Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

What Could Have Been, and What Is.

Before I start endlessly analyzing and fretting over the Hot Stove rumors, I want to talk about what is right before us: the League Championship Series. We have plenty of time to talk about the former–the void between the end of the postseason, and Spring Training. I have enjoyed watching these series even though the National League Championship Series didn’t end the way I wanted it to. 

I was completely surprised that the Dodgers lost in only five games. To be honest, I didn’t think they would get past the powerhouse of the Cardinals, let alone sweep them. With guys like Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, and Albert Pujols, I thought that the Cardinals would have gone a lot further than they actually did. They had the caliber to be in and to win the World Series, but fate just didn’t have it that way. I thought they had Game 2 (I think it was?) in the bag when there were two outs and an easy fly ball was hit to Matt Holliday, but instead of catching it to win the ball game (and perhaps instill some confidence in the Cardinals), it hit him right in the crotch. 
The Dodgers seemed to have luck on their side, and it was a 2008 NLCS re-match. The Phillies may have an emerging postseason legend in Cliff Lee and the ego-maniacal Cole Hamels whose pride from winning the World Series last season seemed to cloud his ability to pitch well, but the Dodgers have a deep lineup, a good starting five and a fabulous bullpen. I really wanted the Dodgers to advance to the World Series as well because I knew that regardless of whomever won the ALCS, the World Series would be enticing as long as the Dodgers were there. 
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Had the Dodgers advanced, they would have played either the Angels or the Yankees. If it was a matchup between the Dodgers and Angels, we would have had the first “subway series” since the one in New York in 2000. This subway series would have meant that I would have been up until roughly 2 am every morning, sleepwalking my way through school. Yet the intensity that arises from a series like this is so alluring, that a lack of sleep would have been well worth it. It’s almost like a civil war, and it will augment the rivalry between the two teams like nothing else can. 
Not that I would ever root for the Yankees, but if the Dodgers were representing the National League, I can’t say I would have minded too much if the Yankees were to advance. It would have been Joe Torre vs Joe Girardi. The Yankee manager that was fired for his supposed inability to advance the Yankees to the World Series despite their winning four World Championships under his leadership. 
Joe Torre.jpg
I’d like to talk about that for a second. I thought that whole scenario was completely ridiculous. I may be a Red Sox fan, but I have no problem admitting that Joe Torre is one hell of a manager. The same way that I can admit that I cheered for Derek Jeter when he surpassed Lou Gehrig, and the way that I consider Mariano Rivera a God; I consider Joe Torre a superb manager. I understand when managers are fired because their teams play miserably and are in last place, but I don’t understand when managers are fired despite their team getting to the postseason. Getting to the postseason is an honor–only 8 teams out of 30 do it a year–and a manager should be honored for that (most of the time) not scolded for their team’s failings. *Note: the whole Grady Little leaving Pedro in is another story*
Anyway, the Dodgers vs Yankees would have been a great matchup, and of course I would have been rooting for the Dodgers even though it hurts me to see Manny Ramirez’s postseason heroics. 
Instead of dwelling over what could have been, I suppose it’s best to look at what we have at hand: the Phillies advanced to the World Series, and Game 6 between the Angels and the Yankees is tonight. I don’t like the Phillies. I root for the Marlins because I live in South Florida, and the Phillies are the Marlins’ division rivals. I may be a bit jealous because the Phillies did what the Red Sox failed to do last year–advance to the World Series for the second year in a row (please don’t hate me Phillies fans, I respect your team nonetheless). They could be the first team since the Yankees to repeat World Series victories, and the second team this decade to have two World Series victories (the first, of course, was the Red Sox). I guess it’s just that having the Phillies in the World Series doesn’t excite me as much as the Dodgers would have. 
Nick Adenhart.jpg
Tonight, I’m rooting for the Angels–just like I have been for the entire ALCS. Although it’s hard to admit, they played better baseball than the Red Sox did. I know that they are a good team, and I know that they have what it takes to beat the Yankees. It is so foreign to me to be rooting for Bobby Abreu since I’ve always had something against him for taking Juan Pierre’s spot in the All-Star game a couple of years ago (the fact that he played for the Yankees only augmented this feeling). Torii Hunter’s ego may bother me, but I know that he’s a fabulous center fielder, and a great team leader. Lackey pitched his heart out in Game 5, and Mike Scoscia made a huge mistake in taking him out (for the record Scoscia is probably my least favorite manager in the Majors). Out of the teams that remain, I want the Angels to win. I want them to win it for Nick Adenhart, because that would be beyond baseball. 
The one interesting thing about having the Phillies in the World Series is that whoever wins from among the three teams that remain, that team will have two World Series victories in this decade. The Yankees won it in 2000, the Angels won it in 2002, and the Phillies won it last year. The question is, who will it be? And it is that unanswered question that keeps me watching baseball. 

The bad blood starts to brew (Game 3 NLCS), Game 3 ALCS preview

Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in history (45) to start a LCS game, but he only lasted 1 1/3 innings; his shortest start in 10 years. He gave up 5 runs in the first inning to an explosive Dodgers team. Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven strong innings for the Dodgers to cut their deficit to just a game. The only other run that the Dodgers scored was on an RBI single by Nomar Garciaparra. There was some bad blood between the Phillies and Dodgers thad had been brewing since the beginning of August when a pitch was thrown behind Manny Ramirez’s head. A couple of pitches were thrown tonight, Martin was hit in the knees, and Manny was hit in the helmet, so the Dodgers decided to retaliate by having Kuroda throwing a ball over Shane Victorino’s head. After he grounded out, they both exchanged some words, enough to clear the benches. Although no punches were thrown, Manny came charging in from left field and was restrained by Joe Torre and some of his other teammates. It wasn’t even about him. There’s a big difference between 3-0 and 2-1. The Dodgers came through in a must win situation.

ALCS Game 3: Everyone knows how disappointing Game 2 was. Both Beckett and Kazmir were disappointing. Beckett denies all the speculations and skepticism’s and claims that he is fine. I suppose that pitchers do go through their ups and downs, but this is kind of drastic. After going 20-7 last year and being dominant in the post season, he has reversed that and went 12-10 in the regular season this year and has yet to win a post season start. Even with all the run support, Beckett couldn’t turn out a win. Let us not forget though, that the man who Beckett lost the Cy Young to, C.C. Sabbathia, did not have a good season either. I know that I still have faith in Beckett to turn it around this post season, he just has to concentrate and make his pitches. He should definitely do an extra practice session with the captain. As far as Game 3 goes tonight, the Sox have Lester on the mound, which is very reassuring. Dustin Pedroia turned it around on Saturday night, so hopefully, the slumping Jacoby Ellsbury can do the same. He was amazing in Game 1 of the ALDS, (going 3-5 with 2 steals, an RBI and a phenomenal catch) and hopefully he can bring that to this game. The best part about game 3? We’re back at Fenway. 
-Elizabeth 

ALCS and NLDS predictions/overview

Even though I am an avid Red Sox fan, let’s try and analyze as objectively as possible the division series. As October Gonzo says, we’re down to the “final four” and he’s made some predictions, but I have plenty of my own.

ALCS: Red Sox vs Rays
Lots of people have been talking about experience, and if you’re talking about that, then the Red Sox have it, but not necessarily in the best of ways. We’ve won the world series seven times, but think about all the times that we didn’t win. It’s a lot. Then again, the Sox did make the biggest comeback in major league history in the ’04 ALCS. But we’re not talking about the past, we’re talking about the present, and the future. The Rays have ultimately represented the “Cinderella Story” of baseball, they were dead last in 2007 and they won the division in 2008. What a turnaround. The question is, when do they run out of gas? As for the Red Sox, well, we have continually been plagued by injuries (as you can see in my first entry). Now we’re playing with an injured JD Drew and an injured Beckett (and his Game 3 ALDS performance was not satisfactory). Mike Lowell isn’t even eligible for play until the World Series, but as of now, he has no range of motion and his hitting is anything but stellar. Regardless of the injuries (which were evident in the ALDS), we just beat the best team in major league baseball, the Angels (100-62). The Rays have a lot to do. 
My prediction: Red Sox in 6 or 7 (just because we like to make it difficult for ourselves in the ALCS)
Dodgers vs Philles
To be honest, I don’t really keep up with the national league as much, but I’ll give you what I can. It is clear that the Dodgers have a renewed sense of spirit since their acquisition of Manny Ramirez, a future hall-of-fame man and a menace in the post season. It’s not much to say that they beat the Cubs in the ALDS because the Cubs just looked horrendous. Unfortunately, that’s just about all I can give you. The Philles on the other hand have been consistent throughout the season in a tough division. They have a scary offense too, look at Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell. I am no expert on predictions but I’m still going to make one. 
My prediction: Dodgers in 6 
Let’s take a look at the other teams who are no longer in the post season and what made them crumble.
Brewers: C.C. Sabbathia did not come through, and if he can’t come through, then I honestly don’t know who can. Against a strong Philadelphia pitching staff (assuming there…) their offense could only produce one win. They did have a nice run going for them though.
Cubs: It now marks 100 long years that the Cubs have not won a World Series, and watching that series, I wondered where the goat was. Their pitching was actually decent but their offense was just horrendous. Alfonso Soriano going 0-5? There’s definitely something off right there. They were so consistent throughout the year too, Cubs fans must be devastated. 
Angels: They had the best record in baseball, and last year, the team with the best record (the Red Sox) won it all. So the question is, how could they not win it? They have Vladmir Guerrero, Torii Hunter (SEVEN gold gloves), Chone Figgins, and the infamous K-Rod. On the one hand, they snapped a long drought of losses against the Red Sox in post season play, but they still failed to pick up more than one game. Virtually every game was close though since both teams are so strong. People like Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, JD Drew and of course, Jed Lowrie really did come through. Games 3 and 4 were undoubtedly the best. Game 3 lasted 12 long innings and Game 4 quite literally, went to the bottom of the ninth. This series, truly represented the beauty of baseball. Numbers don’t really matter, anyone can do it. 
White Sox: Their record was not as good as Tampa Bay (or the Red Sox for that matter) and the White Sox only won one game against the Rays… THE RAYS. What a crazy story that is. It’s not that they played horribly like their fellow Chicago team, they just could not matchup against the Rays. 
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