And That Happened: NLCS

Phillies 10, Dodgers 4: At some point this winter, Ned Colletti and Joe Torre are going to have an epiphany in which they realize that having to rely on Vicente Padilla to save their butts in an elimination game means that they screwed something up somewhere along the line. Torre may not have deployed his troops in ideal fashion in the NLCS, but ultimately, he was simply outgunned. And betrayed by his bullpen, his supposed strength.

But this was not merely a Dodgers loss. It was a Phillies win. Their lineup has proved every bit as formidable as advertised, with Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth showing that to beat them you need to do more than to throw a lefty or two at Ryan Howard and hope for the best. They’re going to be tough to beat.

The Yankees are their likely opponent. We’ll see if they seal the deal tonight. If they do, Game 1 of the World Series will likely feature a matchup of two Cleveland Indians’ Cy Young Award winners, one of whom is managed by the Indians’ former manager. They should get Duane Kuiper to throw out the first pitch.

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Simon DelMonte
14 years ago

As much as I am dreading Yanks-Phils as a Mets fan, it’s still a great match-up.  Lee vs Sabathia, Pedro vs. his daddy, A-Rod and Howard playing Home Run Derby in Home Run Heaven, Mo facing the Phils with a one run lead, and so on.

14 years ago

The new, more-off-days-than-ever-before postseason schedule went into effect in 2007. It’s driven by television wanting to optimize (or so they think) ratings. The tail wags the dog when the money is big enough.

Aaron Moreno
14 years ago

Craig, I’d like to point out how smoothly 3L year transitions into “waiting for bar results” as well.

J. McCann
14 years ago

re: playoff TV schedule

We all know it is pretty messed up, but the TV money talks and everyone has to listen.  Here is what I think they should do, and I think things will move in this direction:

1st 2 rounds of playoffs on a tight schedule, not much regard for TV, TBS is not paying that much anyway.  If both divisional series in a league end quickly, then go right to the LCS.

Leave almost a week between the latest scheduled end of the LCS in case of weather or nature problems.  Start the WS on a fixed day chosen by TV in a neutral warm weather site (or dome), i.e. the Boras idea to be like the SuperBowl.  Also play game 2 at that site.  Then play the rest of the WS at the participating teams own stadiums, still with the All-Star home field thing.

This way only 2 teams are left playing in possible horrible late October/ early November weather, instead of 4.  You get the big event thing and TV gets the WS guaranteed right when they want it.  Fans in 3 cities get to see WS games, and you get really big corporate turnout and $$$ for the WS opening games.  Win, Win, Win.  Only some fans might get frostbite in WS games 3-7, but that is up to them.

14 years ago

“so I’m already bracing myself for a lot of sleepless mornings after another 10-7 game ends at 12:25am.”

Waaaahhhh waaaahhhh. God do you east coasters EVER stop talking about how you have to stay up late to watch the end of a game?  GET OVER IT! I mean who can’t handle a day here and a day there of not getting enough sleep? And what about how we get screwed with games IN LA starting at 1:00 our time on a Friday? Do you know what I was doing from 1:00-4:00 on Friday while the Dodgers played?  I was sitting in a budget meeting!  Now thats something to complain about.  You getting 1 1/2 fewer hours of sleep twice during the week pales in comparison to that injustice!

14 years ago

Oh how fun it will be watching Charlie Manuel match wits with either AL lineup (hopefully Yanks). Heard it mentioned that only three NL teams have won back-to-back. Big Red Machine, New York Giants and…the Cubs? What the?

Mode:Theif and Lair
14 years ago


For once, you and I agree on something.  Although, just to bust your chops I will say that I agree only with your message, not your delivery of said message.

I’m on the west coast also. My problem, with young kids and a harried wife, 5pm starts begin right around when I am ending work.  Couple that with a DVR and I end up watching around 8:30 when all the kids are in bed.

I really don’t like watching live sports on self imposed tape delay.  But I also don’t like the alternative of watching sports over my shoulder while doing fatherly things.

Oh well, at least I get to FF through the commercials.

14 years ago

Re: Padilla  

I am far from Vincente’s biggest fan, but I can’t exactly slight Torre for going to the guy. His last few outings have been sound, and he was throwing like his career depended on it – which, it did.  He could have just as easily been amazing and effective. But, he wasn’t. Still, I’d rather see Cliff Lee be four games closer to a World Series ring than Padilla, that’s for damn sure, so I’m not losing any sleep about it. Joe Torre might, but I won’t.

Kevin S.
14 years ago

I can.  His entire career is far more relevant than his last few outings in determining how much or little he sucks.  This is yet again a blow to the “hot hand” school of managing: yes, players go through streaks and slumps, and no, they aren’t always the the result of random variation.  But given the complete inability to know when a streak is going to start or end, the fact that a player, especially a pitcher, is on such a streak should not be used to predict his usefulness going forward.

The Rabbit
14 years ago

I was amused by your response.  I don’t know if you have ever lived on the east coast, but as a native and former resident for 50 years, I would have never thought that Michael was complaining. 
It’s just the usual form of communication on the east coast.  If one does not write like you, this medium does not convey tone.
The act of staying up late to watch the end of games is a “badge of honor” and the expression of commitment for most diehard (not casual) fans on the east coast, not a complaint. It’s probably why you hear it so much on a site such as this.

Michael Caragliano
14 years ago

Great, the World Series match-up no Mets fan wanted. Yankees/Phillies… hmm, do you pull for the big brother who gets mom’s adoration, or the bully down the block who steals your lunch money? Would’ve liked to see the Dodgers/Angels square off, but I think the Yanks win the 1950 re-match. They’re facing an AL type of line-up in the Phillies, so I’m already bracing myself for a lot of sleepless mornings after another 10-7 game ends at 12:25am.

Richard Dansky
14 years ago

If Kuiper throws out the first pitch, Joe Posnanski may expire of happiness on the spot.

Dan in Philly
14 years ago

Michael, that was a great line.

All I can say is with a win, this Phillies team will go down as the greatest sports team in the history of the city.

Go Phils!

14 years ago

I’m only 30, but can someone tell me exactly when MLB got locked into dates for games?  I could swear – and I’m probably wrong since these years were spent in a drunken haze – but during high school and college only a decade ago, starting the WS was done a day or two after the last LCS game.  So, if the Yankees were to win tonight, the WS would start, say Saturday or Sunday, and *not* be locked in to a TV schedule so that we could have a potential 6 day break between the LCSs and the WS.  Am I wrong?  Didn’t this just start at some point this decade?  Or has it always been like this?  Because I think it’s absolutely *absurd* to wait more than 72 hours for a baseball game. Of course, the more I watched the Phils-Dodgers, the more I realized that the TBS TV schedule (at least) revolved around seamlessly sliding from the NLCS into the opening of the NBA season.  So, I get it – all the stations (Fox, TBS, etc.) schedule sporting events, no matter the sport, together so there are seamless transitions, even though within each sport they are stop-and-go, i.e. there may be a 6 day break b/w WS, but don’t worry, b/c there’s football at the weekend, and the NBA season starts then. 

Anyway, why am I complaining??  Go Phightins!!!!! (Though I could make do without the WS-like celebrations until 3am downtown – I do have like 5 hours of class in a row this afternoon – CC, I thought I was supposed to spend my 3d year back in that college-like drunken haze????  WTH???)

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

Bigcat, you done screwed up your schedule if you’re spending 3L year doing anything other than laying around and occasionally showing up to some well spaced-out classes.  My 3L year consited of watching “Banacek” “Columbo” and “MacMillen and Wife” re-runs on A&E, bowling, going to the driving range to confirm that golf wasn’t for me, and maybe, maybe taking a shower just before the wife got home from work so she didn’t realize how much of a slob I was all day.

I hated law school overall, but man, I miss 3L year.

Levi Stahl
14 years ago

I believe the World Series always started on the Saturday night following the conclusion of the LCSes. It was set well in advance, but at most there’d be six days of no games between a sweep and the WS opener; most of the time you’d get three or four.

But last year they decided to move the WS opener to a Wednesday. That may be completely reasonable from a ratings point of view, but it’s a much worse arrangement for dedicated fans. The standard approach for MLB on TV, in other words.

Michael Caragliano
14 years ago

In my younger days (I’m 37, so those younger days aren’t so old yet) it was a piece of cake to stay up for the end of the games. But now that real-life has reared its ugly head, I get up for work at 2:30am, so I’m already zoned out. Plus, I work at a radio station, so you try tailoring the copy to not say “In case you missed it” for every late-ending game result. Throw in the two little kiddie-poos (we don’t want to go to bed, Mommy and Daddy; ha-ha-ha!), and a later night is already cast in stone, all so I can watch Bud Selig’s watered down bend-over-backwords-for-Fox start times. I haven’t even hit on the useless pre-game ceremonies that inevitably delay the start of Game Four in recent years to almost 9:00- or is that West-coasters’ revenge?

Kudos, Don. Not complaining, just trying to find the humor in another long Yankees game. I have quite a few badges in my collection, as well. Greatest thing about baseball- a game could, theoretically, go on forever. However, when you have to get to work in the morning, you’d like to be able to say you saw the ending.