Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dodgers trail NLCS 3-1

The Dodgers are just about done.

They dropped two games in a row in Philadelphia, 11-0 and 5-4.

Monday's Game 3 was never much of a contest. The Dodgers started a rusty Hiroki Kuroda, with which I had no problem. However, it backfired.

Tuesday's Game 4 was a heartbreaker. The Dodgers, trailing 2-0 after a Ryan Howard two-run home run, clawed back to tie the game at two. They took the lead on a fifth-inning Matt Kemp homer. The Dodgers tacked on one more run in the sixth, as did the Phillies.

The ninth inning rolled around, and Jonathan Broxton had already been in the game. This was a must-win game for the Dodgers and they had their all-star closer on the bump.

He got Raul Ibanez to ground out to start the inning. He then, inexplicably, walked Matt Stairs on four pitches. Broxton even admitted he was pitching around Stairs.

"I wasn't going to give him a fastball down the middle," said Broxton.

I know Stairs hit a home run off Broxton in last year's NLCS that has yet to land, but to pitch around a 40-year-old Matt Stairs is cowardly and stupid. And it came back to doom the Dodgers.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Broxton hit future Giant or Padre (because he's a Dodger killer), Carlos Ruiz on the first pitch.

Broxton was able to get Dobbs out for the second out before grooving a fastball to Jimmy Rollins, which Rollins hit for a game-winning, two-run double. With that hit, the Dodgers' season is effectively over.

I've been a Broxton supporter, even though I wasn't totally convinced when he took over for Takashi Saito last season. He was flat-out dominant this season and there wasn't much of a reason not to believe in him.

Boy, was I wrong.

Teams have come back from 3-1 deficits before, but the odds are not good -- especially for this Dodger team, which has shown a lack of spark since leaving Los Angeles.

It has happened 11 times in LCS history.

I'm not giving up all hope, but most of the hope I had was dashed when Rollins won the game for the Phillies.

The Phillies are now the Dodgers' new Cardinals. Let's just hope it doesn't take six years to get over Philly as it did St. Louis.

Go Blue.

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