We’ll find out tonight, one supposes. The Dodgers have ONE CHANCE to get this right, or ride off into the offseason. If they manage to get it done, they’ll face the same dilemma in Game 6, this time on hostile turf. By the way, in the history of best-of-seven series, only three teams have fallen behind three games to one and come back to win the series without benefit of home-field advantage, the 2003 Florida Marlins being the last to do it in that year’s NLCS with the Cubs.
Today, he was asked abot lifting Kuo when he did. Turns out, he went with him a little longer — one batter longer, to be specific — than he had originally planned.
“He was obviously electric the way he pitched in the seventh. He went out for the eighth, and I watched his first three warmup pitches, and they just looked like he had a tough time getting loose. And then, I watched him pitch to (Ryan) Howard (who singled to lead off the inning). That was why I took him out. I don’t think the ball was coming out of his hand as easy, and that was why I removed him in that part of the game.”
Torre also said that if there were any physical issues with Kuo, he wasn’t aware of them. Team has the day off today after Joe canceled the workout. Phillies working out now.
It’s close to being over, but it isn’t over. History is full of teams that came back from 3-1 deficits to win best-of-seven series, including last year’s Boston Red Sox, who did it in the ALCS against Cleveland. Because the one question that everyone seems to be asking about this game is why Torre lifted Lowe when he did, and Lowe himself said after the game that he felt fine and that his final inning, the fifth, was his best inning. Well, this was Torre’s postgame response, which didn’t make tomorrow’s paper because of deadline issues:
“First, he was on short rest. I think that was well-documented. He had to work hard every inning, even though he was in the 70s pitch count-wise. The only one-two-three innings he had was the fifth inning. I thought at that point, especially when we took the lead, it just looked like he was fighting his emotions the whole game. He said he felt fine. We were probably going to get only one more inning out of him anyway, pitch count-wise, and I just decided to make the move there.”
This is no longer the cakewalk it was shaping up to be when we left Philly. Casey Blake said after Game 2 that the Dodgers needed to come out fighting. Well, they almost did so literally. That pitch from Kuroda that barely missed the top of Shane Victorino’s helmet in the third inning did a lot of things — among them, it elicited an official warning from the umpires — but it mostly sent a message that the Dodgers aren’t going to roll over. I feel bad for Chad Billingsley. He is a great kid and a great pitcher who has been caught in the middle of something that frankly isn’t his fault, and for some reason, Fox kept showing tight shots of him in the Dodgers’ dugout tonight during a game he wasn’t even involved in other than as a supportive teammate. Yes, he should have retaliated in Game 2 for what happened to Martin and Manny. But no, he didn’t commit some sort of affront to all that is sacred about this grand, old game. This stuff appears to be over now, and this series appears to be shaping up as one for the ages.