MLB NEWS: Dodgers Paper Bags and the Phillies, Possibly?
Then comes news of Clayton Kershaw's sore hip, again as well, and the five men left to fill the void during crunch time. Oh no, not again! Cries the Dodgers faithful. I guess the answer would be, down.
The Dodgers have 16 games left to make up ground in the Wild Card - the Division is out of the question. At best, with Kershaw scratched from his next start, he will take the mound two more times for the season. Most likely, he will pitch against the Rockies and Giants towards the end, but that is only on paper. Undoubtedly, there is reason to worry for the club - a sore hip is serious. Risking a Cy-Young winner's future for the sake of now may get Magic and the boys in more hot water with fans than if they sit him for the rest of the season - which may be ending sooner than expected.
With the absence of Kershaw, the pressure to win is left on the shoulders of Beckett, Blanton, Harang, Capuano and Fife. It's not worth throwing out fancy statistical theories and equations in an attempt to show what most already know; it's going to take all five of these guys, pitching at their best, to win games. Unfortunately, pitching at their best is not a strong suit for any of them. The Dodgers line-up is still solid and timely hitting can keep them close, however, it's impossible to consistently win when your are already down four or five runs before even stepping to plate. Get out the paper bags Dodgers fans, you will need a breather. The Reds, Nationals, streaking Padres, upset-happy Rockies and Giants are awaiting the battle, drooling over a chance to get a look at a hanging-curve by Beckett or a slow-fastball down the middle from Blanton. Trust me.
Calling out my own predictions.
Don't scribble it if you can't take the eraser. I previously wrote an article that predicted Buster Posey would be a long-shot to win the N.L. MVP. While I knew he was performing well, the team - post Melky - seemed ready to collapse and Posey, being the only hitter that can hurt you, would not see a fastball the rest of the year. Man, was I wrong - I feel like the guy who thought the Titanic wouldn't sink. As it turns out, Posey is having a titanic September, leading his team, post juicy-juice, to the Divisional Crown in the west. It's impressive enough, and definitely worthy of article-retraction. Buster, meet Rick. Rick, meet Buster - The N.L. MVP. Hello!
Both college and NFL football are always primed for upsets. It's a thrill thrived on by every underdog. That's what makes it so interesting - you never know. After following some of the crazy games in the NCAA yesterday, I began to ponder and scratch over what team would be considered an upset this year in the MLB. What team, though not expected to make the playoffs, has enough in the tank and the team chemistry to surprise us all? Then, it hit me - like a ton of cheese steak sandwiches. The Philadelphia Phillies would be the upset of the season if they were to make the playoffs this year. A feat that would leave the baseball world - not just the Phillies - in complete shock. And it's not as far-fetched as you would think. They are only three games out of the Wild Card, and don't tell me for a second they don't have the arms to win games. This was the same team picked to win it all this year based on that very fact. Their remaining schedule is loaded with the Nationals and the Braves - two teams that are ahead of them in the Division and the Wild Card, so if they can find any offense at all, the pitching of Halladay and Hamels could be enough to make the impossible, possible - Charlie Manuel would have to borrow a paper bag from Dodgers fans because the overwhelming excitement. No worries Chuck, they got you. But, it could happen. It would be the MLB version of the NCAA upset.
Then again, I may have to retract my prediction next week. then I would be upset.