Sunday, October 12, 2008

Live and Die in LA

Dodgers Prepare to Batten Down the Hatches.

Joe Torre knows what pressure situations are like. He was in plenty of them in New York, going to battle in the playoffs for 12 straight seasons. One of Torre's worst times came in the 2004 ALCS when the Yankees blew a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox and saw Boston go on to end their 86-year world championship drought. Now Torre is on the other side of the ledger.

With Philadelphia's 8-5 win on Tuesday, the Phillies took a commanding 2-0 lead in the best of seven NLCS series. Of course a Dodger win tonight could turn the momentum in the completely opposite direction. Torre has experience in this situation as well. Down 2-0 to the Braves in the 1996 World Series, the Yankees won three straight games on the road before wrapping up the series at home in game 6.

Torre will have to make better decisions tonight though then he did in game 2. Already trailing 4-2, Torre rolled the dice by sending starter Chad Billingsley back out to start the third inning. The move backfired and the Phillies put four more runs on the board and put the game virtually out of reach.

Hiroki Kuroda gets the call for LA tonight. The Japanese native was 9-10, 3.73 in the regular season and finished off the Cubs in game 3 of the NLDS with 6.1 scoreless innings. Kuroda has allowed just two earned runs in 13 career innings against the Phillies, going 1-0, 1.38 in two starts.

The Phillies will counter with oldest player in Major League Baseball, 45-year old Jamie Moyer. The soon to be 46-year old, went 16-7, 3.71 during the regular season, but took the lone Philly loss to Milwaukee. He allowed two earned runs in four innings and walked three batters. Moyer is just 3-4, 4.80 in 10 career starts against the Dodgers.

The Phillies have the two games to none lead despite the lack of production from potential NL MVP Ryan Howard. The big first baseman is 0-8 in the series and just 2-19 in the post-season.

Manny Ramirez continues to rake for the Dodgers. He's 3-8 in the first two games with a home run and four RBI. The performance comes on the heels of the NLDS where hit .500 (5-10) with a pair of home runs three RBI. He also drew four walks.

"Michael Kay is bashing Torre on the radio today..."

Just a little spoof of the TMKS theme song. For some reason Michael Kay continues to rant against Torre (he blasted for weeks after turning down the Yankees contract offer last off-season), unable, or unwilling, to understand why callers are rooting for Torre in the post-season.

He quickly dismisses any talk that the Yankees disgraced Torre with their offer and continues to point out that Torre is no saint. Okay, Michael...what is it that Torre did to you? Wouldn't come on your radio show (he had a deal with WFAN), blew you off your interviews, kicked your cat? What?

Kay also couldn't understand how fans would root for Torre's Dodgers if they played in the World Series against the Red Sox. "The Red Sox are an American League team. If you root for the Yankees, you're an American League fan. How can you not root for the American League? On top of that how can you root for the Dodgers?"

We paraphrased a bit, but that is the basic lo-down. Kay can't understand that while those listeners who are contemporaries, myself included, still hate the Dodgers (those Garvey-Lopes-Sutton teams in particular), we hate the Red Sox right now a whole lot more. Even when Don La Greca pointed out that the Red Sox would be building a potential dynasty with three championships in five seasons, Kay still didn't get it. "What's the difference? The curse is dead!"

Some people just don't get it, even when they're smacked upside the head with it.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Kay seems to share the same defected gene pool with Hank.