike the righty-heavy Cubs, I hope to see Lowe 3 times, who is by far our most effective starter against such a lineup (.633 OPS against lefties, .635 against righties); both Billingsley and Kuroda allow .100 or so points higher OPS verse lefties; also, a 3 man rotation gives us more match-up options in the pen.

2008-10-05 12:54:22
80.   scareduck
79 - you could hope to draw the inside straight by going with Kershaw.
2008-10-05 12:56:32
81.   Tripon
I rather not have Lowe pitch on 3 days rest three times in a series. That'll be asking for two losses in those games. Our bullpen's deep, but not that deep. I rather trust Kuroda and kershaw over 3 starts of a diminished Lowe.
2008-10-05 12:59:34
82.   Jacob Burch
COLTS WIN! COLTS WIN! COLTS WIN!
2008-10-05 13:02:18
83.   Tripon
Phillies win 6-2. Dodgers are going on a road trip!
2008-10-05 13:19:06
84.   Icaros
I think this is the first time I've rooted for the New England Patriots since the Tuck Game against Oakland.
2008-10-05 13:32:58
85.   Disabled List
I agree with everything Jon wrote in regard to Torre's use of the bullpen last night, which was masterful. Except, I do think Torre was determined not to use Saito.

Sammy was pounded hard on Thursday, leaving Torre with a thin bullpen. He didn't want to use the lefties (Beimel and Kershaw) against the Cubs' all-RH lineup, he knew McDonald is too green to come into that situation, and Chan Ho is nothing more than a long reliever at this point. That meant Torre could either use Maddux as his 7th inning guy, or he could stretch the three guys he knew he could count on (Kuroda, Wade, Broxton) as long as he could to fill up that extra inning.

He decided to let Kuroda hit in the 6th inning, hoping he could make it through 7. The fallback plan would be to use Wade and Broxton each for 3+ out appearances if Hiro couldn't finish the 7th. Which is exactly what happened. It was tremendous tactical managing by Torre. I've been as tough on Joe as anyone here, but he came up huge last night.

2008-10-05 13:34:16
86.   DBrim
I'd rather not see kuroda pitch on the road, period. Just throwing that out there
2008-10-05 13:45:55
87.   Bumsrap
Will Nomar start at first against Cole?

MVPs = Loney, Lowe, Billingsley, Kuroda, Broxton

2008-10-05 13:46:50
88.   gpellamjr
87 My guess is that yes, either Nomar or Kent will start at 1st in game 1.
2008-10-05 13:49:18
89.   Bumsrap
I think the Dodgers have enough middle infield strength and should spend money for Sabathia and then a third baseman.
2008-10-05 13:57:55
90.   Gagne55
79 They changed the format? It used to be offdays after games 2 and 5.
2008-10-05 13:58:35
91.   Fish
My goodness Werth had a tremendous season.
2008-10-05 14:01:48
92.   KG16
89 - I really don't want to look too far into the future, mainly the off season. I'm rather enjoying an extended stay in the post season. But...

I think everything starts with Manny this off season. My hunch is that they resign him for 3 or 4 years, for a very big chunk of money. I also suspect that Jones will be traded or designated for assignment, and Pierre will also be on the trading block. I could see resigning Blake to a 2 year deal while they develop someone in the minors to take over. I'm not sure the Dodgers need more pitching, even with Penny and Lowe leaving (Billingsly, Kuroda, Kershaw, McDonald as a front four isn't too bad) but CC wouldn't be a bad acquisition, the question is whether the Dodgers would be willing to pay for him.

2008-10-05 14:10:11
93.   Tripon
We can trade JP to the Cubs!
2008-10-05 14:11:07
94.   Fish
I don't think anyone would take Pierre or Jones at this point, and there's no way we sign both Manny and CC. Frankly, I'd rather spend $15MM/season for Lowe than $24MM/season for Sabathia anyway.

Can McDonald really start next year? And what to do with Clay's innings?

2008-10-05 14:12:32
95.   Bob Timmermann
There was a guy in my section last night wearing a Juan Pierre Cubs jersey. His friend was wearing a t-shirt for Torgo's Pizza.
2008-10-05 14:12:44
96.   seesdifferent
Torre made an obvious mistake by not pinch hitting for Kuroda with a runner in scoring position when he already had 92 pitches, then Torre compounds it by clinging to the mistake by not taking him out/ bringing in the lefty to get Ward. Not good work by Joe.
2008-10-05 14:15:46
97.   Bumsrap
96 - Smart, great, amazing, intelligent decisions will get you fired if they don't work and bad decisions will get you a pay raise if they work. Wherever Torre's decision fell, the end result was success.
2008-10-05 14:16:21
98.   seesdifferent
Sabathia will be ridiculously overpriced. Let the Steinbrenners overpay. They won't be in the post season anyway.
2008-10-05 14:20:20
99.   Bumsrap
Manny, Teixiera are Boras clients, Sabathia isn't. Sabathia wants to play on the West coast for a non designated hitter league team.

Hopefully, the Brewers won't ruin CC's arm.

2008-10-05 14:23:54
100.   Tripon
There's a team willing to take Juan Pierre for $5 million a year, or half of JP's contract. We might even be picking up a decent prospect. And for a galling, really out there thought.

JP might be a better player than Alfonso Soriano today.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-10-05 14:26:38
101.   Bumsrap
I wouldn't complain starting with a rotation of Billingsley, Kuroda, Kershaw, Elbert, McDonald. There just needs to be some depth behind it.

I am not going to complain about the position players being: Martin, Loney, Abreu, DeWitt, Hu, Young, Kemp, Ethier.

But one great arm and one great bat to help for the next two years might be needed to repeat as World Champs in 2009.

2008-10-05 14:27:26
102.   KG16
99 - I think Manny is smart enough to realize that he won't have it as good anywhere else as he will in LA over the next 3-4 years. He won't have to worry about an insane fan base like he would in New York or Chicago (or he had to in Boston), if the Bums run this thing all the way out he'll be a star among stars in the city of stars, and he will get paid, and he really seems to like it out here. I really think Mannywood works.
2008-10-05 14:27:27
103.   berkowit28
99 Um, the Brewers now have no opportunity to ruin Sabathia's arm, do they?
2008-10-05 14:27:37
104.   goofus
I don't think there is any doubt McCourt will try hard to resign Manny. And I can live with that, not that I have a choice. I think Penney has to go and we should try to retain Lowe. We have to try to keep Furcal as well. With all that, Jones has to go. Jones and $10 million to Seattle for Beltre. Throw in Penney if they want him (sign and trade). Don't offer Nomar arbitration but try to sign him at some price as a pinch hitter and back up. Let Kent, Sweeney, and Maddux ride off into the sunset. Now after all that, if there's any money left in the bank, try to get CC. Big dreams...
2008-10-05 14:27:51
105.   Tripon
I think Elbert stays in the bullpen next year if he makes the Dodgers to replace Biemel, and give the Dodgers a LOOGY with Kuo's being the primary Left handed reliever.
2008-10-05 14:28:50
106.   Bumsrap
103 - Well, no. Forgot Philly won today.
2008-10-05 14:29:55
107.   KG16
100 - Soriano could lose an arm and still be a better player than Pierre.
2008-10-05 14:32:12
108.   Bumsrap
107 - No, that just evens the playing field.
2008-10-05 14:37:43
109.   Bumsrap
Kent jumping up and down with the kids tells me he wants to play in a World Series and is willing to miss/watch the the last legs of the journey.
2008-10-05 14:38:51
110.   Fish
Ug, please don't bring Beltre back...bad memories of the first go-around, save for one miraculous season fueled by greed (and who knows what else).
2008-10-05 14:40:59
111.   MollyKnight
Oh, man. Looks like I'm going back to Philly in the garb of the visiting team.

Only this time, I mean it.

2008-10-05 14:45:01
112.   KG16
heh, Frank TV as making fun of the number of Frank TV ads.

110 - bad memories? he came up as a 19 year old, had 3 20 home run seasons before his 48 home run season. He's a career OPS+ 107 (career line of: .271/.327/.459). He's hit 25 and 26 home runs in each of the last 3 seasons while playing in Safeco National Park. I wouldn't mind having him back for ages 30-33.

2008-10-05 14:45:49
113.   KG16
111 - if you feel you need a body guard, I'm more than willing to take the time off of work to accompany you.
2008-10-05 14:50:16
114.   Fish
112

Oh, I know he's a generally fine player. However, his career arc began before I understood baseball statistics, and I can remember many a night spent at the Ravine frustrated at his utter inability to lay off breaking balls low and outside. Just a personal bad-taste-in-my-mouth kind of thing.

2008-10-05 14:53:48
115.   Gen3Blue
105 That does make some sense, but I tend to hate to give up on young ones who could potentially be starters. I admit I seem to go too far this way. I've recently complained that Broxton should have kept starting, when he looks like a great late inning guy. I'd like to see Elbert start in the minors next year. It is so important at this point to develop you're own young starters.

Looking at opponent Jayson Werth, I always liked the guy--he has that blend of speed and power like Kemp---but I can see how we gave up on him over health. I think someone here pointed out his sister's string of injuries as an athlete way back? Oh well.

2008-10-05 15:07:57
116.   Tripon
Not everyone can make it as a starter. Or rather there's only 5 starting spots, and eventually you're going to have to pigeon hole a square peg in a round hole somewhere. Elbert is that square peg. And I suppose the Dodgers are the Pigeons.

Also, count me as one of those who would be against trading for Beltre for several reasons. He's on the last year of his current contract, and with his agent Scott Boras will not be looking for an extension with any team that trades for him. Scott Boras is the same guy who advised Joe Crede to basically pack up and leave the playoff bound White Sox just to start on rehab a month early. Despite the White Sox one of the teams that would be desperate for a 3rd baseman. Boras always wants the market place to set the price of his clients. No way he'll even allow the Dodgers initial discussions about a contract extension.

Also, Kim Ng's one of the front runners for the job. You can bet one of the first thing she'll do is see what the value of the M's players are. And more importantly, a trade between the Dodgers and the Mariners will favor the M's with a Ng regime. She'll know the Dodgers farm system better than anyone not named Logan White, including Ned Coletti. She'll pick him clean and I rather not take the chance with that.

2008-10-05 15:47:32
117.   Bluebleeder87
111

oh yes! :o)

2008-10-05 15:50:10
118.   Bluebleeder87
116

maybe i'm reading this wrong but I dislike that side of human behavior.

2008-10-05 16:12:59
119.   Bumsrap
If the Dodgers traded for Beltre, I would only want him for the one year left on his contract. Pierre for Beltre plus whatever makes the deal work.

I am also curious to the extend Boras can help move Jones. Jones may want to start over again with a new team. If Boras can figure out a way to move Jones without costing the Dodgers, Jones $18 million could go to Manny. I am still dreaming here so duck, here comes another one. Give Manny $12 million plus Jones $18 million in year one of a two year contract and $25 million for year two. Then, off Manny goes to the DH league.

2008-10-05 16:17:33
120.   be2ween
119 Think Manny (Boras) will want a 3 or 4 year contract - not 2.
116 Definitely in that number of Dodger fans against another round of Beltre. Would rather have LaRoche back for another try that Beltre. I can't even put a name to why I'm against Beltre except 'gut instinct'.
2008-10-05 16:19:00
121.   Bumsrap
Colletti's celebration right after the last out seemed to create some awkwardness regarding Ng, if she was the one to get sort-of-a-hug and then ignored.
2008-10-05 16:20:01
122.   Clive Clements
111 I'm also going to Philly - I'll be somewhere up in the 400s in left field for game 2.
2008-10-05 16:20:15
123.   Bumsrap
120- Manny/Boras will want a 7 year contract. So?
2008-10-05 16:39:32
124.   overkill94
123 Ummmm no
2008-10-05 16:41:14
125.   deburns
totally OT, but are there any other DT'ers going to the Arizona Fall League Shandler outing at the end of the month?
2008-10-05 16:44:18
126.   D Money
Beyond that, one of the weird aspects of Saturday's game was that Hiroki Kuroda was getting two strikes on numerous hitters without being able to close them out. The crowd would rise, waving their rally washcloths, but the batters kept making contact. My brother and I looked at each other at one point and said to each other, "This isn't working."

I had that SAME thought Jon. I actually told my buddy that same thing and said it seems to be more suitable to power pitchers.

Was my first postseason experience at dodger stadium though and i loved the electricity and noise. it was amazing.

2008-10-05 16:47:10
127.   Bob Timmermann
The only time Kuroda got a strike out to end an inning was when he K'd Harden.
2008-10-05 16:59:23
128.   jasonungar07
I sure hope Kuo can come back healthy. That would be a huge lift for us heading into the series.
2008-10-05 17:01:22
129.   Jon Weisman
127 - Kuroda struck out Lee to end the fifth and Edmonds to end the sixth.
2008-10-05 17:03:06
130.   herchyzer
102 . I agree. LA knows how to manage it's stars. I've lived nearby several through the years and knew, somehow, even as a kid, not to bother them. Whenever I've seen one in public I've never seen anyone try to approach them although me and my friends were saying to each other, "There's Jack Palance", or whatever, and I'm sure other groups of people were as well.
2008-10-05 17:05:20
131.   herchyzer
104 Someone HAS to convince Lowe that he really wants to remain on the West Coast. I wonder what ($$) it will take?
2008-10-05 17:27:54
132.   milkshakeballa
This looks to be the NLCS matchups:

Lowe vs. @ Hamels
Bills vs. @ Myers
@ Kuroda vs. Moyer
@ Kershaw/Lowe vs. Blanton
to start

Lowe would be on 3 days rest but if they pitch him Game 4 he would be on normal rest to pitch a game 7. They wouldn't go to Maddux I don't think and would just have a quick hook for Clayton in a game 4. If they go Lowe on 3 days rest you are looking at a Bills vs. Hamels in a looks-to-be pivotal game 5 at Dodger stadium, by the way which I have tickets for. ;)

Anyways, the Brewers had absolutely ZERO plate discipline the whole series vs. PHI. I really think that the bottom 3 of the Phils rotation will have a tough tough time getting Dodger hitters out. But the Phils bullpen is pretty sharp. Lidge is obviously their closer. He lives dangerously sometimes but gets the job done. Romero is a very good loogy and Madson and Durbin are very good relievers. Even Condrey is good. I think if Kuo can come back and be ready for this serious, it would be a HUGE boost for the Dodger bullpen. Beimal and Kuo coming out of the pen for the Phils would be huge.

2008-10-05 17:32:25
133.   seesdifferent
I can't think of a team that would want Manny nearly as much as the Dodgers and at the same time would have the resources to sign him. Manny is a great draw; he makes money for the club. And I imagine he likes LA. He should be signable. Where else would he possibly go? The Angels? that might start a riot.....Detroit? nahhh.

I love Lowe but he will be outrageously expensive, the Mets will probably go for him with a big bid, and he can probably be replaced.

I doubt that Furcal can be replaced...he is as important as Manny to continued success.

2008-10-05 17:33:19
134.   oshea2002
wow, just wow. The Angels have completely imploded.
2008-10-05 17:33:33
135.   seesdifferent
Angels screw the pooch on a popup with the bases loaded.
2008-10-05 17:33:34
136.   still bevens
Oh my goodness Lord. Trouble brewing for our friends in Anaheim.
2008-10-05 17:34:58
137.   still bevens
How many gold gloves does Torii Hunter have? How badly does Kendrick want to be labeled the goat of the series?
2008-10-05 17:36:09
138.   milkshakeballa
Can someone explain what just happened? Gameday says a shallow basehit that scored 3 runs...
2008-10-05 17:37:40
139.   Alex41592
138 - That is correct. Three players who didn't want to catch a lazy fly ball = A three run single.
2008-10-05 17:38:02
140.   MollyKnight
135-Speaking of pooches, the Dodgers are still undefeated in the playoffs in my dog Pirate's lifetime. He was born a few weeks after they got swept by the Mets in '06.

Also, I'd love to organized some kind of DT meet up in Philly, maybe at that Chickie & Pete's place across from Citizen's Bank. I guess as soon as we know when the game starts we can set a time.

There is safety in numbers, people.

2008-10-05 17:41:43
141.   Ken Noe
121 I also thought that was weird. Ng seemed to expect a big hug instead of Ned's brush-off and rush-by. As for Jones, I don't think we could move him at all except as parts to evil organ reapers.
2008-10-05 17:45:25
142.   milkshakeballa
What's the consensus of Nomar or Kent starting against Hamels and Moyer? I really hope this DOESN'T happen. I think Joe should stick with Loney right now and I think he will. He is seeing the ball really good right now. You can always pinch hit for him later in the game if he is struggling but I really think he deserves the start.
2008-10-05 17:48:05
143.   Alex41592
Nomar and Kent are a combined 0 for 11 lifetime against Hamels.

Loney is 1 for 6. Bat Kemp or Blake 5th to separate Ethier and Loney.

It's a game in Boston!

2008-10-05 17:55:41
144.   Bob Timmermann
129
I knew I was wrong as soon as I hit 'submit' but then I got distracted.

And I was keeping score!

2008-10-05 18:30:28
145.   DBrim
So why didn't they write any articles like this about us?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3627510

2008-10-05 18:30:42
146.   Xeifrank
Following the Dodgers from Handan, China. (on vacation here). Way to go Dodgers!!!
vr, Xei
2008-10-05 18:39:39
147.   The Dude Abides
Both Nomar and Kent are hapless against Hamels (0-11 lifetime combined), but Nomar absolutely owns Jamie Moyer (15-36 lifetime, with a number of XBH and a better than 1.100 OPS). Kent is 4-15 lifetime against Moyer with one HR. So IMO, start Nomar and DeWitt against Moyer in Game 3. I think Moyer is the type of nibbling, slow-throwing lefty who could have problems with a patient hitter like DeWitt, whose defense is superior to Kent's anyway.
2008-10-05 18:42:43
148.   Bob Timmermann
According to Tony Jackson, Game 1 will start at 5, Game 2 will start at 1, and Game 3 will start at 5.

PT that is.

2008-10-05 18:46:46
149.   das411
So are the Angels as massively overrated as the Cubs were, or is Boston just setting themselves up for a hilarious loss to the Playoff Rays?
2008-10-05 18:54:26
150.   The Dude Abides
Well, the White Sox aren't done yet, although the looming specter of Javier Vazquez is presenting itself in a possible Game 5.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-10-05 19:12:39
151.   Gen3Blue
149 I don't know, but as discussed in the Griddle they are now embroiled in an epically long game that is tied in only the 6th at this point.
2008-10-05 19:17:20
152.   Fish
It's pretty well proven that, other than platoon splits, there is very, very little value in a player's past performance against a certain pitcher. The sample size is just far too small.

Nomar and Kent's 0-11 against Hamels thus far is as meaningless as if they'd have combined for 6-11.

2008-10-05 19:18:49
153.   Bluebleeder87
148

i'm putting my foot down, & ain't working OT, I mean it!!

2008-10-05 19:20:49
154.   Icaros
152

Those sample sizes aren't too small to qualify on Mike Krukow's Ownage Scale.

2008-10-05 19:28:50
155.   Tripon
Martin is determined to be a great player -- so determined, in fact, that when he made an out in an exhibition game last spring, he fired his bat in anger. Two springs ago, one Dodger said Martin had a chance to be "one of the best catchers of all time. His focus is incredible.'' He lost some of that this year, one teammate said, but now it appears he has it back -- just in time for the biggest games of the year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=3627614

Tim Kurkjian previews the Dodgers-Phillies series. He picks the Dodgers in seven.

2008-10-05 19:29:39
156.   ryu
What sample size is considered big enough to be able to draw significant conclusions?

30 at-bats? 50, 100?

2008-10-05 19:32:31
157.   Fish
It's a sliding scale; obviously, the larger the sample size, the more accurate the conclusions which can be made from it.

Practically speaking, certain hitters don't face certain pitchers nearly enough to draw any sort of valid conclusions.

L/R split is generally real.

2008-10-05 19:33:18
158.   DBrim
155 - Not so much focus as it is fatigue. He actually had some rest, so now he's hitting well. Next year he should rest once a week. Period. Playing third is not the same as resting.
2008-10-05 19:34:36
159.   Tripon
Also, all the ESPN experts outside of Neyer is picking the Dodgers to win. I'm very nervous about that since the curse of ESPN doomed the Lakers against the Celtics, and the Cubs against the Dodgers.
2008-10-05 19:42:45
160.   Jon Weisman
157 - from the archives

2/7/04

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/11731.html

Only If He Hits Righties Does He Hit Lefties

2008-10-05 19:49:18
161.   Bluebleeder87
159

There hitting is what scares me... but I love Lowe starting over there (sinker baller) if he pitches the way he traditionally pitches this time of year we should be o.k.

Billingsley: i'm not an "expert" but I LOVE the extra rest playoffs series provide, his pitching style will benefit the most from the extra rest IMO.

2008-10-05 19:52:06
162.   CanuckDodger
159 -- Neyer's picking the Phillies, huh? In my best Laura Petrie falsetto, "Ohhhh, Rob!" Though most of the ESPN guys chose the Cubs over us, I believe Neyer was the only one to predict a Cubs sweep. Not that there is anything especially wrong-headed about picking the Phillies, but there is a pattern here.

Neyer wasn't always anti-Dodger. He loved the Dodgers when DePo was our GM. But like a lot of the sabermetrics crowd, he became a Dodger hater when DePo was fired, and has been predicting our doom ever since. And it isn't just about DePo. Among certain sabermetricians, it is an article of faith that a team that gave Juan Pierre a 5 year/$44 million deal HAS to fail.

2008-10-05 20:03:12
163.   LAT
The Baseball Tonight crew was dissecting the Cubs and concluded they lacked a real leadoff hitter and needed an outfielder. Why don't they just say it. Juan Pierre can fill both those roles.
2008-10-05 20:05:23
164.   bhsportsguy
I think the series is pretty even, the question will be can the starters keep the Dodgers in the game and will the Dodgers avoid the dry spells that has plagued them this year.

A big help will be determined tomorrow when Kuo throws from the mound at their Monday workout at Dodger Stadium.

2008-10-05 20:05:29
165.   Bob Timmermann
Why would Neyer like the Phillies anymore than the Dodgers? Pat Gillick isn't exactly Mr. Sabermetrics.
2008-10-05 20:07:02
166.   bhsportsguy
162 I don't think Neyer is anti-Dodger, he picked them to win the division this year. I could certainly see the reasons to pick the Phillies.
2008-10-05 20:14:05
167.   Branch Rickey
Sitting behind the Cubs dugout last night, got to see something pretty funny. A fan was jawing at Pinella saying something about them kissing his "backside" in Tampa Bay, Pinella turns around and yells "You can kiss my "bakside" right now!". With that, many fans spent the rest of the night yelling at Lou. Several times he yelled back. How long has he been in baseball? And he let's Dodger fans get to him? My gosh, we're the most benign fans in all of baseball!
2008-10-05 20:18:08
168.   Disabled List
The Phillies lineup scares me. We're not going to have the righty-vs.-righty advantage against them that we had against the Cubs. This is the series where we're really gonna miss Kuo.

Also, I'm very nervous now to hear the ESPN guys have picked the Dodgers. That's the kiss of doom, right there.

2008-10-05 20:18:45
169.   Tripon
Angels fans are way more sedated than Dodgers fans.
2008-10-05 20:19:13
170.   Bob Timmermann
167
I hear those Mariners fans can be quite vituperative.
2008-10-05 20:21:08
171.   Branch Rickey
170 Look, I have Google and I'm not afraid to use it.
2008-10-05 20:21:39
172.   CanuckDodger
165 -- It is not about whether we or the Phillies have a sabermetrics GM. Gillick wasn't hired by the Phillies on the heels of the Phillies firing DePo. The firing of DePo sent a shock wave through the sabermetrics community. DePo was the first sabermetrics GM to be fired, and really, he remains the only one.

166 -- I never heard about that prediction, but in the years since McCourt fired DePo, Neyer has said an awful lot of negative things about the Dodgers (even when we didn't deserve it), and since I don't have ESPN Insider, the way I have heard about them is people mentioning them here.

2008-10-05 20:24:48
173.   LAT
Kruck & Co. believe the stars line up for the Dodgers because Lowe's ground ball style will keep the ball in Citizen's Park. In game 2, Bills is an ace and he too keeps the ball on the ground. And in game 3, Kuroda is much better at home than on the road.

This makes me very nervous becasue it makes perfect sense. And what should happen rarely does.

2008-10-05 20:43:32
174.   ucladodger
I'm still confident about this series, but less so than against the Cubs. Cole Hamels is just really really good, and I fear him more than any of the Cubs starters (not if Harden were healthy). Hopefully we can jump on top of Hamels in game 1 and have Brett Myers be the Brett Myers of the first half. We have a definite advantage in the rotation 2-4. It would also be great to have Kuo back, and if not, Beimel will have a huge role in this series.
2008-10-05 20:46:05
175.   dzzrtRatt
104 Wouldn't you say Andruw Jones' contract qualifies as a "distressed asset?"

Maybe Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will buy him off us for $5 million. Then he can auction him off.

2008-10-05 20:47:51
176.   dzzrtRatt
I mean, Ned Colletti probably didn't know what he was getting into when he signed the Jones contract. He was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous agent. He didn't read the fine print.

Colletti's the real victim here! He deserves a bailout!

2008-10-05 20:48:44
177.   bhsportsguy
166 March 28, 2008 - Rob Neyer ESPN Insider Blog.

Speaking of the Dodgers, they're my pick in the National League West, just edging the Padres and the Diamondbacks (with the Rockies a few games behind them).

2008-10-05 20:50:22
178.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers actually lobbied to get the Tax Code changed so they can write off the second year of any multiyear contract given to a player (not a pitcher) who hits below .160.
2008-10-05 20:57:02
179.   dzzrtRatt
178 That's got to be about the only earmark that didn't make it onto the bill.
2008-10-05 21:07:44
180.   jtrichey
173 If by a stars lineup he means Nomar and Kent because Lowe is a groundball pitcher, that just doesn't fly. It is because they are ground ball pitchers that we need our defensive infield. Nomar very well may get the starts against the lefties, and I can't really disagree. But I think that Kent won't start at all in this post season. Torre just likes Blake DeWitt too much. By the way does anybody besides Torre believe that Berroa is a better defender than DeWitt?
2008-10-05 21:10:48
181.   Tripon
Berroa is used in the late innings replacing DeWitt for the double switch. Its odd, but it looks like Berroa can play 2nd better than Shortstop. He saved Broxton's butt in game two by gloving his first out. Sure its super scary to have Berroa in the game to begin with since his glove will always be suspect but so far he hasn't caused any big problems at 2nd base.
2008-10-05 21:16:28
182.   LAT
175. The result is the same. Either way the regular guy pays.
2008-10-05 21:31:47
183.   LogikReader
Why on earth would ESPN summarily predict the Dodgers to win the NLCS? That is so counter to their normal prediction patterns.

If anything, I thought they'd fall in love with the Phillies lineup. I think their rotation is pretty darn good. Finally, their bullpen has holes but it's not nearly as bad as the Brewers' pen or the Mets' pen.

It's surprising to see them pick LA on the strength of last week. I'd have thought they'd just dismiss the performance because "it was the Cubs."

Me personally, I have to give this to the Phils. Phils in 6 because they really dominated the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park this year, and this was WITH Manny. The lineup is really tough to work with and now that Ryan Howard is back to normal, they're bound to score at least 3 runs in every game.

Caveat: when the Dodgers played in Philly, were they still without Cory Wade? That makes a pretty big difference, along with Furcal.

As I said a week ago, I'm hoping for the best!! We're playing with house money now!

2008-10-05 21:55:59
184.   Tripon
183 The thing that gets me is that Stark was the one who wrote that the Cubs were going straight to the world series. And now he's picking the Dodgers!
2008-10-05 22:03:30
185.   LAT
183. Why on earth would ESPN summarily predict the Dodgers to win the NLCS?

a) They are the World Wide Follower In Sports;
b) Because their company car is a bandwagon;
c) They are the Touch Me Last Network;
d) Because the Dodgers are the "It" team right now;
e) Becasue they don't want to be wrong two series in a row.

2008-10-05 22:25:26
186.   LAbits
Angels win!

Personally, I'll take a freeway series over the Dodger owner's "How do you like me now?" appearance in Boston with the NL Champions. But, Scioscia's team has miles to go...

Nevertheless, time to beat the Phillies. Somehow, I think the Dodgers will need to take their batting output up a notch. I don't picture the Phils team giving up 6 walks, or 5 errors or only making 6 runs in 3 games. I think Dodgers can do it, especially with their first series victory adding to their confidence.

2008-10-05 22:26:55
187.   seesdifferent
Will Kent will start against Hamels? Will he bat third? or will Joe go righty lefty righty etc with Loney or Ethier batting third?
I'm betting its Furcal, Martin, Ethier, Manny, Loney, Kent, Blake, Kemp, Lowe
2008-10-05 22:28:54
188.   jasonungar07
I don't picture the Phils team giving up 6 walks, or 5 errors or only making 6 runs in 3 games.

--

I never would have pictured the cubs to do so. Crazy huh. That's why who cares what anyone predicts.

2008-10-05 22:32:26
189.   ucladodger
183

Their rotation is not that good. Hamels is terrific, but really no better than Billingsley. Moyer has been amazing for his age, but I dont think he matches up well against our lineup. Myers is incredibly inconsistent and Blanton is average at best. Our rotation as a whole is far superior.

2008-10-05 22:51:55
190.   LoneStar7
Just read Toy's comments about the rally towels and I couldn't agree more. I think the towels, like thunder sticks, are just gimicky. Theres a reason you see things like that in Anaheim and not in fenway or wrigley, because I guess whoever decided it was good idea to give them out thinks dodger fans wont stay interested and make noise without something to wave or hit together. I'd definitely prefer that we ditch the towels and like Toy said, encourage people to start clapping and yelling more.
2008-10-05 22:58:20
191.   underdog
Charlie E. Manuel, Sooper Genius:

"It's going to be a good series, but I think we can score runs on them," Manuel said. "The way our guys pitch...I don't see no reason in the world why we can't stay right with them."
http://tinyurl.com/4vqpw3

By the way, he also wrote the lyrics for "A Horse With No Name."

2008-10-05 22:58:51
192.   Tripon
I'll be surprised if Kent gets another start. Nomar's more likely since he's actually kinda healthy compared to Kent's still bloated knee.
2008-10-05 23:02:08
193.   trainwreck
I angered many Giant fans running around Oktoberfest cheering for the Dodgers after I heard the news.

Time to beat the Phillies!

2008-10-05 23:15:30
194.   LogikReader
Forgot to mention: I was going to get a haircut last weekend but forgot. Then as I was about to try again, the Dodgers started the NLDS.

Well... The Dodgers played so remarkably, I had to leave my hair alone. I'm gonna keep my hair growing until the team is officially eliminated. Rally hair!!

2008-10-05 23:21:32
195.   trainwreck
194
I have been letting my hair grow longer than I have in years. Maybe I will do the same.
2008-10-05 23:21:55
196.   MMSMikey
has anyone heard about this 4:00 ET Start for fridays game? which we would be 1:00 here? that cant be right? can it? everyone is at work or school.
2008-10-05 23:28:51
197.   bhsportsguy
196 Back in the day, it happened like that all the time. And in 1977, it worked out well for the Dodgers.
2008-10-05 23:31:18
198.   Eric Stephen
196
Friday there are two games, and rather than overlap the games like last year MLB is not scheduling them at the same time or close together.
2008-10-05 23:33:03
199.   Eric Stephen
194
Long live the playoff beard and overgrown hair!!!
2008-10-05 23:34:42
200.   Tripon
Sorry folks, but I just had to shave. Its been two weeks...
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-10-05 23:36:08
201.   bhsportsguy
199 I can't wait to see your beard around the 27th of October.
2008-10-05 23:46:39
202.   Eric Stephen
Phillies Starters Against Dodgers

Cole Hamels
8/12 @ LA - 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K
8/23 @ Phi - 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Brett Myers
8/14 @ LA - 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K
8/25 @ Phi - 7 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K

Jamie Moyer
did not face

Joe Blanton
8/13 @ LA - 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K
8/24 @ Phi - 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K

--------------------

Dodgers Starters Against Phillies

Derek Lowe
8/11 @ LA - 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Chad Billingsley
8/25 @ Phi - 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 3 K

Hiroki Kuroda
8/14 @ LA - 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K
8/24 @ Phi - 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Clayton Kershaw*
8/12 @ LA - 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K
8/23 @ Phi - 4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 5 K

*I'm assuming Lowe starts game 4, but of course that is still way up in the air.

The Dodgers are 4-2 in playoff games in Philadelphia (1977, 1978 & 1983), and are 3-3 at Dodger Stadium.

2008-10-06 00:31:37
203.   sporky
You guys are hardcore.
2008-10-06 06:20:36
204.   Dodger Dawg
Viva Viagra! Why don't they give Frank Calliendo his own show? I hear he does impressions.
2008-10-06 06:39:00
205.   Jon Weisman
nput

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.