Our Daily Dread: The one, the only …. Dodger Way to Win the West


AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
Dodgers manager Joe Torre, left, and the rest of the team watches the final out of their 5-0 loss at San Diego on Wednesday.

Number One Son sent a text message at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He’d postponed doing homework toward his multi-tiered finance degree at San Diego State to take in the Dodgers-Padres game at Petco Park. Maybe even see the team he grew up with — but has never really seen win a World Series — experience a celebration.

His text:

“You know it’s bad when you drink more beer than the Dodgers have hits.”

He’s of age. Again, he was alive when the Dodgers won it all in ’88, but not yet 2 years old. You do the math.

And he best not be drinking and driving back to campus. This became an immediate concern. Until I pulled myself away from the eposide of “House” that I’d been watching on TiVo and had been trying to get through since Monday and turned the phone into a search engine, looking for the Dodger score (even though I was TiVoing that game in the other room and didn’t want to watch it for fear of … you know….)

Now I get the text he sent. Then came the follow up text: “The worst part was that I got to the park after the hit.”

So, happy October 1.

With the Magic Number still at One.

Which matches the number of magical hits the Dodgers had on Wednesday night against the Padres.

Over in Anaheim, it also matches the number of hits the Angels allowed to the Texas Rangers, as the other L.A. team allowed five pitchers to get in some work before the post season. (And Matt Palmer is 11-2? How’d that happen?)

Do you know where your playoff team is?

The Dodgers have scored one run or less four times in their last six games. Their best-record in the NL was sliced to a half-game over Philadelphia, if that still matters.

A quick review of the final nine-game road trip of the regular season:

= It starts with a 14-2 win at Washington. With 15 hits. Then a loss, and a win.

= In Pittsburgh, a 3-1 loss. Then an 8-4 win on Saturday clinches at least a playoff spot. Yippie ya ey.

= Since then — and knowing the magic number is just one, not two as everyone seems to think, because the Dodgers own a tiebreaker with the Rockies, the trip comes to a skid with four losses in a row, and the team scoring a total seven runs on 18 hits.

The easiest thing to have happen at this point: Colorado, now 2 1/2 games out of the NL West lead, loses to Milwaukee tonight, as the Dodgers have the day off. With the NL West decided, Colorado comes to Dodger Stadium for a three-day exhibition/playoff tuneup, perhaps thinking they could meet again in the NL championships series.

Sure, dream big.

It just takes one dream. One, lousy dream.

Actually, if you read Jon Heyman’s take on SI.com about who has what to worry about going into the postseason (linked here), the Dodgers are in far better shape than the Angels. And Dodger fans are on the same “worry” scale as Rockies fans (4) compared to the Cardinals (5) and Phillies (10, on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being worse).

All it take is one empty champaign bottle, whether or not you’re the one who’s complaining about how that’s such a ridiculous way of celebrating a baseball anything title, to solidify the Dodgers’ immediate concerns. Bigger question: Will they pour the bubbly over themselves when they’re officially the NL wildcard on Sunday afternoon?

All that, and one strange text message, must lead to the Dodgers getting their house in order, before my next eposide of “House” is interrupted.

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