The Dodgers Celebrate

Since 2007 I covered and/or wrote about baseball and the Dodgers (both in-person and afar) for LAist, and I wondered how I would respond this season. It turned out I didn’t watch much of any baseball.

Like, I can’t tell you who should be win the AL Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year awards. Beyond a boxscore and taking a look at the standings now and again, I really haven’t been keeping track aside from the odd game I wrote about here.

I guess I can blame part of this on fatigue. I could also blame part of this on Time Warner Cable. They are my cable provider, but certain channels throughout the year had so much noise that some channels including the Dodgers channel were unwatchable. But if I really needed to, I could have watched it.

This is a long way of saying I watched the Dodgers win the National League West last night on the back of Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher since Pedro Martinez. He went 8 innings giving up only 1 run that was aided by his balk in the third inning. As the game progressed with the Giants still leading 1-0, he took matters into his own hands. With Carl Crawford on third base and two outs in the fifth inning, Kershaw hit a triple to tie the game: only the third triple hit by a pitcher this season and his first of his career.

As Vin Scully noted on the broadcast, all thoughts went back to opening day last year against the Giants. It was a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Clayton came up and hit a solo shot to centerfield to settle the game. The Dodgers would score three more runs in the inning to win 4-0, the first sign of what a special season Clayton would have last year.

Then the Giants pitchers couldn’t find a strike zone to save their lives, and the Dodgers went on to the 9-1 romp.

One thing about the postgame celebration. The first one I covered was when they clinched the division in 2009. The champagne and beer were flying, my eyes stung and my clothes stunk. It was fun and thrilling, but in the end it was annoying. My notes were wet, the audio was unusable because of how loud it was in the clubhouse. And the smell of the clubhouse for weeks was awful.

All of this to say that I’m happy the Dodgers won, and dare I say that I will be rooting for them this postseason? I’m skeptical though. Like I said in the podcast, their hitting is streaky and outside of Kershaw and Zack Greinke the pitching leaves a lot left to be desired. Also, we have witnessed both get lit up in the playoffs.

So I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope this is the year they can take the weight of 1988 and Tom Lasorda off of their shoulders.