Dodgers win but not satisfied with NLDS victory

Fear the Beard, meet Puigmania, celebration-style!

Disgruntled Braves fans on sports talk radio were voicing their frustration following the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win and series-clinching 4-3 victory Monday night.

Following said Dodgers win, one Atlanta station had the “Whine Line” where fans lamented one more postseason collapse by the Braves. Another station asked fans to call in with the one word that best described their feelings about the Braves.

Some fans said the Braves’ 3-1 series defeat at the hands of the Dodgers win had them frustrated. Others were angry. Still others were “tired,” “sick”, “fuming” and even “expected.”

If I were a Dodgers fan…wait, I am one! Since I am a Dodgers fan, the word I would use to best describe my feelings today is “unsatisfied.” Perhaps that makes me sound ungrateful, arrogant or just plain “Eeyoreish.” However, I prefer to think that it just means that I’m hungry! I’m like a famished vampire who comes upon one of the cast members of that TV show “Little People, Big World,”…that was a nice appetizer, but not bring on the main course!

The Dodgers win over the Braves in the NLDS was great, but it was expected. The Dodgers were better than the Braves, and anyone who wasn’t wearing their foam tomahawk on their sleeve knew it. But Magic Johnson and the ownership group didn’t shell out more than $200 million to field a team that is satisfied with just a NLDS victory. That was a great start, but anything less than a trip to the World Series is going to be viewed as a disappointment.

Why do you think that manager Don Mattingly rolled the dice with Clayton Kershaw on only three days of rest against the Braves on Monday night? Because the Dodgers are playing to win! As we wait to see which team the Dodgers will face in the NLCS that starts on Oct. 11, there are some playoff questions that come to mind. In addition to wondering why Los Angeles reliever J.P. Howell doesn’t cut his scraggly red beard (he looks like a Leprechaun!), here is what is on my mind for another Dodgers win:

1. Should Dodger fans care who wins the Pittsburgh-St. Louis series? While I feel confident that the Dodgers can beat both the Pirates and Cardinals, True Blue fans should be pulling for Pittsburgh. Why? First, if the Pirates win, the Dodgers will get the home field advantage in the NLCS. Second, the Dodgers have won the past nine meetings with the Pirates at Chavez Ravine. In case you need even more reason to don the yellow and black and sing, “We Are Family,” the Dodgers win frequently against the Bucs. In fact, they have won 17 of the past 19 games against Pittsburgh in Los Angeles. Need more proof? Over their careers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have held the current Pittsburgh regulars to a combined batting average of .179. Care to guess what that combined average is against the St. Louis regulars? Try .272! “Go, Pirates.

2. What is the status of injured outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier for the rest of the playoffs? Kemp will only be involved for the Dodgers when they clinch a series and he rushes onto the field in celebration. Kemp is undergoing shoulder surgery next week and he is most definitely out for the remainder of the playoffs. Ethier pinch-hit twice in the NLDS against the Braves, and even ran to first (albeit, gingerly!) on his sore ankle. Ethier is getting stronger each day, and he might be able to play in the outfield in the NLCS. Skip Schumaker filled in admirably for Ethier in the NLDS, but the Dodgers are stronger with Ethier in the lineup. And, for any Dodgers fans who might have forgotten (or might just be too young to remember!), it was around this time (Oct. 15, to be exact!) 25 years ago when a gimpy-legged left-handed outfielder named Kirk Gibson rewrote Dodgers history with a pinch-hit homer in Game 1 of the World Series against the Oakland A’s! How much fun would it be to see Ethier add another pinch-hit miracle to the Los Angeles folklore?

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