1. 95-67. Who had 95 wins in the pool? What, we didn't do a pool? Never mind then. Most wins since 1985! And you know what happened in 1985. Besides the Dodgers losing to Cardinals in the NLCS. Never mind that too. It was the year Goonies was released! And Teen Wolf! In other words, the finest year in cinematic history.
2. Did you get that out of your system? The Dodgers' recent run of five straight losses was their longest losing streak of the year. But they scored ten runs in their last two games, both victories, to help erase the sour taste in our mouths before the post-season began. And the Cardinals went 2-8 in their last ten games (although they fielded some scrub-tacular lineups). More importantly, Albert Pujols hasn't homered since September 9. Time to find out if momentum or switch-flipping is the rule of the day.
3. Pitching candidates. Gotta love the Cards' performance versus lefties. Wolf and Kershaw and pray for Nerf balls? Hey, don't look at me like that. NOTHING RHYMES WITH KERSHAW! (Just ask Jon Weisman.) As for that third slot, a strong outing (or at least five innings) (or both) from Chad Billingsley would be a huge boost to the Dodgers, their fans, and the Chad Billingsley Marching & Chowder Society...but wouldn't Chadley be better off pitching at home?
4. Shifting expectations. When the Dodgers were on top of world, Ma, in June, anything less than a World Series appearance seemed like a disappointment. Then came the cruel reality of August and I was just hoping we were going to make the playoffs. Besides learning that I am highly suggestible ("Watch yourself, Dad. You're the highly suggestible type." "Yes, I am the highly suggestible type") I learned that we should be damn happy our October means something.
5. Wherefore art thou not, rookie hazing? We got just a small taste of that old rookie hazing magic this year, but somehow the schedule didn't allow for it, or there weren't enough rookies, or maybe the veterans just plain forgot. Oh well, I'll take the playoffs over costume hijinks any day. And we'll always have our memories.
top photo by Ben Platt/MLB.com