I must say I had the Dodgers winning this one. The Phillies did exactly what they needed to to win this series, that was to shut Manny down and hit the LA pitchers. Kershaw got hit, Kuroda got hit, Broxton got hit, and that is all they needed to win. However the Phillies pitching was outstanding. Cliff Lee was a force. Lidge closed out the ninth. Hamels got the job done. Blanton did okay. Even Pedro joined in with the fun.
This whole series came down to pitching. Even though guys like Ryan Howard, Jaso Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, and Pedro Feliez hit the you know what out of the ball. Ryan Howard also ended up winning NLCS MVP.
For me the turning point for this series was game three when the Philllies won 11 to nothing against starter Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda pitched 1.1 innings in which he gave up six hits, six runs (all earned),struck out one, and gave up one home run.
Why did the Dodgers lose that game? Not because of Kuroda but because of this man . . .
Yep Joe Torre is the reason they lost that series. Torre decided to start Kuroda over all-star Chad Billingsley. Billingsley pitched out of the bullpen that game but he did not do so hot either. In 3.1 innings he gave up two hits, two earned runs, and two walks. However, Billingsley did give up no home runs and struck out three.
In Billingsley’s case you have to give the man some credit because he did not go through the normal routine that a starter would go through. I think if Billingsley did go through his regular routine and started he would have pitched 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs, six hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and one home run.
(Bilingsley on left Kuroda on right)
In all fairness though the Dodgers got killed by Cliff Lee who gave up no runs , and just three hits, along with no walks while striking out ten. So it is not entirely Torre’s or Kuroda’s fault.
But lets talk abut those Dodger bats for a second. The Dodgers got out scored 35 to 16. Manny Ramirez batted .263 with five hits, three runs, two RBIs, one home run, and an OBP of .300. I think it is fair to say that Manny got shutdown this series.
Another guy the Phillies kept under control was Matt Kemp who batted .250 with five hits, one home run, just two RBIs, and an OBP of .286 in twenty at bats. Kemp to me at times has either been underrated or overrated. I believe this whole playoffs he has been overrated.
However on Dodger’s outfielder who did pretty good was Andre Ethier. Ethier hit .263 with five hits, one home run, three RBIs, two runs, two walks, and an OBP of .333 in nineteen at bats. Ethier was the most clutch hitter in baseball however he did not always get the job done. He did though get the walk which gave the Dodgers I believe the lead in game two.
The Phillies did not win the World Series the Dodgers lost it. Joe Torre did a terrible job managing this series. I know you need to take risks sometimes but Torre might need to learn about a new thing, common since. I don’t care if Ronnie Belliard had a hot bat. Orlando Hudson is the better option every day.
Having a starter pitch out of the bullpen is a mistake unless they are young and have had pitched out of the pen in say the last four years. Otherwise it messes up all kinds of stuff. cough*cough*Chad Billingsley*cough*cough.
If it was not for Torre’s elite stats I would fire him. No joke. If this was Manny Acta or Bob Melvin or Cecil Cooper he would be fired by me. Maybe that is why I am not going to be a general manager or owner though.
Yet Torre would have a great replacement in his bench coach, Don Mattingly who should have been manager in New York after Torre left. Mattingly is not one of my favorite players as he was a long time Yankee but I believe he would be an amazing manager and I am surprised he did not talk with the Astros or Indians.
(Mattingly, left; Torre, right)
though makes one of two points. One, that he likes LA a lot and does not want to leave. Or two, he needs more ‘training from Torre’. I think it is number one yet I think number two might come into play a little bit.
I think though we also have to mention that this was the second time in two years that these teams have faced off in the NLCS. Yet the Dodgers never had to face Raul Ibanez or Cliff Lee. The Phillies though never faced nearly half of the Dodger bullpen, Orlando Hudson, Ronnie Belliard, Randy Wolf, and Vicente Padilla among other guys in 2008.
The Dodgers had NO excuse to lose to the Phillies. Yet, they did.
But now lets look at what the Phillies did.
The Phillies won. The Dodgers had home field advantage and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had an all-star closer and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had the best clutch player in baseball and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had four five tool players (Kemp, Ethier, Martin, Hudson) and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had a manager with four World Series rings and the Phillies won. The Dodgers were a better team and the Phillies . . . won.
Now I am sure the Dodgers are/were upset but think about it this way in third grade my little league team won the wild card and went to the playoffs. First round we beat the best team. I had a friend on that team told me that he would cheer for us because he could say he lost to the champions. And for the record he could as we won the championship! (YAAAAAAAAAH!)
Anyway if the Phillies win the World Series the Dodgers should not be upset. Then they would have lost to the championship.
However it seems one Dodger executive was not so happy as Dodger owner, Frank McCourt fired his wife from CEO of the team. However the twist that most people do not know is that they are divorcing. So it is a little different.
At first when I heard about this I thought, wow and laughed a little. It was not till writing this article that I learned that they were getting a divorce. I really think this was just a way to get his anger out about LA but he claims it was just business.
Again though maybe that is why I won’t be an executive.