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Sunday, September 18, 2011
First it is finishing with a record over .500. That means the Dodgers need six victories in their final 10 games since this year they’ll end up playing a 161 game schedule, with the rainout in Washington not being made up. I think it is doable with the following games left: 1 at home vs. Pittsburgh, 3 at home vs. San Francisco, 3 at San Diego and 3 at Arizona. I'd like to see them finish 7-3 with a 82-79 record. It just looks so much better than 6-4, and 81-80.
Second, eliminate the Giants from the playoffs. Also, it is very likely that they play spoilers. At present, the San Francisco magic "elimination" number is 6 for the division and 6 for the wild card. By the time they arrive to town on Tuesday for the Lincecum/Kershaw matchup, those numbers may have trickled down a few notches. I don’t get too excited about eliminating Frisco from post season play, like they do when they eliminate us, but I’ll take it if that is what we have in front of us. As long as we don’t play the highlights of it on the jumbotron year after year as it was an accomplishment like the Giants do with the 1982 Morgan homer.
Third, get Kershaw that 20th victory and soon. We don’t want to be in the position that Mattingly is tempted to bring back Kershaw on short rest to pitch the final game of the season in order to get him that 20th win. You know if he has 19 at the end, he’ll be asking for that last start. I would hope that the organization shuts him down and thinks of his long term health rather than the individual milestone. A win on Tuesday night will solve that dilemma.
Fourth, see Matt Kemp go on a tear in the final 10 games to run away with the MVP award. From what I see, that is what he’ll need to do to outright win it. Ryan Braun reaching the 30 homer milestone has improved his chances. If Matt were to put up player of the week numbers, the trophy is his. It’ll be a tough chore having to go against Lincecum, Bumgarner, Vogelsong and playing 3 in San Diego’s cavernous ballpark. Let’s hope that he is focused enough to step it up a notch. Regardless, it has been an amazing comeback for Matt.
Fifth, watch the kids play. Federowitz, Sands, Sellers, Gordon, and Lindblom. Lots of playing time and significant playing time on each part, sort of gives them all an audition for next year’s starting spots. A 10 game sprint to the end is a small sample size, but it’s still an opportunity to observe the kids at the highest level.
Sixth, will Eugenio Velez get a hit this season? Poor guy. This has to be the end of his career.