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Dodger Fans in Delerium
Matt Kemp and Russell Martin celebrate with fans. AP Photo/Francis Specker
And the Dodgers are one out away. One sweet beautiful marvelous out away. They will take it any way shape or form. Strike out, ground ball, fly ball, fair ball, line drive, any way they can get their hands on it. That precious thing called the final out.
The words of the Dodger’s poet laureate Vin Scully rang through radios across the city as Alfonso Soriano came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night. The emotion of the situation betraying Scully’s normally calm tenor as the crowd were frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the Dodger’s first playoff series win since 1988.
It was a very tense low-scoring game in stark contrast to the Dodger blowouts of the first two games at Wrigley Field. The resonance of each pitch was amplified. On each two-strike, two-out count with the Cubs at bat, the crowd would rise in unison twirling their rally towel and coaxing that third strike from Hiroki Kuroda, Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton.
Broxton delivers, swung on and missed. And now it's not one sweet precious out, it's one sweet precious pitch. Listen to this crowd.
The entire crowd on their feet delirious in knowing that what was unthinkable for the last twenty years could conceivably come true.
We Dodger fans have much in common with the Brooklyn citizens of the late 1940s to 1950s. The Dodgers would get into the World Series seemingly every year against the cross-town rivals New York Yankees, and the Yanks would win every year. The mantra for the Bums, "Wait until next year."
The Dodgers in the last two decades have been quite putrid at times, but the hope was still there. Maybe next year they will make the playoffs and get that ever-elusive win.
No balls and two strikes to Soriano. Broxton ready. Half swing strike three called and the Cubs are dead! The Dodgers racing onto the field mobbing Broxton. They have done it by sweeping the Cubs. The Cubs that won 55 games at home. The Cubs who were a lock as far as everybody in the State of Illinois was concerned about going all the way. All they kept talking about was, "100 years! 100 years! It will finally happen." Well it was a disastrous happening for Chicago and a delirious trio of victories for the Dodgers.
After a Hindenburg-like season most people couldn't imagine the situation the Dodgers would find themselves in Saturday night. The Cubs were the dominant team in the National League tearing through their schedule for 97 wins. The Dodgers were fielding a lineup that have never played together in the regular season. Hell the Dodgers barely escaped the horrible NL Worst.
But they did it. The Dodgers did it.
And as the Dodgers mob each other traditionally out in front of the mound, the lost Cubs a lot of them Aramis Ramirez Derrek Lee sitting motionless in the dugout just staring like kids outside a candy store or like the uninvited to the party. Just staring waiting watching knowing there's nothing left but go back to the dressing room and fly back to a disappointed Chicago.
Sitting in section 11 of the top deck, Cubs fans were liberally dispersed. Oh they had the hope the Cubs would claw back into the series and came out full force cheering into the teeth of the Dodger faithful. But behind those cheers was a sense of desperation which came out in the bottom of the first inning when the Dodgers scored two runs.
By the end of the game, all the Cubs faithful could muster were defeated grins and handshakes. And every Dodger fan was up on their feet deliriously hooting and hollering basking in the moment.
As for the Dodgers a well deserved rest. You don't have to go anywhere for a while. That's also up in the air. Well congratulations to Joe and the boys. One step in the right direction.
And off to the NLCS the Dodgers go to face the Phillies.