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Unable to silence Phillies bats, Dodgers go down quietly

Oct 21, 2009, 11:47 PM EST

The rotation provided one quality start in five games. The bullpen allowed 14 runs in 21 innings.
The Dodgers really never gave their offense a shot. It seemed like Joe Torre pushed all of the right buttons in the sweep of the Cardinals. This time, he mostly sat and watched. His one clear error was leaving Clayton Kershaw in too long in Game 1. Game 2 was the lone victory, and nothing could have made Game 3 winnable with Cliff Lee on the mound. In Game 4, he made the right calls and his best reliever got beat.
Game 5 featured seven homers, but most of the excitement was drained by the constant pitching changes, leading to very long innings. The Dodgers used three pitchers in the fourth, and the Phillies used three in the fifth. In the end, talent won out. Vicente Padilla was supposed to get hit hard by the Phillies’ left-handers in the series, but it was actually the righties that pounded him Wednesday night. Shane Victorino’s stunning homer off Kershaw in the sixth qualified as the finishing blow. The Dodgers did put together a big threat in the eighth, but James Loney, Russell Martin and Casey Blake all came up empty with the bases loaded. Philadelphia’s offense scored in six of eight innings and won 10-4.
While the Phillies can start preparing to play the Yanke… the ALCS winner, the Dodgers head home with a bunch of questions. Padilla, Randy Wolf and Jon Garland are all free agents, leaving the team with only Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda and Chad Billingsley guaranteed rotation spots. If GM Ned Colletti decides a makeover is necessary to reach the next level, then Billingsley, Martin and Loney are possibilities to be dealt. Juan Pierre could also go. There’d be a whole lot more flexibility if Manny Ramirez chooses to depart, but odds are that he’ll exercise his $20 million option and stick around. With the sudden uncertainty in the ownership situation and so many of the team’s youngsters due healthy raises in arbitration, there might not be as much room for improvement as fans would like.

  1. steve - Oct 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    I’m a Tiger fan. You all know what took place this year! I’m sure if the Tigers got that far that the Dodgers did, it would have been a heck of a lot better. But then, again the fans would have said the same negative stuff as to why they didn’t advance.
    Perhaps we all should realize that only 1 out of 30 teams wind up Champions. Perhaps we should all wonder about the amount of decent players that appear in sports lineups today! With so many players, obcviously many don’t even belong there, they really should be in the minor leagues fighting for the few chances of going up to the majors!
    Then again, that’s business in the MLB…money, money, money. Perhaps we need to return to a smaller league, fewer teams and weed out those cities where attendance just isn’t cutting it. Take the best players and put them on various teams to bolster a higher level of competition.
    The sport, as in other sports surely needs a better image for fans to see a higher quality of game! The current menu that we witness year in and year out is far from the quality of entertainment we REALLY should be watching!

  2. Jim B - Oct 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Well if the Dodgers are done with Joe Torre…we would definitely welcome him back as the St. Louis Cardinals manager. I have always had a great deal of respect for Joe and his love for and knowledge of baseball…plus he’s a class act…unlike the embarrassing demeanor of Tony LaRussa. I’ve never seen a manager be so much a jerk in so many interviews or press briefings after a game. It’s a disgrace to the good people of St. Louis to have their beloved Cardinals manager act that way toward the very people that are there to help put people in the seats to help pay his salary. Plus, what ever happened to the days of the Cardinal manager flying out of the dugout to argue a call with an umpire JUST to fire his team up to stop being complacent and get out there and win the game? I love the Cardinals and the idea of Joe Torre being back “home’! AND I’m kinda fed up with LaRussa! Anybody else?

  3. ciskokidd - Oct 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    I am amazed by all the Dodgers doubters. Sure the Phillies won the series and played extremely well, but that does not diminish how well the Dodgers played all year long.
    The Dodgers have a great young ball club with an excellent manager and one or two starting pitchers from being the premier team in the National League. I know Phillies fans like to tout their great hitting and it is great, but their ball club is also short in the pitching department which will be clearly evident against the Yankees who have the best pitching staff in baseball and a better hitting ball club than the Phils. CC will match Cliff Lee pitch for pitch and then what? Hamels? Please. After that you think that Martinez can tame the Yanks?
    My prediction for the series sad to say is a Yankees sweep. I’m not saying the Dogers would fare better. The Yankees are unstoppable this year and I HATE the Yankees, but the truth is the truth.
    One more step next year BIG BLUE!!

  4. jl - Oct 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    It’s all about the Donnie Baseball curse. Yankees won the world series the year before he joined as a player and didn’t win again until the year after he left. Then they went on a tear winning what 4 out of 5 years and then didn’t win again after he returned as a coach. Now he’s gone and here we are again looking at another potential NY world series title. It’s not Joe or the team – they are just fine – It’s Mattingly – give him his walking papers as see things turn around – they always do.

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