Last night leaving the stadium was definitely a bummer. After holding a playoff spot for the past month, suddenly needing some help from other teams is not exactly where you want to be going into the season’s final week.
But the other thing that crossed my mind as I was leaving the parking lot was this: That if we do make it to the playoffs now, it’ll be all the sweeter. Every winning team faces adversity and the fact that we’ve fallen out of our top spot this past week means we’ll just have to be that much better in the coming week. It’s that simple. But in a weird way, the pressure is now on the other teams. If one of them "blows" their playoff spot in the final week to us, they’ll be the ones who couldn’t come up big when they had to.
This is why we all get so invested in a baseball season. Yes, it’s just a game but we all seem to live and die for this final week, when every game means more than the previous one. So sit back and enjoy the game with your family or come on down and be part of Fan Appreciation Day. There are very few tickets left, but if you leave now, you might snatch up the last ones.
Finally, our heartiest congratulations go out to Rafael Furcal, who was voted by his teammates as the winner of the inaugural Roy Campanella Award, which essentially goes to the Most Inspirational Dodger. He truly has been everything we had asked for and more this season.
LAST HOME GAME – A victory today would give the Dodgers 49 victories at Dodger Stadium, the same total they had during their NL West Division-winning season of 2004. The last time they had more home wins was 1991 (54).
THIEVERY CORPORATION – The Dodgers stole two bases last night to give them 121 on the season, the most since the 1999 Dodgers stole 167 bases. The duo of Rafael Furcal (36) and Kenny Lofton (28) have swiped 64 bases, the most for a Dodger duo since 1999 when Eric Young (51) and Raul Mondesi (36) stole a combined 87 bases.
NOT SHORT ON RBI – Rafael Furcal has a career-high 63 RBI, the most by a Dodger shortstop since Bill Russell had 65 in 1974 and 1976. Russell currently holds the L.A. Dodger record for RBI in a season by a shortstop while Glenn Wright has the franchise mark dating back to Brooklyn (126 in 1930).
Why bother. It is so frustrating year after year when you think this might be the breakthrough year and then, the year-end swoon comes as always. You dont have the heart or the ability to close out a year on top. I have been a Dodger fan since Brooklyn and it gets tiring rooting for you guys.
It ain’t over yet. Keep the faith!
We’ve got a Santa Ana condition here again (high pressure, low humidity – just like it was on “Miracle Monday”). The boys will be going “yard” today!
PS: Hey Steve – It could be worse. You could be a Cubs fan! (lol).
Can someone please tell me the rationale of this lineup order by Grady? Why in God’s name does he insist that Nomar bats 3rd and Drew bats 5th? These two should be switched. Grady finally moved Drew out of the 4 hole and put Kent there, but then fails to recognize that Drew is the better 3 hitter who is more patient and is carrying a hot bat. Drew’s plate discipline allows the rabbits to steal whereas Nomar is ALWAYS a 1st pitch swinger. How many times have we had Raffy and Kenny on base to lead off the game or an inning only to have Nomar GIDP? I think he leads the team in GIDP or at least is second (too lazy to look up the stats). The other issue is the 6,7,& 8 spots where again Grady insists on batting Wilson ahead of Marlon and Russell when he is clearly struggling. Marlon should be a fixture in that 6th spot then Russell and then Wilson. The Betemit we see now is the player Atlanta traded. He is a strikeout machine who lacks plate discipline, but can tease you with his power. I just don’t get Grady and have NEVER heard anyone ask him to justify his batting orders. On a positive note, I would rather have Grady making out a lineup than Tracy.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think it just comes down to the fact that Grittle caters to his players and would be afraid of insulting someone by moving them down in the lineup. He is more “one of the boys” rather than the head of the team like he should be.
Idoit’s exactly right. Now we can all judge the Lo duca trade for what it was- ****!
I’m glad that it’s Sept. 24 and I haven’t had to do this yet until now, but please refrain from the bad language on this blog. I know everyone’s frustrated but please remember the purpose of this blog and that it’s being read by people of all ages. Thanks. Josh
I am in complete agreement with you. I have also wondered how it would work out if they switched the 1 & 2 positions considering Raffy’s power. What do you think?
Boys. Think back. I know we have to depend on some team to beat the Phillies or Padres but remember 1988. That Kirk Gibson homer proved anything is possible. Also, I have been correct on every trade we ever made; 2-3 years later. A GM doesn’t have that luxury – go with his heart, his gut feeling, play the percentages, use statistics, etc. It all comes down to the same thing. He is trading players with personalities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. and trying to fit them into a new team environment. Those change in new circumstances, sometimes even personalities. It’s not the same as trading baseball cards, many, many, I wish I had never traded. C’mon Kuo, C’mon bullpen, Keep it up JD. Go Dodgers!!!
Raffy and Kenny are right where they belong. Raffy’s ability to slug combined with his speed is the perfect leadoff man. Kenny’s forte is slap hitting, bunting, going the other way and speed which make him the ideal 2 man.
Good things keep happening. Game is on in a few minutes and I get to follow a day game. 5:08 P.M. here. C’mon Kuo. C’mon bullpen. Keep it up JD. Go Dodgers!!!
Raffy’s been great, I wish all deals and signings would work out as well. He deserves the award!
Milwaukee just completed a four game sweep of Giants.
How painful rooting for a sorry team that knows nothing but how to fade and how to throw away leads, in the standings and in games!
Yet, that’s what being a true fan is all about … *forces self to watch Dodgers* Ow ow ow.
From MessageBear’s comments yesterday:
“Penny is just a Big Fat P, which stands for a diminutive word for a cat.”
Uh yeah. You meant derogatory. Diminutive is a word which describes something that is small, tiny or miniscule. Which if you take the word that you chose to use, I really don’t think you intended to call Brad Penny a kitten… which is in fact a small or tiny cat.
Now that I’ve explained the diffence between diminutive and derogatory…
…how about the “diminutive” shot at the playoffs this team appears to have right now? Oh I know I stuck a fork in this team last night… something I didn’t LIKE doing. But really, the playoffs can be attained, and as Josh was so astute to point out, we need a ton of help if the Dodgers intend to win the division, which I feel will be the only way they will get in.
The Phillies are playing at an impossible winning clip right now and should easily wrap up the wild-card by mid-week. We need to win right now and badly… not to mention that San Diego plays an extra game this week.
Well, actually when I called Penny a big fat P, I did intend it to be derogatory, but I had to waltz around the actual word that I wanted to use because the blog “bleeped” out the P word, so I tried to describe it as a diminutive word for cat. The P word ends in Y and has three letters in-between. Use your imagination, but I’m still sticking with it to describe Penny.
Hey Josh… while you’re checking into spell-checker for the forum, try to get “context checker” as well.
Why didn’t Grady have Furcal Steal in the bottom of the 7th on his first pitch to Lofton. Livan doesnt throw hard enough so Furcal would have been safe. Instead he waste an out with a hit and run and then nomar came up there and tried to put on in the gap.
If Furcal stole he would hvae been safe. That would have allowed Lofton to find his pitch and to put it over the shortstops head. Which probably would have scored Furcal. That was a bad move by Grady. Thank god Kuo pitched well! Id like to see him in the rotation next year. We don’t need Zito unless MAddux Retires
Did somebody say that this was our best lineup? I would pretty much agree, but isn’t that scary if we can do no better than one run in eight innings against a 5 plus ERA pitcher. We could still get lucky, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what it’s going to take now. In any case, I think that Kent should now sit down rather than trying to play with his ongoing injury.
Nice outing by Kuo. 71 stikes in 100 pitches. Seems like he has deveoped better control since early in the season. Good recovery by Broxton too. One would think both will only get better next year. I expect the guy we really missed this year was Duaner Sanchez. However, all trades don’t work out as we hope. Ned will have to definitely address the relief pitching situation in the off season and get a bit of pop in the lineup. Should be an exciting off season. I really hope Gagne recovers and is held by the Dodgers with contract incentives. Broxton, Saito and Gagne would get us through the last few innings.
Man 13 K’s tonight. C’mon bats. Give these pitchers a break. Go Dodgers!!
THAT’s why Nomar is batting third.
OK guys. Never say never. firstname.lastname@example.org just pay the $10 to your favorite charity. No 81-81 now. Way to go guys. Go to Colorado and just outscore them. Play hard right through the last inning of the season.
And if Nomar had not been batting third??? Whoever it was spouting off about how he shouldn’t have been??? Seems to me, he’s the clutch hitter of this team, along with Raffy…..
Enjoy the day off and watch SD lose for a change. Our man David Wells pitching. Good battle today and a deserved win. Sometimes we think we can roll over earier teams but all MLB teams like to play spoiler and all have players who can beat you on a given day. Not only that there is no pressure on them. They are relaxed and trying to finish on a high note. There are no easy games now. Go Dodgers!!
How did we do with the PONCHO, Ray? Keep working on it. You just never know. Go Dodgers!!
All you folks bashin’ them throughout this day…. I was born a Dodger fan, and if you want to bash them, maybe you need to find another team….We need fans to cheer ’em on – Right on through- no matter what outcome…..Dodger Fan. Period.
today was amazing, hopefully this carries us through the rest of the year..by the way, give thanks to the poncho
BELIEVE IN THE PONCHO!
great great win today, let’s go to rox country & win there.
i think we found our 5th starter
Steve. Another long time Dodger fan. I started following the Dodgers in 1952 and have had many great moments to savour and some tiring times to remember. But when I think back the good times always overshadow the others. Campy, Duke, Pee Wee, the Reading Rifle, Gil, Jackie, Sandy, the three Dons, 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988, Maury Wills, Tommy L, the fab four, the Davis boys, Piazza, Orel, etc. Those great guys and days are the Dodger legacy. We will get there again and in a few years names like Russell, Andre, Scott, Jason, Chad, Andy, etc. will take their place in that legacy. We have to enjoy the journey as slow and tedious as it seems and and not just the destination. That is perhaps hard to do but keep the faith.
Dodger fans never quit. Go Dodgers!!
What a great day to be at Dodger Stadium! Kuo pitched an absolute gem and deserved the win. But, if we had the additional run, we would not have had the opportunity to see Nomar’s second walk-off home run in a week.
Come on guys, we all get frustrated from time to time, but now is not the time. We really need to get behind our Dodgers now, more than ever.
They will probably have to take 5 of 6 on this final road trip to win the division, which is a tough task. But the Blue Crew is certainly more than capable of doing so.
So what is your assessment 53? Is Kuo ready for a starting spot next year? It seems he has improved his control significantly at AAA. Patriotacts was calling him a starter of the future several weeks ago. Would be great if he and Chad could settle in next year and start the building of a staff with some home grown pitchers in it.
San Diego certainly can write their own destiny from here on out. Their extra game tomorrow will be critical to our chances… let’s hope they lose it. After all, it’s a long flight to St. Louis and will be a late night for them to have to go out and play a game tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll come out a little flat and then we should only have a game seperating the two teams tomorrow night.
Worst Fan Appreciation Day – Ever! I have been “True Blue” since moving to Cali in 1973. I don’t post too often.We have been to 33 Fan Appreciation days in a row. This was really sad – Not even sold out! No players at the turnstiles. No gifts or give aways when we came in. No banners, bunting, or surprises for the last home game of the year. Prizes in the past were more frequent, more valualble, and the big prizes started in the seventh inning. The O’Mally’s went all out always on this day, making it a special day. It used to sell out every year, even when the team was bad. It was not marketed or presented well. I went to six different sections of the Park, and everyone agreed – worst ever. The end of the game was great, but what a discrace. Hopefully next year the Dodgers will fix this issue, and return this game to glory, the way it always was. Go Dodgers!
1) How about Hong-Chih Kuo? Send him to be a starter to get his control up, and what do you know, he’s a good starter? He’s a strikeout machine, and he’s gotten his walks down. He may be one of the best surprises of the Dodger farm system.
2) Nomar Garciaparra is clutch. The first time we learned this was not tonight, Monday, or even back on Cinco de Mayo. After 8 scoreless appearances, Takashi Saito gave up a run on April 24. The story goes that Nomar told him not to worry and that they’d score in the top of the 9th, and that was when Nomar hit the grand slam off Lidge. I think at that point we could have seen that Nomar was going to be a critical part of the team.
3) Good block quote in the Dodgers.com article:
“Just because you win a big game like that doesn’t mean anything the next day. When you leave the clubhouse, you leave that game behind, no matter what happened. You’ve still got to go out and win.”
— Russell Martin
4) If Billingsley is not in the rotation in the postseason, that just might be ok. Billingsley has shown that he can handle situations with runners on (sometimes seeming like he pitches better with runners on), and I would feel rather comfortable with him on the mound in such a situation.
5) The frustrating part about this situation is that the Dodgers don’t play the teams that they’re dueling for the playoff spot. On their side though is that there is actually still some pressure on the Cardinals.
The Astros are surging, and the Cardinals could risk losing the division to the Astros if they don’t get the ball rolling. Houston will make things even more interesting tomorrow against Philadelphia, where they can put the Dodgers back in a tie for the Wild Card.
All the Dodgers can do is play every game to win. If 87 is the magic win total, then they can only afford one loss. Even then, the Padres would have to lose 4 of their next 7, or the Phillies would have to lose 3 of 7 playing 1 game against Houston, and 3 game sets against the Nationals and Marlins, otherwise you would get into tiebreakers.
Tomorrow is that great momentum-builder that is a day off. But on the road, they will need to give it everything they’ve got. They could really use some confidence – heck even cockiness – from Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier right about now. But one thing is for sure. If the Dodgers get into the playoffs, whatever gets them there will have to be spectacular.
“Hey Josh… while you’re checking into spell-checker for the forum, try to get “context checker” as well.”
kss – if Josh could invent that, he could buy the team.
Heck, he could buy the Yankees.
the Dodgers will be well rested for the war tomorrow, i’m just hoping the Pads or phils loose atleast 2 or 3 in the next 3 days.
: ) He’d definitely buy the Dodgers.
In awe of that answer! Rlaeyl cool!