Monday, October 6, 2008

Old School

The Phillies beat the Brewers and the Dodgers beat the Cubs over the weekend, and that sets up an old school NLCS. Let's do the hustle down memory lane, shall we?

1977: The Phillies won their second straight NL East title. The Dodgers were making their first playoff appearance in three years, and their first ever postseason appearance under Tommy Lasorda. A pitcher's duel that wasn't -- both Steve Carlton and Tommy John got beat up -- the Phillies took game 1, which was their first postseason victory since Game 1 of the 1915 World Series, having lost games 2-6 that year, and then being been swept out of the 1950 World Series by the Yankees and the 1976 NLCS by the Big Red Machine. The Dodgers regrouped, however, winning the final three games behind some big hits by series MVP Dusty Baker, some questionable defense by Greg Luzinski, a minor meltdown by Gene Garber, and then a shutdown performance by Tommy John which atoned for Game 1.

1978: Steve Carlton wasn't available to pitch until Game 3, by which time the Phils were already down 2-0 and thus all-but-eliminated. Lefty pitched a complete game and hit a three run homer in that one, but unfortunately he couldn't go on zero days' rest the next day, and Los Angeles took it, winning the game following two uncharacteristic Garry Maddox blunders in centerfield on consecutive plays in the bottom of the 10th inning. As was the case the year before, L.A. would go on to lose to the Yankees in the World Series.

1983: During the regular season. the Dodgers beat the Phillies 11 out of the 12 times they met. Just like this year, however, what happened in the postseason didn't matter in 1983 either, as the Phillies won the series 3-1. The only scoring in Game 1 came on a Mike Schmidt homer which Carlton and Al Holland made hold up. The Dodgers took game two, again with help from a Garry Maddox error (what was with Maddox in the playoffs?), but series MVP Gary Matthews took control in games three and four to vault the Phillies into the World Series were they would ultimately be cut down by the Orioles.

I have no idea what the 2008 NLCS will hold, but I'll go out on a limb and predict that (a) Garry Maddox's defense will not be a factor; (b) three wins will not be enough to make it to the World Series this time; and (c) whoever wins this one will lose once again to the American League team.

2 comments:

Ron Rollins said...

Wow, will you go to Vegas with me?

We could break the bank. Or at least raid Cesar's Fountain for loose change.

Richard Dansky said...

"Questionable defense from Greg Luzinski" could pretty much be defined as "he picked up a glove". I loved The Bull, but he was a Burrellian menace out there.