It’s Clinching Time! Dodgers Go For Division Crown


Dodgers Lineup @ Arizona

Puig 9
Crawford 7
Young 3
Gonzalez 3
Kemp 8
M.Ellis 4
Punto 6
Fedex 2
Fife 1

Stephen Fife-4-3  vs. Brandon McCarthy-4-9

 

 

Closing time….One last call for alcohol, doo doo dooo. You know how that cheesy 90′s song goes? It is closing time in the NL West and about time for the Dodgers to wrap this baby up.

To clinch or not to clinch, that is the question. The Dodgers enter tonight needing to win one more game to win the division crown. The club snapped their four game losing streak with a commanding 9-3 victory behind the return from Matt Kemp, and another solid outing from Zack Greinke. The win last night evened the series at a game apiece.

The Dodgers are looking to win their first division crown since 2009. Kemp was a young man at the time, and had a great year, batting .297 with 26 home runs, and 34 stolen bases. Kemp came out last night with guns a blazing, smacking four hits in a game for the first time since last September. Overall Kemp just looked good. His swing looks like the Bison of old, and he made us feel good again. I know I was swooning, as Kemp’s performance last night reminded us of when things were good, not only back in the feel good days of July and August, but back when Matt Kemp was the most dominating player in Baseball. He brought back those feelings in us. It just felt like things were going to be ok. Kemp was back to form, Hanley came back, and Andre Ethier is days away. Just one more win gets it done. If Kemp is back to form, and we don’t know if he is yet, but if he is, then look out National League. His rustiness could be a ticking time bomb, but he looked great last night, and the Dodgers don’t have to go back to Coors Field again this year. Kemp collected four hits and all were hard hit, one was absoltuley crushed to straightaway center field. I am so relieved to have Kemp back in the lineup.

Stephen Fife-Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

So let’s get to the pitching match-up and then we can talk about the party. The Dodgers announced that Clayton Kershaw will be pushed back to Saturday in San Diego, and Stephen Fife will make a spot start tonight. The Dodgers probably should be starting Kersh tonight, but I can understand wanting to line him up for game 1 of the Division series.

Fife was rolling right along until another bout of shoulder bursitis landed him on the DL again. Once he was ready to come back, the Dodgers foolishly tried ro convert him to a reliever. He got hammered down in triple-A because he’s just not a reliever, he’s a starter. Some pitchers just aren’t relievers. So his last start on September 14 against the Giants was a disaster. He allowed five earned runs in three frames. So he comes back to the rotation to start against a team he’s faced just once in his career. Fife’s only start against the Snakes last year he lasted into the fifth inning and allowed two runs on six hits and struck out four. Fife is 4-3 on the season with a 3.38 ERA and 40 whiffs in 56 innings. The Snakes have had little exposure to Fife. The Snakes are just 4 for 11 against the goggled right hander.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Aaron Hill

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Gerardo Parra

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Patrick Corbin

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Paul Goldschmidt

2

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.000

1.000

1.000

Miguel Montero

2

2

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.500

.500

.500

Total

12

11

4

0

0

0

1

0

3

.364

.364

.364

The Snakes will counter with right hander Brandon McCarthy. The Colorado Springs native has had a poor year, but has turned his season around recently. McCarthy has faced the Dodgers twice in his career, and once this year. Back in May McCarthy faced the Dodgers and earned a no-decision when the boys in blue tagged him for three runs on eight hits through 6.1 frames. McCarthy is 2-0 with a 2.02 ERA against the Dodgers. He is 4-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 2013. He has good control, only walking 19 while whiffing 70.

Brandon McCarthy-Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have hit this guy before, but actually Michael Young has had success in the past with a .308 average and a home run. Oddly, Nick Punto has the other long ball of off McCarthy.  

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Michael Young

27

26

8

1

1

1

5

0

2

.308

.296

.538

Carl Crawford

21

21

6

0

0

0

0

0

2

.286

.286

.286

Mark Ellis

8

8

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

.250

.250

.375

Andre Ethier

6

6

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Adrian Gonzalez

6

5

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

.200

.333

.200

Dee Gordon

6

6

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.167

.167

.167

Nick Punto

6

6

3

1

0

1

4

0

1

.500

.500

1.167

Drew Butera

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

A.J. Ellis

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Jerry Hairston

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.667

Skip Schumaker

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.333

.000

Juan Uribe

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Total

96

93

24

4

1

2

11

2

14

.258

.271

.387

Now as for the celebration, the Dodgers were ordered not to come back onto the field once they leave. So once they clinch, they move into the clubhouse for the celebration. Normally they put tarps over all of the lockers and spray champagne all over each other. It’s a lot of fun. You’ll probably see them wearing their NL West division caps and shirts soaked in bubbly. Normally the road clinching parties are more subdued than the ones at home. I’m still not sure what the Dodgers are going to do once they win it. Will they jump all over each other? Or will they wait until they get into the clubhouse and pop the bubbly? I want the Snake fans to suffer. Watch and suffer! This is so much fun!

Stacie will get the honors of covering what could be the clincher. I hope it is. She deserves it. Although she did force me to sit through every out of that historical turdfest last Saturday night against the Giants. I admit, I am human. Because in the bottom of the eighth when Brandon League entered the game with the Giants ahead 17-3, I wanted to gouge my eyes out, and run away screaming. There was a limit to what I was going to be able to handle that evening. I can handle almost anything, and I wanted to stay for the entire game, but watching League come in with runners on base mind you, that was it for me. That was the last straw. I wanted to leave. Of course I didn’t leave. Stacie wouldn’t let me.  I easily accepted my fate. I was going to stay for every last out of that turdfest. It was interesting. Stacie really didn’t say much in the later innings. I imagine she had gone numb at that point. With League pitching and the Dodgers trailing 18-3 to the Giants in the eighth inning, I looked over to see Stacie with a strange almost indignant look on her face. Her wry smile told me that I would indeed be staying for every last out of that turd of a game. So it was done. I love you Stac.

This season has been so out of control, but all of the pain and frustration will be washed away. The Dodgers will be NL West division champions with one more win. This is a rare and special moment, and I look forward to rooting on our beloved Boys in Blue with Stacie and all of you alongside us deep into October. Where will you be if the Dodgers win the west tonight? This one’s for you Stac. Go Blue!

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Don Mattingly Featured Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Popular Skip Schumaker Stephen Fife Yasiel Puig

  • Quasimodo

    Well Scott my friend, all’s so good that I picked up a couple bottles of what they claim to be California Champagne. I don’t think there is such a thing. I got a head start on the Dodgers and thusly am half schnockered. Cheers!….burp! Harold Reynolds and Brian Kenny, on MLB Now, both agree Dodgers are favorites for the World Series Crown. No argument, end of discussion. So cross your fingers and hope for health of the Dodgers, because if healthy the deck is stacked. Cheers!

    • Quasimodo

      Closing time ‘Tom Waits’ 70′s but it doesn’t fit. Neither does the one you’re speaking of. lolz

      • LasordasLair

        It is closing time though for the division.

    • LasordasLair

      Drink up my friend, we’ll be bathing in the bubbly in a few hours. Hey I was watching that too! They both picked the Dodgers. Bottles up!

  • Denise Black

    I am watching on ESPN right now and can barely stand the bush league announcing.

    • LasordasLair

      Is it real bad Denise? You cant watch on Prime Ticket?