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A Season on the Brink

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In a seven game series, the winning team needs four victories to advance to the next round. Although the Phillies hold only a 2-1 series advantage, make no mistake: Tonight is a must-win for this Dodgers squad. Following last night’s public execution of Hiroki Kuroda, the Boys in Blue are reeling.

In a mirror scene to last year, the Dodgers find themselves in a familiar Game 4 scenario where a victory knots the series and a loss puts it out of reach. On paper, today’s match-up between Randy Wolf and Joe Blanton appears to be the Dodgers’ most favorable. This will be Joe Blanton's first start this postseason.

A loss today would mean the Dodgers must win three in a row. Believe me when I say winning three in a row would not be sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in April. This “three in a row” would be the stuff of legend. It would mean climbing the hill guarded by Hamels, avoiding the pitfalls of Pedro and eventually storming the impenetrable Ft. Lee.

If Randy Wolf can tame the Phillies’ lefties long enough for our anemic offense to find their pulse, anything is possible. They simply must keep it competitive.

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The Dodgers possess a “late inning magic” that can only be summoned in a close game. You would have needed Harry Potter and half of Hogwarts to ward off last night’s eleven run beating that I will forever refer to as the “Cheesesteak Massacre”.

A win today and the series is tied. Philadelphia would have to return to Chavez Ravine and take their chances on the West Coast, where “the impossible” seems to happen so often. A loss today and the rest is most likely a formality. A loss and this is the re-coronation of the defending champs at the expense of a season that looked so promising for all who Think Blue.

Wolf will be in familiar surroundings pitching against his old team. Once a fan favorite in Philly, he will need to cast away any lingering nostalgia and go to work. A short memory will serve him well as his previous (and first ever) postseason start was a brief one. Wolf lasted only 3.2 innings while giving up 2 earned runs prompting an early trip to the pine.

Wolf will have to be inspiring today if he plans to keep the Dodgers dreaming of the World Series.