September 22, 2008, 2:07 p.m. Just a little perspective, please. Say, a thimble full. A little dab'll do ya. Let's all take a deep breath now, shall we.
Fine, so I jinxed it. Oops. The Dodgers lost two out three to the Giants, dropping a whole series and everything. OMG! It's over, it's all over! Jump from the tallest building, or from the top deck to the reserved. Down, down and away!
Look, the Dodgers might very well blow it. They might. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch. But let's get some perspective here, and look at what's just occurred.
The Dodgers won six consecutive series from August 29 through September, before losing by a hair to Frisco yesterday. Six straight series at the most pivotal time of the season, going 16-6 in the process. Arizona went 10-12 over the same stretch, but managed to win six of seven this past week.
So the Dbacks just concluded a 6-1 week, with the Dodgers going 4-3, and the result is simply that Arizona picked up two games. BFD. A choke this is not. It's not. It's a 4-3 week for Los Angeles. That's all.
Here's what we're looking at. Just for sake of argument, let's say Arizona wins the first two games in St. Louis Monday and Tuesday and Chad Billingsley loses to the Jake Peavy-less Padres tomorrow night. That leaves the Dodgers up a game with five to play, including three to wrap the season in San Francisco, while the Diamondbacks go home for three against the Rockies. Even that scenario is Dodger-doable.
On the other hand and more likely, Albert Pujols makes his case for MVP, the Cards play serious ball, and earn a four-game split against the Snakes. With the Dodgers taking two of three at home versus San Diego, they'll have clinched a tie for the division. And in order to blow that, they'd have to get swept by the Giants while Arizona sweeps Colorado.
So forgive my confidence for the moment, and check back in a couple days.
The Dodgers are going to finish 83-79 or 84-78 or 85-77 and will be in the postseason. We can argue the value of that till we're Dodger blue in the face, and in fact we will. But for now, let's all just lighten up. Los Angeles will win the West…
Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…
The Closer: This is the last go round for Takashi Saito. We know it, he knows it and the Dodgers know it. Saito opted for rehab rather than season and probable career-ending surgery, for just the opportunity that awaits – to pitch in a pennant race, and with any luck, a World Series. So here Saito is; any pitch could be his last.
So while there's a degree of care required, it only goes so far. If Joe Torre wants to switch Saito with Jonathan Broxton now, with the idea that he might have to flip Broxton back at a game's notice, I say go for it. It's a roll of the dice for everyone concerned anyway, so take the shot. Go for it…
One NL Thing to Watch: I'm not big on making predictions this time of year, but there's one more thing I will go out on a limb for. Watch as Ryan Howard contributes multiple dramatic clouts this week, clinching the East for Philadelphia and the MVP for his mantelpiece…
Media Savvy: Lest we forget, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim prepositional phrase of a name isn't permanent just yet. Here's the latest word, from news columnist Frank Mickadeit, of the Orange County Register.
Check out this nice story about a 104-year-old Cubs fan throwing out a first pitch, by Toni Ginnetti, of the Chicago Sun Times.
And raise your hand if you've had it with the Yankee Stadium farewell story. Enough already. Derek Jeter is a Yankee god, but his "record" for hits in Yankee Stadium is contrived. Meaningless, actually.
The record to be celebrated will take place next year, when Jeter passes Lou Gehrig with 2722 hits, the most ever by a Bronx Bomber. That will be, pun intended, a monumental achievement. Jeter stands at 2535 today, on his way to 3000, and the Hall of Fame. Watch for the genuinely worthy event in 2009…
DYN? With the Detroit arrival of rookie outfielder, Clete Thomas (full name Michael Clete Thomas), the official record book of Major League Baseball now sports two Cletes – a pair of Cletes, if you will. Cletis (Clete) Leroy Boyer, of course, is the other…
Only in SD? So help me, I couldn't make this up, and if I could, I wouldn't. In front of me in line at a Starbucks in the Hillcrest area of San Diego, a young man, sock-less with flip flops but otherwise in full baseball dress. Featuring the number 69, with the team name on the back rather than the front, I suppose for punctuation. The team name - Master Batters. Draw your own conclusions. Just don’t share them with me…
Personal Note: This date in baseball history, September 22, 1990, Tommy Lasorda's 63th birthday, and a still-successful kidney transplant for yours truly. Living, smiling proof, as we say. The Padres rolled over both ends of a double-header, essentially handing Cincinnati the West, which would lead to a championship, and hanging the Dodgers out to dry. Let's hope St. Louis does a better job against Arizona. For a little more of the transplant story, please click here. And happy 81st Tommy!
Photo of the Day: No caption, sorry. There's plenty of evidence in the frame, so you tell me what it is. Enjoy.
Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…
Remember, glove conquers all….
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