Sunday, September 07, 2008

Post-Game 143 Thread: Peakin' & Sweepin'


"It's one of those Dramamine trips — it's up and down and you strap yourself in, because that's what's going to happen this time of year."

—Joe Torre

As they say, timing is everything. (Unless you're in real estate, then it's location, location, location.) Just over a week ago the Dodgers were coming off three consecutive series losses, including sweeps by the Phillies and Nationals, and a 9-3 loss to Arizona. Eight losses in a row—a season high.

Turn the page to September and the Dodgers suddenly have three consecutive series wins of their own, including two sweeps. Most importantly, they won five of their final six games with Arizona, upping their season record to 10-8 against the Diamondbacks. Eight wins in a row—tying a season high.

Everything the Dodgers need to win has been on display during the past eight games. In this span they've hit 14 total home runs, they've scored at least five runs per game, their starter hasn't gotten the win only once, and they've made only three total errors.

Timing is everything, and the Dodgers hold a 1.5-game lead over Arizona heading into their final 19 regular-season games. Although 13 of these 19 games are on the road, all 19 games come against teams a combined 83 games under .500.

"If you win your share of games, you're going to finish in first place," said Torre after today's game. "And if you don't win, it's nobody's fault but your own." In other words, the only thing that can prevent the Dodgers from winning the division is the Dodgers.


Eric Karros said...

Is Nomar celebrating a key Quidditch victory?

On another note, until just now I'd never before worked out the math, but it turns out Torre is spot-on: winning your share of victories does indeed lead to first place. Brilliant.

Steve Sax said...

If we could only win other teams' share of victories, as well--wow, we might even get well over .500.

karina said...

Joe Torre: "one of the greatest thinkers of our time"

You're right, Eric. Garciaparra looks like he's playing quidditch, in fact you could see sort of a ball upside the broom, maybe is he a keeper?

"Garciaparra is our king"

(yes, i can make constant Harry Potter references)

Alex Cora said...

Only thing I worry about with the upcoming schedule is that the Dodgers ALWAYS play down to the level of their opponents. Look at that Nationals series - we should have beat them up. Yet, we come back and play great against the then first place D-backs. I don't think that I would necessarily want a different schedule to end the year, but I am a little cautious. Hopefully the playoff race intensity will continue into the next 18 games.

Steve Sax said...

Hey, I just realized Torre is on to something here. If the Dodgers win every single one of their remaining games, they will win the division. I mean, I'm no math whiz, but I'm doing a bunch of these simulations here using a pair of dice, and I think Torre may be right.

Steve Sax said...

That broom casts no shadow.

Orel said...

Vampire broom.