It’s a rare and shameful occurrence when the Jolly Roger is hoisted at PNC Park, especially when it is hoisted on the NL West Division Leading Dodgers. That should be the last we see the skull and crossbones all weekend. Let’s make sure of it! I think last night was just a simple case of the young Dodgers losing focus (some of the old ones too). Jon Garland pitched well enough to, well be included in the playoff rotation, but he probably won’t be included. Then again, he could be. Maybe not. Indecision may, or may not be part of my problem.
- Before the season started, I read a lot about how Brad Ausmus was a bad pickup and the Dodgers overpaid for him at the time he was signed. After last night’s game he was hitting .301 with a .350 OB%, playing good defense and most importantly being a very positive influence in the clubhouse. In reality, the Dodgers may have underpaid for the value given. I wonder if he’ll be tempted to play another year?
- James Loney’s head was not in the game last night. He looked like glazed ham! Wake Up, James! Get those 100 RBI. You’ll get a nice raise next year.
- Speaking of raises, Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times writes about the Dodgers young players and how they are in line for BIG RAISES next season, to the tune of $20 mil or more.
- Dylan also reports that Tim Wallach is traveling with the Dodgers this trip. One has to wonder if he might be in line for an expanded role with the Dodgers? Let the rampant speculation by all the critics begin…
- The Dodgers team ERA is sitting at 3.40. The other playoff teams should be in mortal fear. I’m serious!
- We are still 3 games better than anyone in the league in the battle for home-field advantage which I feel is a MUST!
- Our magic number is 4, until someone tells me differently.
- In Chad Billingsley’s next start, Joe Torre should just do what Joe Giardi did with Joba Chamberlin last night. He simply told him he was taking the “best 10″ to the playoffs. Chamberlin had a 9.00+ ERA over the past several games. It worked as Chamberlin went 6 strong innings. Put the pressure on Chad and see how he responds!
- I am going to give you a prediction: Clayton Kershaw will SIZZLE in the playoffs. Here’s a quote from the kid: “I love being part of something. I want to be a big part of the team. I want to be that guy that they give the ball to.
- Randy Wolf goes today. 12 wins would look good on his resume.
- NJ Slimers writes in classic fashion about Manny:
Game over, and he hits me with a sweatband, “the only thing you hit all night,” comes the obvious retort.
I start chatting with Casey Blake, and Ramirez wants to know why I would spend time with someone who hasn’t even played in the game.
“You had the same amount of hits as he did tonight,” like every pitcher in baseball now — feeling free to challenge him.
“That’s why you’re really mad at me,” says Manny. “I took Disneyland away from you.”
“You’re Manny Ramirez and you’re hitting .256.”
“I’m hitting good,” he protests, the laughter not bothering him at all. “I hit the ball hard right at people. You want me to go move the fielders?”
It’s also what makes him so likable, bouncing back the way few others can in a game that demands it.
“I’m so relaxed at the plate I almost look drunk,” he jokes when asked if he’s pressing.
“You wait, I’ll be there when it counts in the playoffs.”
I call it “bravado,” and he says, “no way.”
“You won’t admit you aren’t the same hitter,” and he says, “Sometimes they get me.
“But I think I’m still the best.”