April 17, 2014

Give the Game Ball to Cory Wade

Cory Wade

Cory Wade


Dodger fans that showed up early were treated to a fantastic first inning when all nine players got into the act, slamming Phil’s pitcher Jamie Moyer for five runs.  I went to the game with two Phillies fans, and as one said before the game, “If Moyer can just establish a routine and get out of the first inning, we should be ok.”  Not gonna happen.  Despite a fantastic game by Kuroda, the knockout blow actually came in the seventh inning when Wade came in with runners on first and second, one run in and no outs.  I think it’s reasonable to assume that if the Phils had scored a few more runs there, they would have started believing they had a shot.  Instead, Wade sent them packing and delivered two crucial innings for the Dodgers.

And what was up with that bench-clearing moment?  Looks like one “accidentally” got away from Kuroda – most likely in retaliation for the BS that went on with Russell Martin last night.  Hopefully that’s the end of it and we can go back to some good ol’ fashioned baseball tomorrow.

Finally, give another game ball to the fans tonight!  I’ll be uploading a few great shots from the Ravine a bit later, but their enthusiasm and passion definitely helped the Dodgers tonight.  Great job Dodger fans – let’s bring it again tomorrow!

Larry Bowa and Davey Lopes Go Home





Like you guys, I’m psyched for this series against the Fightin’ Phils!  A deeper analysis of the NLCS will be coming in the next day or so, but needless to say, it’s going to be damn tough - especially when you take into account the numerous match-up problems (something that the Cubs couldn’t offer up).  In the meantime, I wanted to highlight three guys that are probably more psyched than all of us for this series: Larry Bowa, Davey Lopes (1972-81) and Milt Thompson (1996) – all coaches for the opposition.  Josh Rawitch offers up the following facts on Bowa’s career over at Inside the Dodgers, plus a few additional tidbits on other ties between the two clubs:

- Remember Charlie Manuel as a Dodger?  He was a reserve outfielder with the club for parts of the ’74 and ’75 seasons

- Fan favorite OF Jayson Werth and reliever Rudy Seanez both played for Big Blue recently (2004-06 and 1994-95, 2007, respectively)

- Dodgers Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion worked for the Phillies from 1982-97

- Third base coach Larry Bowa not only was a HOF legend as a player, bur managed the club from 2001-04

Now our regular readers know that we love to see what the opposition thinks about the Dodgers, so following is a link to The Phillies Zone, a blog by The Philadelphia Daily News’  Todd Zolecki.  I’m recommending that we all keep an eye on it throughout the series, as Todd offers up a ton of great info and links.

Finally, we’re working on getting a Philly blogger to post on Dodgerfan.net periodically throughout the series with his or her thoughts.  While we all bleed Dodger Blue over here, we thought it would be interesting to get a view of the game from the opposing press box (we’ll let you know if we get a reciprocal offer).

Series analysis coming later tonight…

From Vince Vaughn to Ellen Pompeo, The Stars Come Out for the Dodgers

 



So we know that many of you are eager to see what Hollywood stars that came out to see the Dodgers in the playoffs.  According to ESPN, here’s who was in attendance for Game 3 against the Cubs (I’ll try and add some photos of these stars from the game later tonight).  Ellen Pompeo is representing the women?  Where’s Alyssa Milano?  (maybe she’s been going, but she’s not keeping her blog up to date…must be that clothing line).  Where’s Jennifer Aniston? (not sure she’s a baseball fan, but it would be great to see her there).  Come on Hollywood, we can do better than this! I expect a better turnout during the NLCS!

Stars at Game 3 included: Vince Vaughn, Ellen Pompeo, Dennis Haysbert, Pierce Brosnan, Larry King, Paul Walker, James Denton, Isiah Thomas and Eric Balfour (NOTE: I also heard Baron Davis was also rockin’ it at the Ravine on Saturday night).

Dodgers Sweep Cubs, Advance to NLCS


The Dodgers swept the Cubs, winning three in a row capped off with strong pitching from Hiroki Kuroda in game three and with solid defense from the boys in blue.

For the Cubs, the end of this series marks the second straight year they have been swept out of the playoffs by an NL West team (Arizona had the privelege of dispatching the Cubs last year).

L.A. did its job by getting up 2-0 early in the game and preventing the Cubs from ever holding a lead during the game – all courtesy of a two-run double hit by James Loney.

Strangely, the Cubs seemed to be in a state of flux throughout these post-season games. Across three games, the Cubs put three different lineups out there – something you can try during the regular season but can often backfire on you in the postseason.

Dodger skipper Joe Torre indicated the key to success thus far has been taking calculated risks. “What we’ve done the last couple of games, with two pitchers that have thrown the ball pretty hard, is to try to maintain patience and try to get something we can handle,” Torre said. “What I like to call controlled aggressiveness as opposed to being aggressive and swinging at everything you see.

Loney certainly was vying for Dodger MVP in this series, as hey not only drove in the two key runs early in this game but also a grand-slam home run in the 5th inning of game 1.

This is the first Dodgers sweep in the postseason since 1963 and the first postseason series win for the team since 1988.

Congrats to the Dodgers for ending a 20 year drought!