Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dodgers clinch Western Division title.

In a year that has been so improbable, the completely bizarre has happened. The Dodgers are champions of the Western Division of Baseball and they didn't even have to take a swing or put on a cup.

That's right sports fans, the Los "Ang-uh-lus" Dodgers have done what no one thought could be done, they have perservered in the face of all the strange adversity, created mostly by themselves, to put together the greatest September in their history defeating every pathetic team in the National League while winning a division title to boot. Trust me though folks, beating terrible teams takes a high level of talent, and just plain terrible rotten players battling you.

But seriously folks, this is an incredible day. And of course the Azul did it like they do everything else, they even clinch strange. The St. Louis Cardinals, and gombare Tony LARussa, helped us out by destroying the annihilated Arizona Snakes by a destruction of 12 to 3. And now the real fun begins: figuring out who the heck we play in the first round of the playoffs. What a cluster fuck that is. While we are sending out our B-team to play the Padres tonight, along with Jeff Kent and the never-say-die little rooster Rafael Furcal, the Mets will be battling for their playoff lives. Hoping to stay in contention with the Brewers for the wild card (flat footed tie), the Mets will start a three game series against the Marlins in rain soaked Florida. The Phillies are running away with the East at the moment with a game and a half lead on the Metropolitans. Compounding everything will be the weather in Florida, which is supposed to rain non-stop for three full days, possibly rearranging the entire NL playoffs.

In the meantime, the Dodgers have to figure out their postseason roster to determine if Kent or Furcal can actually be on it. I guarantee you that Joe Torre will want to see at least three consecutive games from both of them to be assured that they are capable of playing. I mean, while Joe is a veteran queen, he still will not mess up the team chemistry by doing anything rash. Although he may have a very difficult decision about Garciaparra and Loney at first, and Kershaw and Kuroda for the third starter in a short series. No doubt D. Lowe starts game one against whoever, with Bills in the wings for game two.

Prediction for the post: Are you kidding me? This team is so enigmatic they could go three and out just like our recent forefathers, or win the whole kit and kaboodle. And wouldn't THAT make Georgey Pordgey Steinbrenner happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Collapse Aborted (for the moment). Dodgers defeat Pirates 4-3 in 12 innings.

As I wipe the sweat off of my brow, I can breathe easier for the moment. The Dodgers somehow survived a super scare in the city of Pittsburgh against the Buckos to stay 4 in front of the Snakes. If Giant Cy Young frontrunner Tim Lincecum can bare down and win his 18th in a hostile ballpark, then our boys will have an overwhelming 5 game lead with a mere 9 to play, 6 of them at Chavez Ravine. Our magic number at the moment is 7, which could be 6 by the end of the evening. If that happens, then I think you can begin counting the outs to a Western division title.

The game had everything that's for sure. The Dodgers fell behind early as Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run, but then really got into a grove. He was taken out early, in my opinion, after throwing only 86 pitches and the Dodgers leading 2 to 1. Torre opted to bring in Takashi "Sammy" Saito early and that did not go well with the recently reactivated pitcher giving up the tying run and making it 2-2. The Dodgers retook the lead 3-2, but Later Torre went to reliever Cory Wade and the normally efficient pitcher coughed up the tying run to the former Dodger Andy Laroche, who was sent to the Pirates in the three way deal that brought us Dreadlocks. Laroche was hitting a mere .156 as a pirate but delivered the lethal blow with two strikes and two outs. The game went into extras and the clutch hitting James Loney delivered the game winner in the top of the 12th with a nervous and rather shaky Jonathan Broxton nailing down the save.

One of the signature moments of the game was when Matt Kemp decided to try and steal third base with runners on first and second and two outs. The wretched pinch hitting "specialist" Mark Sweeney came up to pinch hit for Angel Berroa in the 8 hole and Kemp made an inadvised attempt to steal third and was thrown out from here to the Allegheny, the Mohonga and the Poughkeepsie preventing Sweeney from swinging the bat at all, disqualifying him from the game and negating a double switch with the pitchers spot coming up for the third out. It was one of the most breathtaking plays of the year for its sheer audacity of ignorance. But hey, if I was on second base and Mark Sweeney was up at the plate, I would try to steal home, bonheaded or not.

And so, Dodger Tony and the rest of Dodgerland can breathe easier for at least a day. That is until we begin our annual rite of passage with the hated ones from the bay area for three here, followed by a brief respit with the Padres at home, and then onto SF for the last three, hopefully, meaningless games.

Ominous loss for the Dodgers in Pittsburgh

Dodgers lose to Pirates in Pittsburgh 15-7. Magic number remains at 9

The one word that best describes this evening was the word "ominous". That would be the one adjective that best described the intuitive feeling I had in my gut after this game. There were ominous signs throughout the course of the game, in my opinion. Among them:
-The incessant, karma provoking mocking of all things Pittsburgh by the smarm producing Charlie Steiner, typically piggybacked by Josh and Ken on the radio side nightly. Not looked at kindly by the God's of Baseball.
-The total collapse of Chad Billingsley in the biggest game of the year, in particular his walking the bases loaded with two outs followed by the crushing Grand Salami by Adam Laroche.
-The possible end of Nomar's career, smashing his knee running around third, on the third anniversary evening of the 4 homerun game. Also freakish.
-The implausible 8 runs scored by the Pirates, ALL WITH TWO OUTS, after a simple choice by Torre to go with the lefty Scott Elbert removing the righty Scott Proctor who pitched his best game all year, causing a chain reaction crash heard 3000 miles away.

While numerous things must simultaneously happen for the perfect storm of a Dodger collapse, the opening strains to such a song seem to have been sung here on this rather disturbing evening in Pennsylvania, the state that will also have an enormous impact on the general election.

Are we on our way to becoming this years Mets? Or are the Mets on their way to becoming this years Mets, yet again? Tomorrows game is far bigger now for the 20 year old prodigy then it was mere hours ago. Torre's leadership AND decision making is slightly more vice like.

I shudder to think.