October 19th, 2009
Though last night’s debacle is difficult to dissect – it truly is what it is – losing 11-0 is a helluva lot better than losing 1-0.
One thing that I refuse to do in this situation is blame Torre. Second-guessing his use of Kuroda is foolish; Kuroda was last season’s post-season de facto Ace, and the fact is he looked good in his post-concussion return. He’s also typically poised, composed and accountable.
Also of note, who was the alternative? Billingsley? Not here, not now – even when he was the ersatz ace, his mentality was always fragile. As I’ve been saying all year, he does NOT have what it takes to bare down game to game, to really dominate. Reprise: his ‘stuff’ is as good as anyone’s, but again – an Ace needs to have that attitude, that knowledge that he WILL dominate. Chad questions himself on each pitch.
Should Wolf have started? Perhaps. . .but that still would leave Kuroda for game four. Maybe Torre was on to something – Cliff Lee was darn near unhittable for most of his starts in the NL this year, and this damp, chilly Philly return game with a raucous crowd promised to be almost a gimmie win for the Phillies. So why not save Wolf for the more realistic win opportunity against a mediocre Blanton tonight?
The Dodgers need only win one in Philadelphia to bring in back to L.A., and with the Chavez Ravine crowds behind them, maybe this is the 1988 redux. Remember, the ’88 squad was down 2-1 to the mighty Mets as well. . .