I’m Bored Already

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Haven’t posted in months because I’ve been too depressed about the orangutan we just installed into the White House.  And as we watch our democracy fade into the sunset, Dodger fans can look forward to another year without a World Series in the City of Angels.  They spent a couple hundred million hanging onto the guys they had – Turner, Jansen, and Hill – and rightly so.  (Though, as much as I love his competitiveness, I’m still not sold that Rich Hill is anything close to a viable number 2 starter). They needed those guys.  I especially love JT and I’m glad he’s back.  Good move, cheap ass front office.  So, they’re basically the same team they had last year.  The team that finished a couple wins away from the World Series, but really, a long way away.  They didn’t really have a chance against the mighty Cubs last October and they won’t this October either.  Not without that big right handed bat.  Not without that other big starting arm to go with Kershaw.  (And, no, I don’t believe Urías is that guy yet).  Not without more help in the pen.  So, what did they do today?  They gave up on giving up more prospects for Brian Dozier, who hit 42 dongs last year and bats right handed and plays second base, a position they needed to fill given Utley’s age and the fact he’s yet to be re-signed.   So, who did they end up getting?   The great Logan Forsythe from Tampa!  Yaaaaaawwwwwwwn.  If you had baseball’s version of a picture of mediocrity, it’d be Forsythe.  He was the starting second baseman in Tampa only because they didn’t have anyone better.  Yeah, he was consistent,  hit 20 home runs, (playing in Tampa).  But he only drove in  52 runs and he he only hit .264.   He only walked 46 times while striking out 127.  Personally, I’m not too excited.  Can you tell?  And they gave up their number 2 pitching prospect, Jose De Leon.  I thought we were supposed to GET pitching from Tampa, not GIVE pitching to them.  Why didn’t we make a bigger deal that included Archer?

Anyway, Forsythe is a lateral move.  Just a body to fill the position, while Dozier or even Ian Kinsler would have changed the complexion of the lineup for the better.  They could’ve just held onto Howie Kendrick.  His defense is as good as Forsythe’s, he can hit for a higher average, have a better OBP, and he can play more positions.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, in order to get Dozier, the Twins wanted De Leon, Cody Bellinger and/or Alex Verdugo.  The Tigers wanted De Leon and either Bellinger or Verdugo.  The thing is, the Boston Red Sox gave up their whole farm to the White Sox for Chris Sale.  Why?  Because they haven’t won since 2013 and they’re tired of losing.  The Dodgers haven’t won since 1988 and they’re obviously NOT tired of losing.  The Red Sox will go to the World Series in 2017.  I’m pretty darn sure of it.  I don’t necessarily agree with giving up all your prospects for one player, but if you’ve read my blog over the years, my mantra has always been, “Why is it better to win later than win now?”  The Red Sox certainly don’t think so.

I guess there’s still a chance they can try to trade for Ryan Braun or his like, but it doesn’t look too good.  I think they’re gonna try it with Puig again.  So, the Dodger’s lineup is pretty much the same as last year, a decent attack lacking an impact right handed bat other than Turner.   I don’t see Alex Verdugo or the left handed Cody Bellinger making a difference for quite a while.  And where, oh where, are they going to get pitching?   Why does this front office appear to not value pitching that much?  And if they don’t value pitching, then why didn’t they get the big bat they needed?  What, exactly, DO they value?

The Curse of… Joe Maddon? …Almost.

Wow!  What a World Series the Dodgers weren’t in again!  I said the Cubbies in 5, but I did the same thing a lot of teams and baseball pundits did.  I underestimated the Cleveland Indians.  What a great team.  They had it won, too.  Up three games to one with a Game 5 at Wrigley and a loss takes them back to Cleveland and they dropped 3 in a row.  They played like champions, even though they weren’t in the end.  Hats off to them and Terry Francona.  (By the way, is it just me, or does Francona look like a grown up Charlie Brown?)

So, the Cubbies pulled it out in a thrilling, amazing 10 inning victory in Game 7, with the help of a completely unnecessary 17 minute rain delay, somewhat removing the Tribe’s momentum and putting a temporary halt to Joe Maddon’s abject stupidity.  That’s right, I used those two words in the same sentence.  “Maddon” and “stupidity. ” Cubs’ guru manager, Joe Maddon’s performance in this World Series is, without a doubt, the worst I’ve ever seen by a Major League Manager ever, regular season or post-season.  What the hell was wrong with him?  Did he suffer a mini-stroke and they covered it up?  Why did he keep dragging Aroldis Chapman out there?  Chapman is a closer.  A ninth inning man.  He can occasionally go out and get 5 outs, but he’s not conditioned to throw 2 plus and 3 plus innings at all, let alone for 3 games in a row!  The big mistake was last night’s Game 6.  The Cubs were running away with the game.  They had a 5 run lead in the 7th.  He had just used Chapman to pitch 2.2 innings in Game 5 two nights earlier and he would certainly be needed for Game 7.  Why on earth would he run him out there in Game 6 with a 5 run lead in the 7th?  Why??  And then, even more astounding, Maddon sent him out there to start the 9th with a 7 run lead!!!!   It’s as if the Cubs had no other relievers.

So, did anyone wonder why Chapman was like oil on a gas fire tonight?  Maddon dragged him and his tired arm out there again in the 8th, and, again when he didn’t need to be out there.  Jon Lester was pitching just fine in relief.  The Cubs had a 5-3 lead and one guy got on base.  So what?  Let Lester get the last out.  Chapman had a visibly tired arm.  No command, a couple miles per hour off his fastball.  He got lit up.

But the most curious example of stubborn, overly cautious idiocy was Maddon’s removing Kyle Hendricks in the 5th inning in the middle of a gem.  Hendricks was the NL ERA leader.  He had a rough second inning and allowed a run, but now he was breezing.  He got a terrible call from the umpire, Sam Holbrook on what was clearly a 3rd out strike 3, and he walked Santana, but who would even think about taking him out after that?   Maddon, for some weird reason, went out and got him and put in Lester, who can’t throw to the bases, with a guy on first.  What??  (And why can’t Lester throw to bases?  What the hell is up with that and why doesn’t everyone just run on him?  Do runners feel sorry for him?)

Next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Maddon decides to start Chapman.  Chapman will start and relieve the first three games, then he’ll start Lester while having Chapman available in the pen, then his fifth starter will be Chapman and to relieve Chapman will be Chapman with Chapman to close.  Then, for the next five games, he’ll go with Chapman, Chapman, Chapman, Chapman, and Chapman with maybe a spot start by Arrieta or Hendricks, but warming up in the pen and ready to go will be Chapman.

But it wasn’t just his handling of his pitching staff.  Later in the game, after the Tribe tied it up, Maddon had Javier Baez try to bunt with 2 strikes for a safety squeeze.  Baez, in spite of his solo homer tonight, was terrible this entire series.  Why would Maddon even think do that?  What an idiotic series of moves by Joe.  It’s as if he froze.  As if he simply stopped trusting all his relievers: Pedro Strop, Edwards Jr., Rodon, Wood, Grimm, everyone in his bullpen but poor, tired, unnecessarily overused Aroldis Chapman.  It was an acute case of over-managing and panic.  The worst I’ve ever seen.  The Cubs pulled this out with their determination, grit and talent, but certainly not with the help of their skipper’s wisdom.  It vanished.  He sucked.  The Cubbies won their first World Series in 108 years in spite of the great Joe Maddon.

What great performances by Zobrist, Schwarber (out of nowhere), Ross, Russell, and Fowler.  Bryant and Rizzo finally became Bryant and Rizzo and their starting pitching did the job.  What a great team.  Congrats to the Cubbies and their fans.  Being an avid, yet realistic Dodger fan, there’s no reason to believe the Cubs won’t be right back there next year.

29 and Counting…

Clayton Kershaw almost dispelled the myth that he’s a choker in the postseason.  Almost.  He did his best Scott Kazmir imitation last night.  Or his best 2013-14 Clayton Kershaw imitation.  But whatever it was, it stunk.  He had no command of anything but his fastball and the mighty Cubs dismantled him.  Didn’t help that the normally sturdy and reliable Andrew Toles took his eyes off a fairly routine gap fly ball that led to more runs in the first, but it wouldn’t have made a difference.  The Dodgers weren’t gonna score anyway.  Kershaw is still the best pitcher on the planet, in my opinion, but this monkey on his back is becoming a rather large gorilla and it may never slide off.

As Dave Roberts admitted, the Cubs were clearly the better team, and though Roberts didn’t help with his ridiculous lineup changes (Friedman and Zaidi had a huge hand in those as well) it wasn’t his fault. The Dodgers seemed defeated before they walked into Wrigley last night.  They played like they didn’t belong on the same field as the Cubs.  The last 3 games, they played like a team that was satisfied with getting as far as they got and were ready to go home.

The average Dodger fan is probably very happy with the result.  The Dodgers have won their division four years in a row and for the second time in those four years, they made it all the way to the NLCS and actually won 2 games!  Wheee!!!   And, “after all,” a friend said to me, “aren’t you happy the Cubbies finally made it in?”   No, idiot.  I’m a fkn’ Dodger fan and we just got beat again.  The intelligent Dodger fan is fuming.  He/she is tired of the now 29 year World Series drought and will accept nothing less than a Championship.  The intelligent fan is sick of the Dodgers becoming the Buffalo Bills of baseball and knows the kind of money and wherewithal the organization has to win 103 games, not just this year, but every year.  So, for any Dodger fan who says to me, “Hey, Andrew Friedman did a great job, they were only 2 wins away from a World Series,” to that person, I say, “I’ve seen this before.  Given the resources he had, I think he did a horrible job and I would actually consider firing him.”

Wanna blame the injuries?  There was really only one injury that mattered this year, and that was Kershaw’s herniated disk that sidelined him for a couple key months.  The team unexpectedly rallied, but I don’t really attribute that to Friedman’s moves.  It coincided with a major collapse by the Giants, and the guys who weren’t hitting started hitting and the bullpen improved.   And, as luck would have it, that 2 month layoff for Kersh saved his arm a lot of innings.  In the end, this team went way farther than they were supposed to, way farther than they were built to go, and I’m proud of them.  They have a lot of great players that I really love.   Attribute their success to the grit and will of the guys they had, most of whom were brought on board by Ned Colletti, not Friedman and Zaidi.

Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi, with Stan Kasten’s and mega-wealthy Guggenheim’s blessing, let Zack Greinke get away and scrambled to try to fill the huge gap left in the rotation.  (And please don’t tell me that was a smart move because Greinke had an off year in Phoenix.  He should’ve been the 2015 Cy Young Award winner and, had he stayed in LA, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t have had another fine year.  You don’t let a guy like that sign elsewhere.)   They showed they were enamored of injury-prone, mediocre pitching the year before when they brought over the illustrious Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and, trade deadline acquisition, Alex Wood.  This year, after letting Greinke go, they continued that trend.  Discovering some elbow irregularities in Kenta Maeda’s physical, they lowered the offer and gave the Japanese import an 8 year deal.  Excited about Maeda?  I’m not. His 16 wins were deceiving, given that he rarely makes it through 6 innings and tends to lose big games.  Then they went out and got ineffective journeyman, Scott Kazmir, and touted it as a rotation-strengthening move.

During the season, they brought up their franchise phenom, Julio Urías, who had mixed results and then went and got blistery, but effective Rich Hill, but was it enough?  Not so much.  What will Hill be thinking about this off season?  Maybe Dave Roberts taking him out 8 complete innings into a perfect game.  Bye, Rich.

They refused to get any real bullpen help.  They had a bead on Andrew Miller, but failed to get him, and they had a deal in place for Aroldis Chapman, but nixed the deal when they learned about Chapman’s domestic violence/gun incident in Florida.  The closer was suspended for the first month of the season, there was no felony conviction, and he’s going to the World Series.  (So is Miller, and the Tribe doesn’t go without him.)  Ya think Theo Epstein and the Cubs front office even remember that incident with Chapman?   Not a chance.  They’re more concerned about winning and less concerned about their brand.  After all, winning builds the brand. (And, no, ladies, I don’t condone domestic violence.)

The Dodgers went into the season fully aware of the iffy nature of Yasiel Puig and the lack of a big right-handed bat beyond Justin Turner.  They began to rely on young Trayce Thompson and still had hopes for Scott Van Slyke.  The problem got worse.  What did they do about it?  They got another lefty bat in Josh Reddick.  He hit one home run as a Dodger.  With Toles in the picture, I pretty much think Reddick is gone after this year.   Likely, so is Puig.

The Dodgers, the richest team in sports, the team with the best farm system, the team that draws the most fans every year, the team that has the 6th longest World Series drought in baseball, did basically nothing to seriously improve their team.  They brought up a few prospects and they put some journeymen on the field and they sat back and they watched and they hoped.  Well, the hope and the talent got them as far as it would take them, but for Dodger fans who care, that simply isn’t far enough.  Conversely, the Cubs, baseball’s lovable losers for a century, finally decided they would do everything it took to win to reward their loyal fans, and that’s exactly what they did.  (Cubs win this in 5, by the way.)    The Cubs won’t just win this year.  They’re built to win for years to come.  This could be the beginning of an NL dynasty, a long, long time coming.

The future of our beloved Dodgers?  My expectation is they will engage in more self-congratulations in achieving their over achievement.  They’ll refuse to re-sign their top free agents, likely parting ways with Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Rich Hill, in favor of more economically desirable options because, after all, the Dodgers don’t really need to win.  They just need to make a profit, just like they did this year.  Congrats, Friedman.  Congrats, Mark Walter and Guggenheim.

Farther or Further?

In 2016, the Dodgers went so much farther (or is it further?  I feel like both are acceptable) than I expected them to go.  And now, alas, thanks to some extremely poor management decisions by Dave Roberts and the Three-Headed Idiot in Game 5, our Blue have more than likely reached the end of the line.  I believe in miracles, but not this one.  Even though the amazing Clayton Kershaw pitches tonight, there is simply no way on this earth the surging Cubs lose 2 games in Wrigley.  Not gonna happen.  The Dodgers needed to win 2 out of 3 in the Ravine and they blew it.  I think Clayton will pitch just fine tonight in Chicago, but I have a feeling the Cubs find a way to win.  And if Kershaw pitches a gem and the Dodgers score enough runs for him and Jansen, then they have Rich Hill coming off an amazing performance to pitch Game 7.  I just don’t see Hill’s slow curve ball stumping the Cubs twice in a row.  Thanks to Roberts and Blanton, the Cubs bats are on fire.

In Back to the Future 2, they travel to the year 2015 and a big sign lights up, “Cubs Win World Series.”  Well, they were a year off.  The Dodgers really needed to win this thing in 5 or at least come back to Wrigleyville with a 3-2 lead, not be behind 3-2.  Why on God’s green earth, Roberts went with the lineup he started in Game 5 is beyond my comprehension.  WHY is Kiké Hernandez even on the roster, let alone leading off and starting at second?  The dude hit .190 during the season.  He’s a shitty second baseman and they have Chase Utley, who led a team to a World Championship.  Is the great Chase Utley really THAT clueless against lefties?   Or why not start Kendrick at 2nd and let Toles have a start in left?  Am I the only one who recognizes how great Toles is?  And Chooch Ruiz, your back up catcher hitting in the 4 hole??  Is Game 5 of the NLCS really the time to experiment?    What a joke.  And how badly was Maeda pitching the other night?   Sure, he was typically throwing a lot of pitches and ran into trouble early.  Why?  Because he’s not good.  The drop off from Kershaw to the rest of the Dodgers staff is like El Capitan in Yosemite.  You need rope and grappling hooks to hang on.  But it was only the 5th inning, there were 2 outs in a 1-1 tie and the pitcher, Jon Lester was up.  You take him out THEN???  Why??   Maeda was pitching well enough to at least try to extend him through 6 innings.  But let’s face it, anytime you start Maeda, you’re looking at a probable loss to a good team like the Cubs.  They should’ve started Kershaw on short rest.   A second guess on my part, you say?  Go back and look at my prior posts.  They needed that win.

Look, it has always been my belief that the Dodgers bullpen has done it with smoke and mirrors this year.  They were extremely shitty the first half of the year and extremely not shitty the rest of the year, but they’ve been overused and they’re burnt out.  Donezo.  Finí.  Over.  Ross Stripling needs to never set foot on the mound again in 2016.  Pedro Baez has returned to being the awful slow, tentative Pedro Baez, and  Joe Blanton has returned to being, well, Joe Blanton.  When the final tally is in,  in the final analysis, as it turns out, when all is said and done, when the lights go out, when push comes to shove… won’t Joe Blanton always be Joe Blanton?  Joe Blanton, my friends,  is simply not a winner.

In Game 4, the Dodgers played horrific baseball.  Yes, Gonzo was safe as hell, and, yes, it was extremely unfair, and yes, it changed the complexion of the game, but they still stunk it up.  In Game 5, they played odd, over-cautious, frightened baseball.  Jon Lester has the yips and can’t throw to first.  So, did the Dodgers base runners exploit it and steal off him?   No.  Did they do anything to make something happen?  Outside of a bunt attempt by Pederson, no.  I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I don’t get it.

Dave Roberts will win the NL Manager of the Year and deservedly so.  But he and the front office sure have used questionable judgment in these playoffs.  The over-platooning has come back to bite him and all Dodger fans in the ass.  But, once again, blame can be placed on the front office for not providing them with enough starting pitching.  That lack of starting pitching depth has proven to be the difference in this series.  With Rich Hill only going 6 in Game 3 and the inexperienced Urías and the ineffective Maeda not able to go deep enough in Games 4 & 5, the pen was overly taxed.  The impromptu formula may have held up during the regular season, but not in the NLCS.  Not against a team like the Cubs. Also, the lack of a reliable, big right handed bat other than J.T. has hurt us.

The Cubs are a better team than the Dodgers.  They have been all year,  and tonight or tomorrow, they will win the NLCS and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1945.  Do the Dodgers have any chance at all?  Well, with the greatest pitcher on the planet -Kershaw – going tonight, I’d be a dumbass to say no.  There’s no one else I’d rather have on the mound, especially with full rest.  And then, Rich Hill can pitch another fine game tomorrow and the next thing ya know, we’re in the Fall Classic.  And, of course, many teams have indeed come back from being down 3-2 before.  Yes, all the Dodgers need to do is win 2 games.  But in your heart of hearts, given what you’ve seen the last couple of games, do YOU really think they have a chance?    For the Dodgers to pull this out, it would be the miracle to beat all miracles.  It would be Dave Roberts stealing 2nd base for the Bosox in the 9th inning, down 3 games to zip.  It would be Kirk Gibson hitting 2 more home runs just like the one he hit in ’88.   Yes, yes, yes, the game(s) have to be played and we’ll see what happens, and yes, of course, I hope I’m wrong and will happily admit I’m a cynical idiot if I am.  But I’d be a fool to say I think the Dodgers have a good shot to pull this out.

Go, Blue!

Out Of Hibernation

Look who we woke up.  Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and the rest of the Cubs’ bats.   For all the LA Times reporters who were pre-reporting on the Cubs choking and subsequent demise, look again.  They’rrrrre baaaa-aack.  And they’re in the driver’s seat.  I’m sure the columns posted on the walls of the Cubs’ clubhouse made for ideal motivational fodder for Joe Maddon.  Now, they get to face Kenta Maeda tonight in a must-win Game 5 for the Dodgers.  Yes, MUST-win.  And Kenta is simply not a must winner.  He’s going to get shelled.  It would be extremely difficult for me to believe otherwise.  The Dodgers, meanwhile, have to face Lester.  So, it’s back to Wrigley with the Blue down 3-2, backs against the wall.  The Cubs will not lose two in a row in Wrigleyville.  They just won’t.  They’re too damn good.  Think last night’s game was important?  Yeah, pretty much.

They should just stop using instant replay.  I mean, if they’e not going to use it properly, then why use it at all?  Of course, the world knows, A Gone was clearly safe on the play at the plate that would’ve given the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning.  Would it have changed the outcome of a 10-2 Cubbies blowout?  Maybe, maybe not, buy you have to get the call right.  How in God’s name could New York not have seen that he was safe?  This whole not having visible proof bullshit has gone far enough.  If you can’t get the call right, then just get rid of replay.  It takes too much damn time anyway.  It seems like the Joe Buck (I think it’s no secret he hates the Dodgers) and the whole country outside of LA and the officials and umpires in Chelsea New York are all on the Cubs bandwagon.  Even the Ravine is filled with Cubs fans.  I think A Gone is right.  It certainly is the Dodgers against the world.

How sick are we of everyone handing the Cubs the Commissioner’s trophy in June and July?   Apparently, they already made a bat for the supposed curse-breaking champion team of 2016 to sign.  You can buy it for $129.99.  Come on.  The games still have to be played.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers momentum has been dropped like a ton of bricks.  Not just because of that stupid call at the plate, but because they played like crap.  With dreams and miracles, the big question is, “When will we wake up?” and “How long will it last?”  Did the magic and the dream finally come to an end last night?

I think the Dodgers are making a mistake by starting Maeda today instead of Kershaw.   If they can win today, they can maybe even pitch Clayton again in a Game 7 if he’s needed.  Unless the Blue can score a gang of runs against Jon Lester, Maeda will lose tonight, there’s just no doubt in my mind.  Maeda is terrible.  By starting Kenta, they’re essentially conceding Game 5 to the Cubs.   But, in deference to Doc, Friedman and Zaidi left him with very few options.

Some quick notes:

Congrats to the Tribe.  Outside of Cleveland, who saw that coming?

Why did Doc leave Stripling in so long?  He was clearly awful.  It might have been less of a blowout if he takes him out sooner.

Grandal needs to have better at bats.  The home run the other night notwithstanding.

Why is Kike playing 2nd base?  Ever?  We have Utley AND Kendrick?

Utley needs to start hitting.

Joe Buck after Puig’s great diving catch and throw: ‘He can still be electrifying every now and then.’  What?  Is Puig an aging outfielder whose career is on the wane?  Puig is always electrifying.  Not always great, but always electrifying.

Baez looked like vintage Baez from the first 2/3rds of the season.  Terrible.

Well, everyone, I applaud how far we’ve gotten and I’m proud of this team, but I don’t like our chances now.  We need more Clayton and more miracles.

Go, Blue!

Now, THIS is happening…

Well, Hill did it.  What a gem.  They are on fire.  All cylinders.  This is an amazing ride the Dodgers are taking us on and I don’t want it to end.  The last time the Dodgers led an NLCS was Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-eight, year of our Lord.   Today, it’s extremely young Julio down by the schoolyard vs. the extremely experienced John Lackey.  Once again, it’s a huge game.  It could decide whether Kershaw starts Game 5 or they wait to throw him game 6 in Chicago.  Urías’s start could go really well or really badly.  I’m typically cautious, but hopeful.

Bill Plaschke and others could be a little cautious as well.  I would refrain from calling the Cubs chokers or questioning how good they really are. They’re having trouble with the bats right now against the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Jansen and an amazing performance from Rich Hill.  But, in the alleged words of Yamamoto, why awaken a sleeping giant?  Yeah, we’re up one, but this team is only 3 wins away from defeating us, so here’s hoping we can keep their offense at bay for at least 2 more.  They won 103 games for a reason and they should not be wholly discounted.   I feel like tonight’s game is almost a must win.  If we can go up 3-1 in this series, I would start Kershaw in Game 5 at the ravine and try to close it out here.

Seager caught fire.  Grandal brought a bat to home plate.  J.T. hit it.  Toles did his thing.  A Gone and Puig and Reddick had great ab’s.  This is happening, people.  It’s happening and I can’t believe it.  Do I believe in miracles?  I should.  After all, I lived one in ’88, but for some reason, I’m not quite there yet with this one.  But I’m a lot closer to it.   Man, I never thought being consistently wrong could be so much fun.

Go, Blue!

Huge Hill to Climb

A short post before I go.

In Clayton Kershaw, we are witnessing not only one of the greatest pitchers ever to play this game, but one of the greatest athletes ever to play any game.  Any myths of his being a post-season choker are dispelled.  He is the apotheosis of a champion and he, unfortunately, is once again carrying the team on his herniated back.   Kudos, also, to Kenley and A Gone for their contributions to this series thus far.  (And kudos to Adrian for his refusal to stay in the Trump Hotel.)

The Dodgers could be in a much worse position than to be tied a game apiece coming back to LA.  Rich Hill MUST pitch better than he’s been pitching.  Read the Tribune take and the Cubs are feeling pretty confident about the rest of the Dodgers staff not named Kershaw.  Rich Hill needs to step up big time.   Tonight is an extremely important game.  If we can somehow get to Arrieta and/or their pen and win Game 3, we have a shot.  I still don’t like our chances, but perhaps this is indeed a miracle in the making.

Some quick notes:

Anybody seen Howie Kendrick?

What the hell was Puig thinking with that dumbass bunt attempt against Chapman?

Anyone catch the postgame press with Kershaw.  Never seen him so annoyed.  It was like he lost 12-0, rather than won 1-0.   He got some stupid questions about Doc’s 7th inning visit to the mound, his talking Roberts into letting him stay out there, and Javier Baez’s subsequent blast that wasn’t.  “Were you freaked out?  Did you think it was a home run?”  Kershaw just stared open- mouthed at the reporter.  “THAT’S your first freakin’ question?” he shot back.  Not only is Clayton a stud on the field, but he doesn’t suffer fools gladly off of it.

Time for Yasmani to start coming to home plate with a baseball bat.

Guess I was wrong about Toronto getting back to the World Series.  The Tribe is suddenly very scary.  Here’s hoping it’s not a World C-ries.