The Dodgers experiment of pitching ace Clayton Kershaw on three days rest for the first time in his career went OK. He gave up no earned runs and only three hits in six innings. But the Dodgers still came up in the eighth inning tonight down by a run. No problem. Yasiel Puig doubled with no outs to get things going. Despite Puig being the runner most likely to score from second, and three tries to get him home, the Dodgers opted to waste one of those tries and have Juan Uribe bunt so Puig would be 90 feet closer at third base. Luckily, Uribe's bunt attempts failed. Twice. Instead, he clobbered a no-doubt home run to left field to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Uribe's shot via MLB.com:
Kenley Jansen got the final three outs to clinch the National League Division Series:
On the radio, Vin Scully quipped that as far as he knew, there was no pool for the Dodgers to go swimming in. At Staples Center, a huge cheer went up when the score was announced during the Kings' home opener. Next the Dodgers will either face the Cardinals in St. Louis or the Pittsburgh Pirates here. Either way, game one of the best-of-seven to decide the National League pennant is Friday. I hope it's the Pirates: the Dodgers have only played Pittsburgh once in the post-season, in 1974 when the Pirates had Wilver Stargell and Dave Parker and the Dodgers were led by Jimmy Wynn, Steve Garvey, Don Sutton and Mike Marshall. The Dodgers won and moved on to the World Series, where they lost to the Oakland Athletics.
Add 1974: The Dodgers' Tommy John missed the post-season that year to have experimental surgery on his pitching elbow. Dr. Frank Jobe in Los Angeles successfully rebuilt the ulnar collateral ligament, saving John's career. You may have heard of the procedure.