A.L. 4, N.L. 3

There is nothing I can possibly say in this space to do justice to this game. There were a couple of occasions late in the game when I made a point of turning away from the deadline pressure I was facing and reminding myself that I was witnessing something truly, truly special, something that no one who was here and stuck it out to the end — which, incidentally, came at 1:37 a.m. local time — will ever forget. I have only seen a handful of games in this ballpark — this was the 15th, by my recollection — but almost all of them have been memorable. There was the 12-inning game to start the 2000 World Series. There were two-run homers by Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius, both with two outs in the ninth, to send Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 Series to extra innings, both of which the Yankees went on to win. There was Game 6 of the 2003 Series, when Florida’s Josh Beckett pitched a five-hit shutout to give the Marlins the title. But I can honestly say none of that compared to tonight.

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  • TeamHasHoles

    Call me biased but the best player on the field for the National League all night was Russell Martin.

  • Vasquez

    biased……….. if that ball doesn’t get caught up in a little wind Nate McClouth hits it out and we win the game. He would have been the MVP, guy is sick

  • Denton True

    I got home from a business dinner late and still got to wach the last 6 innings!

    Big props to Russell Martin!

    Tony, thanks for your commentary. Good stuff!

  • TeamHasHoles

    Where did I say Russell should have been MVP? Russell doesn’t make a great play on your boy McCouth’s throw home, the game was over then. Russell caught 10 innings, handling guys he’s never caught before all who throw either ridiculous heat or filthy breaking stuff and dealt with it very well. The Catcher in a game like this is the most important guy on the field. He was tremendous last night….

    The MVP doesn’t always equal the best player performer on the field.

    Any of you who still think the Dodgers should move him to thirdbase at age 25 are out of your minds! Martin might be the best all-around player this franchise has produced in decades.

  • Baseball Bob

    Hi Tony -

    After watching Russell Martin handle those throws to the plate in the All Star game, I wonder if he played goalie as a kid growing up in Canada playing hockey.

    He picked throws tosses just like a goaline would.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    TeamHasHoles,

    Count me among those who are out of their minds. I have suggested that the Dodgers consider acquiring a quality catcher (something that may or may not be possible at a reasonable price), with the idea of moving Martin to 3B. The reasons are as follows:

    1. Moving to 3B would save Martin’s 25 year old legs. Rest assured that whatever speed Martin has not yet lost to catching, will begin to deteriorate over the coming years.

    2. Catchers are subject to constant small nicks and other physical strains that ultimately affect their hitting adversely as the season wears on. Martin’s average and power would probably be enhanced if he were relieved of his catching duties.

    3. Having Martin at 3B would give the Dodgers a third catcher that could be relied on in an emergency. Just his presence would give them more flexibility in the use of the backup catcher for pinch hitting duties.

    Martin does a nice job behind the plate in handling the pitching staff, and in blocking balls in the dirt. However, there are better throwing catchers, and Martin’s other skills behind the plate are not exclusive to him among the fraternity of catchers. I hate to say it, but Martin winning the gold glove last year was, to say the least, a joke. Without even having to think about every catcher in the league, Yadier Molina is far and away the best defensive catcher. Martin won the award for his bat, much in the same way that David Wright won the gold glove at third (and I know plenty of Met fans that agree with me on that).

    Again, suggesting that Martin be moved to 3B does not mean doing so without a plan that replaces him with a quality alternative, both offensively and defensively. And remember, moving Martin to 3B doesn’t remove his bat from the lineup. It’s not his bat that has to be replaced, it’s DeWitt and/or LaRoche you’re replacing. And if there is no quality alternative that can be obtained at a reasonable cost in players, or via free agency, then Russell Martin remains the catcher.

  • D’Accardo42

    Teamhasholes said:
    “Any of you who still think the Dodgers should move him to thirdbase at age 25 are out of your minds! Martin might be the best all-around player this franchise has produced in decades.”

    QFT!! I’d venture to say that Russ is the best all around catcher in the league. I know a couple Gnat Fans who flat out love Russell Martin, and if Gnat fans love Russ, you know he’s something special. I will be crushed if he doesn’t retire as a Dodger. He is the heart and soul of our team, and a true pleasure to watch on an everyday basis.

  • D’Accardo42

    Teamhasholes said:
    “Any of you who still think the Dodgers should move him to thirdbase at age 25 are out of your minds! Martin might be the best all-around player this franchise has produced in decades.”

    QFT!! I’d venture to say that Russ is the best all around catcher in the league. I know a couple Gnat Fans who flat out love Russell Martin, and if Gnat fans love Russ, you know he’s something special. I will be crushed if he doesn’t retire as a Dodger. He is the heart and soul of our team, and a true pleasure to watch on an everyday basis.

  • coach

    KERSHAW UPDATE LAST 2 OUTINGS 2 W 12IN 3 HITS 0 RUNS 8K 2 BB..SHOULD BE READY TO COME BAK AND HELP THE STAFF. COMMAND OF STRIKE ZONE.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Hopefully Kershaw is ready to come back and help. However, given that he pitched last night, Kershaw will probably not be ready to start until Tuesday in Colorado. I’m not sure the Dodgers would want him making his first start upon returning in that launching pad. I have nothing to back this up, but I suspect they might bring up someone to temporarily work out of the pen, and start Park one more time in Colorado. Kershaw could then be recalled to open the Washington series in LA on Friday, 7/25.

    I understand that starting Park one more time would make him unavailable to work in the setup role for the time being, but Kuo will still be available. If the Dodgers are intent on protecting Kershaw (something I agree with) at this early stage of his career, then having him avoid Coors Field makes perfect sense.

    If they prefer to keep Park in the setup role, then they might also recall someone to start one game in Colorado, or use someone from the pen other than Park to make a start. Since he’s been starting in Las Vegas, and has experience in the bullpen, Jonathan Meloan might be a good candidate. This is all speculation, and perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll know soon enough.