NLCS Game 3 Thoughts

lee game 3-I don’t think Joe Torre ever explained why he decided to go with Hiroki Kuroda in Game 3 and Randy Wolf in Game 4.  Wolf clearly had a better season, has much more major-league experience, and didn’t spend the last three weeks recovering from an injury.  I know Wolf didn’t pitch great in his Game 1 start in the NLDS, but it’s not like he imploded, and his ERA over the second half of the season was under 3.00.  So why did Torre decide to set-up Kuroda for two starts in this series (including a potential Game 7), and leave Wolf in the one-start spot of Game 4?  Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but that was probably a pretty big mistake.

-Shane Victorino’s 3-run homer in the 8th inning last night didn’t mean anything to that game, but it was nice to put up some more runs on this Dodger bullpen and maybe chip away at their aura of invincibility and confidence.  Ronald Belisario and George Sherrill have both been tagged already in this series.

-If you’re going to win a World Series, you need guys to get hot at the right time.  If one of those guys is a starting pitcher who’s already really good, that’s the best-case scenario, and Cole Hamels showed that last year for the Phillies.  Now, I don’t want to jinx anything, but what Cliff Lee is doing this year has been very reminiscent of Hamels last year.  He’s now given up 2 earned runs in 24.1 innings, good for an ERA of 0.74.

-Lee’s dominance might also have a psychological effect on the Dodgers.  Even with just a 2-1 deficit in the series, their margin for error is almost non-existent.  With Lee looming in Game 7, and being opposed by either Kuroda or Chad Billingsley (who the Dodgers clearly didn’t want to start any games this post-season), the Dodgers may be feeling like they have to win the next three games in a row if they want to take this series.

-I watched Charlie Manuel’s press conference after the game last night, and I just can’t get enough of him anymore.  He’s such a good guy and has proven to be an equally good manager, and I hope he stays healthy enough to stick around for a lot more years as manager of this team.

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6 Responses to NLCS Game 3 Thoughts

  1. bry says:

    great call on Charlie here, Doogan, he is really just a genuinely good guy. and a really easy guy to root for. he might be the one i’m most happy to see this success fall upon…well, other than myself because this is awesome, haha

    i agree with the kuroda question, but my big question (and obviously i haven’t closely followed the dodgers day in and day out) is what could have possibly happened to Chad Billingsley in TWO MONTHS for him to go from #1 starter and All-Star (with Cy Young conversations) to a guy who cannot even crack the playoff rotation of a team with a 21-year old, a guy who no one wanted in August, a guy who hasn’t pitched in a month and a half, and a lifetime mediocre starter who hates the ballpark in which he is scheduled to pitch tonight. how can joe not just throw him out there?

    great point on Victorino’s homer. i thought the same thing when i was watching it. it didn’t matter in the game (other than costing Cliff Lee a complete game shutout), but i think it did a lot to the psyche of the whole Dodgers team, especially that vaunted bullpen.

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