The definition of the word déjà vu is…. well here, I’ll copy and paste the meaning for you.
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That’s where we are right now. We’re stuck in déjà vu land with the Dodgers. After losing 8-3 in pathetic fashion to the Nationals in game 3, The Dodgers are now on the brink of elimination as they are now down 2-1 in the series.
If this sounds familiar it’s because it is. The Dodgers were down 2-1 after three games in last year’s NLDS against the Mets. In that series they called upon Clayton Kershaw to get them to game 5, and he did, only for the club to epically choke in game 5 with Zack Greinke on the mound. Today the Dodgers will ask Kershaw to do the same and get them on a plane to Washington for game 5. In which case I am sure the Dodgers will historically choke again.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Washington-NLDS Game 4 –Washington Leads series 2-1
#Dodgers' NLDS Game 4 lineup:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 11, 2016
Joe Ross-7-5 vs. Clayton Kershaw-12-4
Game Time – 2:00 PM PST – TV – FS1
I have to be honest with all of you. I have little to no confidence in this team and its players right now. I totally understand the decision to use Kershaw in game 4 today. I agree with it 100%. You can’t think about game 5 right now, because you have to win game 4 first to get there. You have to take it one game at a time and I would rather lose with my best (which is Kershaw) then not.
No offense to Julio Urias who is a good kid and developing into a fine young pitcher. However this is an elimination game and the Dodgers don’t have anyone else. It’s either go with Kershaw in game 4 and Urias in game 5, or save Kershaw for game 5 and pitch Urias today. The Dodgers are going to with Kershaw at home on short rest. I’m fine with that.
The thing is you can blame Andrew Friedman, or Dave Roberts all you like. The fact remains that the players have to play. They haven’t. Yes Friedman did a piss poor job of building a starting rotation. I have and will continue to ream him for that. When you spend money on injury riddled bums like Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy you destroy the forward progress of your starting rotation for years. Yes Roberts as a first year manager has made some mistakes with the match-ups or lineups. This is not their faults.
The players have to play, and unsurprisingly, most of the players have all choked in this series with the exception of Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and some of the bullpen guys. Yes I know it’s not impossible for the Dodgers to win two games in a row, but am I confident that they will? No.
That’s because the Dodgers and this group of players just don’t have it. Let me explain what it is. IT is the ability to win under pressure and come through in the clutch when it matters most. It is something that can’t be measured or quantified with stats or numbers. Some players have it, and some players don’t.
The Dodgers of yesteryear had it. Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, all had it. The Dodgers of the 1970’s Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Rick Monday, they all had it. The Dodgers of 1988 Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Tim Belcher, John Shelby they all had it.
The great Yankee teams of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s all had it. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Tino Martinez all had it. The Giants of this decade still have it. Guys like Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey have it. The Dodgers of 2015-2016 do not have it.
They just don’t have it. It’s as simple as that. Let me tell you something, they may never have it. That can change though if they can show up and you know play like they are supposed to. Isn’t this the team that’s supposed to have all this grit?
The lineup for game 4 has Chase Utley returning to the lead-off spot and second base. Yasiel Puig is back on the bench and Andrew Toles is back in left field. The rest of the lineup is the normal lineup. The Nationals will send 23-year old right hander Joe Ross to the mound.
Ross was part of that huge trade with the Padres and Rays that netted them Trea Turner, and Ross. The right hander is in his second MLB season and was 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts. Ross faced the Dodgers once on June 22 and picked up a no-decision. He’s made just 2 career starts against the Dodgers and is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA.
Ross vs. Dodgers
We all know Kershaw’s numbers against Washington by now. He won game 1 after he went five innings allowing three earned runs on 8 hits and striking out 7. The Dodgers won game 1 by a 4-3 score. Then they lost two in a row. Now they are looking to Kershaw to save their season once again like he did last year. Can he do it again on short rest?
Kershaw vs. Nationals
If this is my last pregame this season, then I just want to say thank you to all of you for following us, commenting, and reading along throughout the year. I sincerely hope this is not the end. If it is I say thank you. You guys have made this season fun for all of us over here.
Clayton Kershaw has to get the Dodgers on a plane for Washington D.C. It’s up to you again Kersh.