Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Post-NLDS Game 1 Thread: Grind

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First inning: Matt "The Bison" Kemp crushes a Chris Carpenter offering into the All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion.


First of all, kudos to TBS for a glitch-free broadcast tonight. Stellar production, boys. Really.

Hoo boy! Guess there might be something to home-field advantage after all. In his first career post-season start, Randy Wolf came out tighter than the Death Star trash compactor and loaded the bases, aided by a brainfart defensive mix-up between Ronnie Belliard and Matt Kemp. But a Yadier Molina double play allowed Wolf to find the escape hatch.

Still, down 1-0 with Cy Young candidate Chris Carpenter taking the mound is never a good situation. Unless he gets mowed down by a Bison. After a single by Rafael Furcal (3-for-4, RBI), Matt Kemp pounded Carpenter's first pitch for a home run and suddenly the Dodgers had the lead.

And the Dodgers held on to that lead, although it was a grind. They stranded James Loney at second base in the first and Rafael Furcal at third base in the second, but scratched out another run on a Mark DeRosa throwing miscue in the third to go up 3-1.

Wolf only lasted through the fourth, hitting Matt Holliday to load the bases and getting pulled by Joe Torre with the score 3-2. But Jeff Weaver came in and got out of the jam. The Dodgers ended up grinding out another run in the fifth, with Furcal capping off an 11-pitch at-bat against Carpenter with a sacrifice fly. 4-2 Dodgers, and Carpenter was done after five innings and 105 pitches.

Thereon out it was a battle of the bullpens; each team ended up using five relievers. Ronald Belisario got the Dodgers' only 1-2-3 inning of the night in the sixth, while Kyle McClellan plunked Russell Martin on the shoulder to force in a run. 5-2 Dodgers.

The Kevorkian Committee was mostly effective, with Hong-Chih Kuo smoking Troy Glaus with two on and two out in the seventh and George Sherrill sandwiching a Skip Schumaker HBP with two fly-ball outs. Torre brought in Jonathan Broxton in the eighth to face Albert Pujols (0-for-3, 2 IBB) and induced a groundout to Casey Blake.

Broxton made us squirm slightly in the ninth, allowing a run on a Ryan Ludwick single and a Mark DeRosa double, but struck out Rick Ankiel looking on a 100-mph fastball to end it. WHEW.

So on a day where the favorites (Phillies, Yankees) followed the script, the Dodgers ad libbed and beat their chief tormentors. It wasn't pretty; both teams stranded a combined 30 men on base, a new playoff record. (Congrats!) Still, as we said a million times in the Game Thread, I'll take it. Any comments, Karl "Cardinals in 3" Ravech? Kevin "Cardinals in 3" Baxter (thanks, TBLA!)?

Kemp photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images


JuanLove said...

everyone is shocked we did this

btw, I think we need O-Dog tomorrow

Belli is scary as hell out there playing D

Greg Zakwin said...

"Broxton made us squirm slightly".

Kemp misplayed that ball. I love the guy, but that one's on him, not Big Jon.

JuanLove- Belliard's scary defensively and way too much of a free swinger. At least take the first pitch, shit.

Nostradamus said...

Also, love the win countdown, though my space geekery would prefer "T(rophy) Minus 10"

JuanLove said...

LA Times this morning had a big headline.

"Prediction: Cardinals in 3"

Kyle Baker said...

Just heard the new Bee EYE Pee tickess ad on the way home. Can I get a transcript, MLASF?

Kyle Baker said...

We did it, folks! Now on to tomorrow and let's win there.

Only thing I'm changing is my underwear and socks. The rest of the clothes I wore tonight (which now reside in a pile at the foot of my bed) are going right back on for the game tomorrow.

Over 600 comments tonight - nice work!

Bayareadfan said...

I hope I have a voice tomorrow.

Ugly stat of the game...22 Cards baserunners...yikes...

Some of that though is thanks to all the freaking bloops, seeing eyes, and barely fair balls they got. Seems every time we face them, they're getting overdoses of BABIP love.

That being said, I'm hoping for ALOT less Cards baserunners tomorrow...and a game 2 victory!

karina said...

Remember that tweet from Tommy Lasorda? Carpenter has lost before, so he did. Wainwright has lost before too , so they can make him lose again today.

An important key of the game was neutralize Pujols and Halliday, if Kershaw can do that, they can make it!

Josh S. said...

"Kemp misplayed that ball. I love the guy, but that one's on him, not Big Jon."

So...Kemp allowed Ryan Ludwick to get into scoring position?

Josh S. said...

Oh, I forgot to mention it last night, but I LOVED that Vin busted out the "What an opening act, huh?" line after Bison's home run. I got chills.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

"Chris Carpenter did not have his best stuff, which allowed the Dodgers to do just enough right Wednesday night to beat the Cardinals 5-3 in Game 1 of the NLDS." - ESPN

So we did not win, but merely the Cardinals allowed us to win.

rbnlaw said...

Dear ESPN and Fox Sports,

We've noticed that you're slightly disappointed in the results of last night's NLDS game in which the Dodgers were allowed to win. We just want you to know, we understand. See, no one wants to be the fool. When you're paid obscene amounts of money to be a "talking head," (and not a musical one at that) you're under a certain amount of pressure to be relevant. It's obviously a tough life because so many of you just parrot what the other "expert" says without really analyzing the facts. In short, most of you come off looking like tools (sorry Mr. Ravech, no way to make you look better) with your silly predictions. Don't feel bad. Most of the local "writers" thought the Dodgers had no chance either.
I suggest you check around the bloggosphere and see what the real experts are saying.
In the mean time, do as my esteemed colleague, Mr. C, suggests and "Suck it!"
This was just as satisfying as last year's pounding of the Cubbies.
Maybe more so.

rbnlaw said...

A quick review of the sports web sites shows a surprisingly somber view of last night's game. Aside from the droning on about the length (I'll get to that), there was this one quote from Fox Sports:
A year ago, the Dodgers were a one-man show. Today they're less euphoric, but better — a more well-rounded baseball team and an infinitely more confident one. They know they can win without Ramirez. They know they can win without a bona fide ace.

That seems pretty accurate.