Wednesday, October 7, 2009
You Ain't Happy Less You Got One
The time has come at last! Smell that fresh outfield grass! Feel the soft, warm infield dirt! Yes, the NLDS has arrived at last. As a proud Dodger fan, I, along with many others, were finally able to watch the Dodgers steadfast refusal to clinch the NL West come to an end behind the stupefying left arm of Clayton Kershaw. Whatever joy I was feeling was to be short lived however, when I learned that Albert Pujols and his Cards would be coming to town. Meanwhile I also observed the Detroit Tigers pull one of the more epic chokejobs I have ever seen. The Minnesota Twins were able to end their time in the Metrodome on a high note as they stole the game in extra innings. There was celebrations galore in the clubhouse, until they were reminded that yes, they would now have to travel to the Bronx. That however, was not the worst news the Twins received. No, they were then informed that they would be playing the next day against a freshly rested Yankee lineup. Yea, that can really suck the fun out of any celebration.
For now, let us travel back to the west coast and look ahead to the coming Game one Dodger Cardinals matchup.
Some Dodger faithful might tell you that the sky and oceans are blue because god is indeed a Dodger fan. If we look deeper, we then realize that no, god must not be a Dodger fan, because if he was he wouldn't have sent the Cardinals here in the first place, and he most certainly wouldn't have decided that it would be Chris Carpenter to start game one. What we now have learned is that god must actually be a CARDINALS fan. (Or a Yankee fan, but that will come later.)
At first glance one might say "Well, the Dodgers had a good run. It was fun while it lasted."
But wait! Upon further examination we learn that the Dodgers are not completely hopeless against the all mighty Cards!
After what I'm sure was many hours of careful deliberation and thought, Joe Torre saw fit to begin his umpteenth playoff run behind the arm of veteran left hander Randy Wolf. This is a good decision by Torre being as he doesn't have all that much to work with. Chad Billingsuck would do just that, Hiroki Kuroda is apparently hurt (again!?) Stultz can throw a knuckle ball and nothing else, Padilla is not a game one type of pitcher, and Clayton Kershaw can not pitch both games (as much as we might want him to)
Wolf is the veteran of the group, so we can suspect that he will be less susceptible to nerves than other Dodger pitchers. Wolf can't possibly be expected to win this game on his arm alone, so the Dodger's must get their big bats swinging early. The Dodger bat's come into this game limping, but they seem to be determined to start hauling in the runs. Batting is a whole other thing in the playoffs and the Dodgers should be helped by the return (return!?) of Andre Either.
The Cardinals obviously have all the tools to smash and sweep the Dodgers under the carpet. They have one of their best pitchers, they have an lineup that includes the human homerun machine Albert Pujols, and the rabid fanbase. If the Cards want to bypass this Dodger team without a second thought, their pitching has to perform. If the Dodgers power hitters get going early they could easily take a game. The Cardinals were able to manhandle the Dodgers in the regular season (with the exception of two games which if I'm not mistaken were won by messers Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw) despite a sup par Pujols. All in all, I think that this is going to be a close game. If the Dodger bats get going, and their pitching is able to hold, don't be surprised to see the men in blue take this one.