After a nice breather yesterday, it was another busy day at the stadium…not nearly as much media, but plenty of off day stories to be hand.
Kuo threw a ‘pen yesterday and is still a possibility for the NLCS, which would be interesting given the number of lefties on the Phillies. Joe also said that Kershaw is a candidate to start Game 4 for the same reason…most likely, there won’t be many changes on the roster, which is due Thursday morning.
We put out some notes today from our office with plenty of storylines, so here they are…enjoy.
ON TO THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – The NL West Division Champion Dodgers will take on the NL East Division Champion Phillies Game 1 of the NLCS on Thursday. The Dodgers swept the Cubs in a best-of-five series.
BASEBALL’S TWO HOTTEST TEAMS – Since Aug. 30 when the Dodgers started an eight-game winning streak, the team has posted a 22-8 (.733) record, including their three victories in the NLDS. That is the best winning percentage in Major League Baseball during that period, slightly ahead of the Phillies (22-9, .710).
A HISTORY WITH PHILADELPHIA – This series marks the fourth time that the Dodgers and Phillies will meet in the National League Championship Series. The two teams met in consecutive years in 1977 and 1978, with the Dodgers winning both best-of-five series in four games. In 1983, Philadelphia turned the tables and defeated the Dodgers in four games.
► In the 1977 NLCS, the Dodgers dropped the first game at Dodger Stadium before coming back to win three in a row and win the series in Game 4 in front of 64,924 fans at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. Los Angeles lost the World Series that year to the Yankees in six games.
► In 1978, the Dodgers captured the first two games at Veterans Stadium before dropping Game 3 to Steve Carlton. Los Angeles wrapped up the series at Dodger Stadium in Game 4 with a 4-3, 10-inning victory.
► In 1983, the Dodgers dropped the opener at home before winning Game 2 behind Fernando Valenzuela. Los Angeles then lost Games 3 & 4 in Philadelphia but the Phillies went on to lose to the Orioles in the World Series.
► Detailed recaps of these series appears on pages 183-187 of the Dodgers’ 2008 Postseason Guide.
SEÑOR OCTUBRE – On Saturday night, Manny Ramirez went 1-for-2 to finish the NLDS 5-for-10 with two homers, three RBI and four walks. He has now hit safely in 38 of his last 43 postseason games, with a .350 (57-for-163) average during that span. His teams are 58-40 overall in the postseason.
BIG GAME JAMES – James Loney had two RBI in Game 3 of the NLDS, finishing the series with a Dodger-record six RBI and a Dodger NLDS career mark of nine. Loney has a hit in all four of his career postseason games, batting .333 (6-for-18).
► During the regular season, Loney went 12-for-32 (.375) with a team-leading five RBI against the Phillies. Loney has a .400 career mark (16-for-40) with a homer and seven RBI at Citizens Bank Park.
► Other Dodgers to fare well against Philly are Jeff Kent (.364, 4 RBI) and Matt Kemp (.324, 4 2B, HR)
PHRONT OFFICE TIES – Dodger Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion worked for the Phillies from 1982-97 while Sales Exec Allyson Connolly cut her teeth in Philadelphia prior to joining the Dodgers.
THIS DATE IN DODGER HISTORY – On this date in 1959, the largest World Series crowd in Major League history (92,706) attends Game 5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, as the Dodgers lost 1-0 behind Sandy Koufax. On this date in 1963, the Dodgers completed a four-game sweep over the Yankees to win the World Series – the club’s last series sweep in the postseason prior to this year’s NLDS.
LARRY LEGEND – Dodger third base coach Larry Bowa played for the Phillies from 1970-81, winning two Gold Gloves (1972, 1978) and appearing on five All-Star teams. He faced the Dodgers in the NLCS in 1977 and 1978 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games and fielding percentage at shortstop (1,667, .991). He ranks among the franchise leader in numerous offensive categories.
► Bowa managed the Phillies from 2001-04, compiling a 277-308 record.
MANUEL LABOR – Charlie Manuel, a reserve outfielder with the Dodgers in parts of the 1974 and 1975 seasons, is the second former Los Angeles player to manage against the Dodgers in the postseason. Former Dodger infielder Willie Randolph managed the New York Mets against Los Angeles in the 2006 N.L. Division Series. Two former Brooklyn Dodger players managed against the Dodgers in the postseason – Al Lopez (White Sox vs. Los Angeles in 1959 World Series) and Casey Stengel, who managed the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in five World Series in the 1940s and 50s.
THEY BLED DODGER BLUE – Two former Dodgers are on Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff – Milt Thompson, who played on the 1996 Dodgers and Davey Lopes, who played for Los Angeles from 1972-81, appearing in two NLCS and helping the Dodgers to the 1981 World Championship. Along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, he was part of the famous Dodger infield of the 70s and 80s that played together for an MLB record 8 ½ seasons.
► Among the Phillies who hold ties to the Dodgers are Jayson Werth (2004-06) and Rudy Seanez (1994-95, 2007). Shane Victorino was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round in 1999 but was taken in the Rule 5 draft in 2002 before being returned the organization and taken again in 2004 by the Phillies.