It was a story that the Dodgers scored some runs, let alone 5 (count ‘em 5) runs in one inning. It was a story that gimpy Casey Blake made plays at 3B no one else would have made, and got key hits and doubled in the clutch. It was a story that Juan Pierre starts a game, and as has become the custom, the Dodgers’ win with Pierre going 2-4. It was a story that Jon Broxton retired the side in the 9th on 8 pitches, 5 of which were over 100 MPH, and 7 of which were strikes. But, make no mistake, the real story was the 21-year old fireballer/magician on the mound. In what was the most critical and pressure-packed game of his young career, 21 year-old Clayton Kershaw was “as cool as the other side of the pillow.” His 8-8 record belies his 2.79 ERA. He didn’t get the win, because neither team had scored when he exited the game, but make no mistake about it – last night’s win belonged to Clayton Kershaw. He ends the regular season with 171 IP, 119 Hits, 185 K’s and enters the 2010 season as the odds-on-favorite to be the Opening Day starter. Can you imagine how good this guy will be when he figures it all out? He’s already got a good idea!
Now, the Dodgers face the Cards, who are reeling much like the Dodgers were. I’m trying to get tickets in St. Louis for next weekends game, so that you can have a direct-line to the game-inside-the-game. Here’s what these Dodgers need to realize: Manny may or may not get hot, but you didn’t get here on Manny’s back. You got here because you all stepped up. Don’t rely on Manny – you need to do it yourself! Think about that. Then act on it!
We will probably need only 3 starters the first round, those being Wolf, Kershaw and Billingsley. Garland and Padilla will be at the ready. It’s a new season. I’m sure that Blake will rest and the next 3 days will help his hamstring. Hopefully, Belliard will re-cover completely too. Thome? I can’t see him on the roster in this round. Loretta? No way he doesn’t make it! Andre Ethier figures to be a platoon player in the playoffs, with his .189 BA against LH’ers.
Nothing matters right now, but winning the Series against the Cards.
One step at a time.
Rest today, boys – the real season has just started!