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The Dodgers Strike Back

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Dodgers standing up to the Phillies in the benches clearing kerfluffle. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

“We didn’t throw at his head. We threw it over his head.”

Russell Martin, with those words, you have endeared yourself even more to my heart.

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In the first inning of game two, I was at work listening to Vin Scully describe the wife-beater Brett Myers aiming for Manny Ramirez and Martin. I was yelling up and down the cubes saying the Dodgers need to retaliate and not be soft. I was upset they didn’t make any of the Phillies hitters uncomfortable. Hell, Brett Myers himself went three-for-three with three RBIs.

But in game three the Dodgers made a statement to the Phillies: if you want to play old-school hardball, bring it on. After Russell Martin was hit on the knee by Jamie Moyer in the first and brushed back on a pitch aimed at his head by Clay Condrey in the second inning, it was on. In the third inning with one out, almost every pitch thrown to Jimmy Rollins was inside. At one point Martin set up almost directly behind Rollins.

And after Rollins struck out looking, Shane Victorino came up to the plate. Kuroda’s first pitch was thrown a foot over Victorino’s head finally sending a message that was two days overdue. Victorino yammered to both Martin and Kuroda to hit his ribs, not his head which would be fine if the intent was to hit him. Victorino missed a strike and hit a ground out to first to end the inning when more words were exchanged.

Both benches and bullpens cleared, and even Manny ran (much to the envy of every Sox fan) to the infield to stand up for his teammates.

The message was delivered, and unlike other local teams in the playoffs the Dodgers did not go soft in the face of aggressiveness.