What Do You Do When You Fall Down?

The Determined Dodgers fell down several times this season, but they got back up and kept themselves in the running. This Band of Brothers understand that as long as you are within striking distance, it’s how you finish, and they are now finishing what they started… and stumbled… and got back up – they never stopped running!

In 2008 Heather Dorniden-Kampf, the favorite,  was competing in the 600 meter race in the Big Ten Championship, when the unthinkable happened on the final lap – she fell right on her face, but in a blink of an eye, she jumped back up and from the back of the pack, she won the race at the wire.

There was another race with an unbelieveable comeback when a runner came “from the depths of hell” to win:

The point is: It’s how you finish and it appears that the Dodgers are DETERMINED to finish this race on top.  In a year so full of one step forward and two steps back, this team has pulled together and are now leading the pack.  Yes, with their run differential, they should have about 95 wins, but that is history. They are just playing their best ball of the season, right about now and right on time. Different players are stepping up and doing their jobs. Team chemistry is a thing… sometimes it not the only thing, but it is tangible and this team’s chemistry is as good as it gets right about now.  I have to tip my hat to Doc.  Dave Roberts has kept these guys together and here they are… after I fired him several times this season.

Ask the Cardinals how important team chemistry is. When they fired Methaney, their clubhouse was a disaster.  Under Mike Shildt, they have pulled together and will likely win one of the Wild Cards. 

This is the Dodgers’ season to win… or lose.  I have been saying it for a long time and I think it is becoming apparent:  This team is build for the Post-Season. Tonight’s game is the biggest one of the season.  It’s not a must win – even if the Dodgers lose they still be be in 1st place.  But, if they win, it’s suddenly a two and half game lead with nine to play.  This is the biggest game of Striker Buehler’s career.  May the Big Dodger in the Sky be with him…

I am headed to the Big Island tomorrow morning and will be gone for a week.  I have no idea if I will post or not, but hopefully AC and DC will keep you entertained.  I will stay in touch!

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 59 Comments

  1. Mark

    I hope you all have a great time!

    I went to the big Island and it is much different, then the other Islands.

    I didn’t go over Kilauea in a helicopter, but I did go see Kilauea, although it is more active now, then when I saw it.

    It is just a different part of Hawaii to see, so it is interesting.

  2. MT…Stay clear of the lava and it is advisable that a man of your age after his 3rd Mai Tai remove the umbrella…
    Have no fear we’ll drive thing in for you…

    1. Peter

      Did you see that some hard rock lava from a lava flow, flew up broke a man’s leg on the big Island, this year?

    2. haha. there used to be a great line in my office about a local chinese lunch place that served strong mai tais. “one is not enough, but two is too much.” beverly gets credit for that one . . .

  3. Man, I’ve been all over the world, and yet I’ve never done Hawaii. I need to get my butt out there soon. Maybe if we win the World Series, I’ll go?

  4. just for fun, i’m going to list my [completely arbitrary] list of top five critical figures for us this postseason (yeah i guess i’m projecting us to make it–i’ll take the blame if we miss out):

    1. ryu–i’m starting to wonder if saving him for game four is a wise idea. he seems incredibly dialled in right now and his tempo and command has never been better. he’s really making it look easy and if we put a solid defense behind him he can log quality innings and save our bullpen. he’s rested, he’s fresh, he might be our most dependable starter going into the postseason.

    2. maeda–maybe it’s recency bias but damn do we need a guy capable of putting up a shut-down inning or two out of the pen. it’s no secret jansen is not himself this season and even when he is himself he’s fallible. a rock in the bullpen is exactly what we need and maeda, more than anyone else, looks to be that guy.

    3. puig–say whatever you want about the astros. they have impact players. big-time big-moment high-caliber talent. we do too, but i feel we are slightly behind, even after swapping seager for machado and adding some complementary pieces. with bellinger and taylor taking steps backwards this year, more than ever we need another scary bat to add to turner, et al. as we just saw, a focused puig is a deadly puig.

    4. grandal–simple computation here. we fell last year without him. we have him this year. he has a big payday coming, he’s healthy. he doesn’t even need to do that much offensively [and please don’t bat him 5th, DR], but he can draw a walk. he can control a pitching staff. he can provide some power in a deep lineup. he can be a difference maker.

    5. taylor–he’s my favorite dodger so i’m showing my bias here. i like him atop the lineup. i like his energy. i like his attitude. i like his “grit.” he’s lost a few at-bats to keekay but i think the latter may be cooling off while he’s heating up. a slash and burn bat like we don’t really have a lot of. he can use the entire field and run the bases. a dangerous bat to unleash in key moments, strikeouts and all.

  5. MJ – Been to the big island several times and it’s always alive… Volcanic National Park, something to behold.
    For my last several visits I’ve settled on Kaui, great beaches and quiet…

    1. Peter

      I know it is always active, but not like it is, this year.

      And I don’t know exactly where the volcano’s is flowing, so I wonder about the access, to the Park.

      I meant someone that took the helicopter trip over Kilauea, and crashed, and obviously, lived to talk about it.

      I wasn’t that brave, because I had already took a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon, and I didn’t enjoy that trip that much.

  6. Dionysis – Liking your stuff
    1. Agree – Wouldn’t want that task if I were mgmt.
    2. Agree
    3. I guess, but sooner or later Fence post is gonna break your
    heart… A dropped ball on a nonchalant effort, missed
    cutoff, emotional overload etc. etc. But as I always say
    what God given talent (AKA Carlos Berneir Hollywood
    Stars PCL/Pitt. Pirates)
    4. Agree
    5. Really Agree and as you say he’s hot… Now will they see
    it???

  7. MJ – I have cousin lives opp. side of the island and the volcano…He says it will hopefully open in a few weeks..
    HI’s acreage really jumped on this action…

  8. Thx Mark for all that you do making his far and away the best Dodger site. Kudos to AC and DC as well and our resident atogonist DodgerRick lol kidding your posts are always well thought out and great reads. I have lengthy frame of reference in terms of site and across the board from site administrators and contributors DT is the best!!
    Have a good trip!

    In response to the above comment, if we have home field in the DS, picking the correct game 2 starter may be difficult. Ryu has been so dominant at home maybe he starts game 2 followed by Buheler and Hill. I know WB is a rookie but he is well beyond his years and I belice would be up for the challenge of a game 3 in Atlanta.

    I agree Grandal is a key figure in the playoffs and should bat 7th or 8th. His inability to hit with runners on makes him a liability hitting directly behind our two best hitters.

    Puig has to be there and I agree is a key piece.

    Taylor has to start over Dozier versus lefties, Dozier is 3 for his last 44 and just seems lost or hurt. He will win the annual Josh Reddick award for sure.

    I would have included all the pen as key to a successful playoff run instead of just Maeda. Some really tough roster decisions there beyond the obvious ones Alexander, Floro, Jansen, Maeda, Stripling. I would say Ferguson is close to a lock. Wood is also probably a lock but his last few outings including the one in relief left a lot to be desired. Among the rest I imagine Baez is the clubhouse leader but that could change.

    12 pitchers

    13 postion players in my mind are
    Turner
    Machado
    Taylor
    Pederson
    Puig
    Kemp
    Grandal
    Barnes
    Bellinger
    Hernandez
    Freese
    Utley or Dozier
    Verdugo

    Finally I still believe Robert’s should go but he managed pretty well last night. I know you have to let Kersh finish the 7th but in the same scenario in the playoffs I think the right move would be to go to The righty killer Maeda.
    I guess Puig would have played if not for the 4th break in. Wow that is just wrong, get a house sitter/security guard during games.

    1. agree with everything you say. i think rosscup is a potential “replacement” for wood if wood is looking iffy in his new role. but i do think wood will end up on the roster. urias is also looking like a shaky bet at this point too. cingrani’s hard to imagine getting up to speed but i guess he could.
      *
      the seven pitchers you name plus four starters leaves one more spot. baez has to be considered for that, although there’s no way he pitches in a late-game situation. it would be in a middle inning low leverage role or if we need a strikeout desparately and don’t want to burn maeda too early. i’m no fan but i think he’s probably on at this point. axford, yimi, others have to be considered longshots.
      *
      you nailed the 13 position players exactly imo.

  9. ADAM – Puig, just too much bling and forgets to set the system when he leaves…
    I’m sure his house insurance company puts him on hold!!!
    Oh yeah, you’re right, I’m loving it !!!

  10. I really think the Dodgers need to win tonight and get that 2.5 game lead. Playing San Diago, Arizona, and then the last 3 against the giants, who will play their hearts out to stop the Dodgers from winning the division, so a 2.5 game lead is no guarantee, but it’s better than a 0.5 lead. Ten games to go, let’s see what happens.

        1. Bobby

          Right now, I am more worried about those three teams, then the Rockies suddenly streaking, after this series.

          Good thing we are probably not going to be the wild card, because there may be some debate, on who would start, in a one game elimination, like the wild card is.

  11. Mark, have a good time on the Big Island. We went for 15 years until some of us got old. It is the best of all the islands.

  12. Oddly I’ve only been to the main island but many times there. My parents lived in Waianai, Makaha Valley Oahu. Perfect weather. Stays inside a 12 degree range day and night all round year. Careful surf fishing, I know I looked like a damn fool though I did catch a fish that was white meat and quite a delicacy or so I found out after i threw it back. My biggest catch happened during Xmas and one I didn’t want…..a bad sunburn. You have fun, though I’m certain your trip is in part at least for business.

    1. Well, we have a number of customers there. This guy is one I happen to remember. The owner’s name is Dave Flintstone:

      https://www.islanddistillers.com/

      … and I thought we were going to the Big Island, but my wife just informed me that we are going to Honolulu… shows what I know.

    1. Bellinger has better numbers against this pitcher, then Muncy.

      It should be either Kike or Dozier in the line up, if has to play Dozier.

    2. The only reason I can see why Dozier is playing is to see if he starts to get hot, or at least have better at bats, during the last 10 days. If so, we have a decision to make. If not, we have no decision to make.

      But my feeling is, at this time, play the guys who are playing well and let’s roll with them. CT3 can be at 2b, Kike can be at 2b, even Muncy can be at 2b. We don’t need Dozier

  13. Hear anything about Puig? Heard from the fans on Dodgertalk this morning that he wasn’t in the dugout the whole game last night. Is he sick?

    1. He was in the dugout early. I saw him in a sleeveless sweatshirt at the beginning of the game. Between the extra players and the burglary he may have been in the clubhouse instead of the dugout.

  14. Damn, I dont like the astros but dallas Keuchel just took a line drive off his head and stayed in the game. Like it was nothing.

  15. DC is out of town for a few days as well. I think he gets back when Mark departs. So I guess you all are going to have to put up with me for a bit. I am not as quick as Mark at creating, so I will have a new challenge. I am in the process of doing a write up on Tulsa, and I know DC is working on a write up on Great Lakes. I will work on other ideas.
    .
    It is time to take Tyler Anderson to the wood shed. Let’s keep this solid baseball play going.

    1. haha, you’re fine. My recommendation is, if the thread gets busy and thus long, create a new one and we’ll all keep posting, regardless of topic. At this time of year, there’s plenty to discuss!!

      Thanks to all of you for keeping this blog going.

    1. Puig is sitting at home on a rocking chair with a shotgun on his lap.

      Me? I have an alarm and my home is also protected by my Cane Corso, The Mighty Quinn.

      Here he sits, just waiting for the bad guys:

      Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  16. I checked Dozier’s numbers, in his the last 95 at bats, he is hitting 145, with 21 strike outs.

    Don’t worry AC, I will take anyone to the wood shed, if they cause any trouble for you.

  17. My favorite part of Taylor’s walk off was how he looked into the home dugout as he rounded first. Now let’s win this one.

    1. When I read that earlier today, I thought there might be something really profound, but it turns out that “Stuff Happens.”

  18. That was an absolute garbage at bat by Machado. Turner works a 9 pitch walk, and Manny flails at the first pathetic pitch and does that??

    1. Not only that… but he shuffles down the first line like he’s playing in a beer league. I don’t think I’ve seen him run hard down the line on a ground ball since he got here.

    2. Not only that… he also ran down the first base line like he was playing in a beer league. I don’t think I’ve seen Manny run hard on a ground ball since he got here.

  19. Twice tonight Machado jogged to first base on a grounder. The last one was on a double play. I have seen this before, but on a double play. He is not my kind of player.

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