Friday, September 29, 2006

Sports: 3 games to go

Padres 86-73
Dodgers 85-74
Phillies 83-76

Pods vs. D'backs
Phils vs. Nats
Dodgers vs. Giants

It has been high drama day-in-day-out. Within a game, there are highs and lows from inning to inning.

The crazy 19-11 win in Colorado is yet another game that will go into the file of incredible moments of this edition of the Dodgers.

LAT's Plaschke put it this way:
September 29, 2006

DENVER - Crazy doesn't cut it. Absurd is too abstract.

There is only one way to describe the weirdness that flaked on Coors Field Thursday afternoon, decorating the Dodgers' championship hopes like so much multicolored confetti.

It was Loney Tunes.

It was a kid with eight RBIs in 45 games driving in nine runs in what seemed like 45 minutes.

It was a kid who has never hit more than 11 homers in any professional season hitting two in a span of five innings.

It was a kid making his first start in 25 days, having an afternoon to last a lifetime.

"We've had a lot of magic over these last couple of weeks," James Loney said afterward, staring wide-eyed at the reporters surrounding him. "Sitting on the bench and watching it, I wanted to be part of it."

For one game, he was that magic.

For four sweet swings, the 22-year-old rookie first baseman who has been dragged through September by this veteran-led team actually carried it.

You say altitude, the Dodgers say attitude, and they hung on to another unlikely hero in taking a 19-11 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Dodger fans are hoping for more unlikely heros. Dodger fans will have their eyes on the goings ons at ATT Park 7:10 PM in San Francisco when slated to take the hill for the Dodgers is Hong-Chih Kuo another Dodger rookie.

His story can be found here. Excerpts:
Hong-Chih Kuo makes his first Major League start Friday night [ed. - This refers to September 8 where he went 6 scoreless innings against the Mets and got the win.] seven years and two Tommy John operations after he was signed as a 17-year-old out of Taiwan.

Kuo, signed to a $1.25 million bonus, suffered his elbow injury in spectacularly tragic fashion. In his professional debut on April 10, 2000, he struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced, blew out a ligament in his elbow, made two more pitches to end the inning, then underwent surgery.

He resumed pitching 14 months later, but problems persisted and he required the procedure again, missing the entire 2003 season. He also underwent another operation to clear scar tissue from the transplanted ligament, a common side effect. He pitched in only three games in 2004, and entered the 2005 season with a total of 40 1/3 innings pitched in five years.
Dodger hopes rest on a kid with a rebuilt arm pitching to a rookie catcher who has sparkled (Russell Martin).

It will be interesting who Little will put on the line-up card today as so many of the players are banged up. Nomar and Kent have been banged up all season but these vets have still given it their all. Furcal, a proven player and Betemit, a player with something to prove are former Braves. I'm sure they are excited to be in the hunt for October as the Braves this year will miss it for the first time in a very long time. In the outfield, three vets in Anderson, Lofton and Drew.

As the game goes on, Little will look down at the bench and have to make decisions on which of this mix of veterans, role players and rookies to plug into the game as needed.

His toughest call is the one to the bullpen. As Forrest Gump (Little has been said to sound an awful like Gump) says, Life is like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you'll get.

Yet, the Dodger bullpen at times has risen to the occasion especially rookies Broxton (22 year kid who can throw a ball through the wall) and Saito (the 36 year-old from Japan with the pin-point slider and just barely enough gas on the fastball to keep people on their toes).

This fan is cheering and groaning with each game, inning, at-bat and pitch!

Go NATS! Go D'Backs and GO DODGERS!!!

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