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Casey Blake hits a homer in game four. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Like the cloud of smoke hanging thick over Los Angeles from the annual firestorms, so does the cloud of melancholy hang over Dodger fans in the wake of the most compelling game they played this postseason.

Questionable pitching changes, great defensive plays, timely hitting, euphoria, frustration – all signs of a great baseball game.

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Enough objectivity. Like I mentioned last night the loss hurt a lot. Going into the eighth inning leading 5-3, the Dodgers had the game won. But with Cory Wade giving up a two-run shot to Shane Victorino and Jonathan Broxton giving up another two-run shot to journeyman-extraordinaire Matt Stairs, all cheer and jubilee turned to dread and melancholy.

In that half inning the entire series did a complete 180. Instead of the Dodgers tying the series 2-2, the Phillies now have the upper hand with a 3-1 lead.

Much can be said about Joe Torre’s pitching changes and lineup. You could also get on Andre Ethier with his HORRIBLE at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning grounding into a double play on the first pitch he saw.

But what good is it really? The Phillies did enough to make sure they came out on top at the end of nine innings. And with that they could have stamped their ticket to the World Series.

The Dodgers still have hope though. They need to have perfect pitching and go back to the great at-bats they had in game three. They just need to focus in on each pitch and not worry about anything past that.

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It sounds hokey, but what else is there? We could all go Plaschke and shout up and down like the swathes of the fires that the Dodgers shouldn't re-sign Manny. We could be like Cubs fans and wave the white flags instead of the white rally towels.

No. Every pitch thrown is a chance for the Dodgers to stay alive. Every pitch is one more opportunity to get that series-changing hit.

Now the Dodgers could just as well go down in flames tonight. But until that final pitch is thrown, I will aspire to be like Vic the Brick and embrace the light. I have all offseason to dwell on the negativity.

And with that is the most optimistic words I have ever written for this website. Just remember this: at this moment it's better to be a Dodger fan than a Red Sox fan. Ha!