The NLCS is split right down the middle. Every poll I’ve seen is 50% for either team; even the ESPN baseball analysts can’t decide on a majority.
But who cares? Most of them didn’t even have the Phillies winding up here.
“This is a different Dodgers team,” they’re saying. “It won’t be like last year.”
Are you saying that when a team spends a bunch of money securing the biggest clown in baseball and then loses the NL pennant in a 3-1 series is going to come back to the SAME series against the SAME team and NOT make an adjustment of any kind?
This is why these ESPN guys make the big bucks.
We’re a different team, too. This year’s NLCS has a different taste to it than last year on both sides.
For one thing, Ryan Howard’s shown up.
His bat has more than proven its worth in the past few games, none more than the pivotal Game Four double that tied things up and prevented us from coming back to dreaded Philadelphia. Last year at this time, Ryan was 2 for 11. He’s a big man with a big bat, and when that thing ain’t producing, they can feel it everywhere in the Delaware Valley.
Of course, last year at this time, Brad Lidge was 41 for 41, so… yeah.
What do the Dodgers have that we don’t?
Jonathon Broxton and George Sherrill.
Stability at the back end of the bullpen? Sounds dreamy. And that’s a one-two punch courtesy of some nice trade deadline wheeling and dealing with the lowly Orioles.
Countering with Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson is… is not even fair, really. To say you have to erase the regular season when the playoffs roll in is to say that Brad Lidge is perfect again this year.
Look, I love that he shut the door on two games, each separating us from losing by a single run. I’m sure his confidence is higher than its been in months. Mine’s slowly…carefully…creeping up as well. But if we’re choosing simply not to acknowledge Lidge’s past season, then we shouldn’t really worry about the Dodgers set-up man and closer.
Even if they make it into a seven inning game. Yikes.
And Ryan Madson’s the guy that gave up the runs that made it an interesting game.
Ryan Howard and the offense* just need to make it a six inning game.
Anybody else feel like they haven’t watched football in years? Ha, ha! Playoff baseball.
*That sounds like a pop band from the ’60s.