Randy Wolf vs. Joe Blanton.
COMMENTS: See those numbers atop the post, and how some of them have a strike line through them, and some of them don't? Math geniuses might have gleaned that it marks how many wins we have to achieve this postseason to claim the ultimate title. And we've got just about the same amount of marks now as we had last year, after sweeping another NL Central team in the first round (the Cubs), only to hit a roadblock against the Phillies.
In fact, there's a lot of parallels to where we were last year at this time. Down two games to one, we were coasting along with a 5-3 lead in 2008 NLCS Game 4, having scored five runs off of the same Philly starter we'll face tonight, Joe Blanton (5 ER in 7 IP in 2008 NLCS Game 4; 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 2009). We then met up against Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs, both of whom hit two-run home runs in the eighth to put the Phillies ahead for good. Game 4 was the backbreaker last year, and this year's Game 4 looks to be the series fulcrum again.
This time around, however, things will be different. For one thing, we've got Randy Wolf going for us; Wolf was yanked early (after 3.2 IP, with the lead) in Game 1 of the NLDS, and hasn't pitched in 12 days. He may be rusty, but he'll be rested and ready to go deep; his 2.78 road ERA, fifth in the league, also bodes well. And even Philly fans love and respect Randy Wolf, even though he's a Dodger now.
For another thing, we've got karma on our side (not to mention Fox, who would love a Dodgers-Yankees World Series). And karma will take down reliable, trusted players just the same as anyone else in its wake. Matt Holliday? Bonk. Chase Utley? Bonk. The Phillies might have slept well last night, but the karma police will come, and that fridge-buzzing is about to become a detuned radio.
And finally, they've got Chan Ho Park on their this time around, unlike last year. That alone may be keeping our playoff odds at 33% for this series, even down 2-1 and playing the next two on the road (we were at 57% for the NLCS prior to last night's aberration).
We can strike out the "7" after tonight's game. We can bring the series back to Los Angeles. We can win this series. We can do it. I believe.
LET'S GO, DODGERS!