It's do-or-die time…
We need everyone’s support tonight. A win this evening would give us awesome momentum heading to Philadelphia, so if you’re coming out to the stadium, be loud. Steve Garvey was telling our office yesterday about the “10th man” and the role that you all played in helping us win three straight against Houston in October 1980.
It’s going to be a powerful night here, with everyone on their feet every time we get two strikes on a batter…and any key point in the game. I know you all know this, but it’s up to you guys to get everyone else up out of their seats.
Here’s tonight’s lineup, with more notes below…I fully expect to be posting another lineup in two days:
THEY’VE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT - Since the LCS became a seven-game series in 1985, 26 teams have taken a 3-1 advantage and six times, the team that trailed has come back to win – the 1996 Braves (with Greg Maddux), the 2003 Marlins (with Juan Pierre), the 1986, 2004, and 2007 Red Sox (with the latter two teams featuring Derek Lowe in ’04 and Manny Ramirez in both series), and the 1985 Royals.
► Five teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit in the postseason after losing Game 4 at home – the 1958 Yankees, the 1968 Tigers, and the 1979 Pirates all did it in the World Series, while the 1985 Royals and 2003 Marlins did it in the League Championship Series. Source: retrosheet.org
IF AT FIRST - The Dodgers have scored in the first inning in four of their seven postseason games in 2008. In fact, the Dodgers are batting .330 in the first six innings of the LCS and just .111 from the seventh inning on. Source: STATS, LLC
HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION - From 1995-2006, the Dodgers posted a 1-12 record over four postseason appearances. So far this year, Los Angeles is 4-3.
BUCKING THE TREND – The Dodgers and Phillies have played 12 times this season and Monday night marked the first game that was not won by the home team, with Philadelphia taking seven of the 12 games overall.
SEÑOR OCTUBRE – Manny Ramirez drove in a run in Game 4 for an eighth consecutive LCS game, extending his Major League record. He now has nine RBI during the 2008 postseason and 73 in his career, which ranks second all-time behind Bernie Williams (80). Ramirez has hit safely in 42 of his last 47 postseason games, with a .360 (63-for-175) average during that span. His teams are 59-43 overall in the postseason.
► Ramirez is batting .500 (6-for-12) during this series. The Dodgers’ NLCS record for batting average (minimum 10 at-bats) is Dusty Baker, who hit .467 (7-for-15) during the 1978 NLCS vs. Philadelphia.
► Ramirez’s six RBI this series is two shy of the Dodger series record held by Baker in the 1977 series, also against Philadelphia.
IN A YEAR THAT HAS BEEN SO IMPROBABLE… – On this date in 1988, an injured Kirk Gibson hit a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium to give Los Angeles a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the World Series over Oakland. The homer was later voted the Top Moment in Los Angeles Sports History.
LONE-STAR - James Loney is batting .308 (8-for-26) during the postseason with eight RBI, the second-highest total on the team behind Manny Ramirez (9). Loney has at least one hit in all seven of his career postseason starts.
AN ELECTION YEAR - Tonight marks the final presidential debate between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain prior to the November election. Los Angeles has reached the postseason in four of the last six election years (1988, 1996, 2004, and 2008), including their last World Championship just 19 days before George H.W. Bush won the 1988 general election. The Dodgers have also appeared in the World Series in the election years of 1956, 1952, 1920, and 1916.
BILLS BACK ON THE BUMP - Chad Billingsley takes the mound tonight at Dodger Stadium, where he has not lost since July 8. Since then, the right-hander is 6-0 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts at home.
WHEN IT COUNTS - During the 2008 postseason, the Dodgers are batting .286 (20-for-70) with runners in scoring position, .342 (13-for-38) with RISP and two outs and .455 (5-for-11) with the bases loaded.
TOUCHING HOME - Rafael Furcal has scored five runs so far during the NLCS, two shy of the club record for a League Championship Series held by Steve Sax, who scored seven times against the Mets during the 1988 NLCS.
THE FIRST PITCH - Tonight’s ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda guided Los Angeles to four National League pennants, eight division titles and two World Championships during an extraordinary 20-year career as skipper.