Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00) vs. Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57).
COMMENTS: Did you get all that out of your system?
Because at 5:22 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, we put all of Monday's bullshit behind us and focus on one thing: getting the Dodgers to board a flight from LAX to PHL tomorrow.
Whether you contend it was a weak pitching staff or bullpen mismanagement that doomed the Dodgers in Game 4 is irrelevant today, as everyone should be available to play—starting with Chad Billingsley, famously knocked for his lack of aggressiveness in Game 2. Chadley has nothing to lose and everything to prove this evening, and we expect he will be pitching with a chip on his shoulder the size of Defiance, Ohio.
The bats will be facing Cole "East Coast Fans Are More Passionate" Hamels, and it may be the last chance for the likes of Russell Martin (.154 with 1 RBI in the NLCS), Matt Kemp (.250, 0 RBI) and Andre Ethier (.278, 0 RBI) to prove they're worthy of playing deep into October. Until they do, the Phillies will continue working around Manny Ramirez.
And Torre will be trying to pull out another miracle from his bag of tricks that has already provided so many pleasant surprises in 2008. Torre gave the team a much-needed day off yesterday; let's hope they used the time to get their swagger back.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite talisman and show a little love, Dodger fans. Just remember that anything can happen (it has in the past, after all). Let's ignore the odds and see if we can add a few more heroes to the pantheon. And if we catch a few breaks, the Dodgers flying from LAX to PHL will be easy as ABC.
Gibson: AP photo