Euphoria is something Dodger fans haven’t felt lately. My house was dark at a little after midnight. There was just one room lit and that was my office (I watched every last pitch of the game, so never call me a fair-weather fan). The family was in bed when they heard me clap and yell from the mancave in the basement. I woke them up on the second floor when the Dodgers won the game in the bottom of the 9th. We certainly have not had that kind of action in a while. It feels good! They weren’t quite as happy…
It wasn’t a blast from Matt, HanRam or A-Gon, but rather it was the way the Dodgers won early in the year:
- Matt Kemp running into the CF wall, falling down and never giving up while throwing a laser to 3B. He threw so hard he ended up on his face on the ground. That’s pure junkyard dogism!
- Andre Either just trying for a hit with two out… and getting it. A junkyard dog takes what he can get.
- Don Mattingly, a junkyard dog himself, puts in another junkyard dog, Dee Gordon who hasn’t played much since the beginning of August. He tries to steal 2B, but the throw beats him. In pure junkyard dog style, he avoided the tag and was safe at 2B with what would prove to be the tying run.
- Luis Cruz, the biggest junkyard dog of them all, who won the last game with a 3-run homer, laces a double that plates Gordon with the tying run. A career minor-leaguer, Luis Cruz wasn’t even a thought before the season started. He has been the Dodger’s best player over the past two months. What a junkyard dog!
- At that juncture, Mattingly opted to put in another junkyard dog to run for Cruz – Elian Herrera. A fast junkyard dog, who ended up scoring the winning win (a run Cruz would not have scored).
- Next, that old junkyard dog, Juan Rivera, hit a single just out of the reach of the 2B to score junkyard dog Herrera from 2B.
- It was then, that Matt Kemp acting like a junkyard dog (even though he has a real pedigree) mauled his teammates in pure joy. If someone thinks he has a head issue, they are sadly mistaken.
It wasn’t the dogs with the pedigree that won the game for the Dodgers, although each played their role. Ramirez, Gonzalez and Victorino (Shane might be classified as a JYD in time) were 2-11. Make no mistake about it – Junkyard Dogism is alive an well in Chavez Ravine. The junkyard dogs were howling last night!
There’s a lesson here that should not be lost on us or the players: The sluggers can win a game for you, but it’s also the junkyard dogs who rise up when you least expect it. Don’t wait for that big fly – play like junkyard dogs and good things will happen. I seem to remember a bunch of junkyard dogs in 1988 led by dogs like Orel, Gibby, Davis, Griffin and Hatch – junkyard dogs all. Well, one was actually a bulldog… but sometimes bulldogs are junkyard dogs too.
- The news on Clayton Kershaw is not good. It turns out he had a cortisone shot in his right hip before his last start, The fact that the pain is back and he can’t raise his leg already tells me he has an issue. He will obviously go under the knife. Look for him to be out the rest of the season, but his return for 2013 should be 100% fine.
- Ned Colletti is going to be with us for a while. Get over it.