|Andre Ethier's pinch homer in the 5th inning cut the Chicago lead to 3-1 (photo by Janathan Daniel/Getty Images)|
Sunday, October 16, 2016
The True Test of a Champion
In 1988, when Kirk Gibson homered to shock the A's, many believe that the series was over and that the A's were defeated from that point on. That turned out to be true as the Dodgers won three of the remaining four games and won the Series and Oakland never offered much of a challenge from that point on.
The question remains now if the Dodgers are shell-shocked by that Miguel Montero blast, so much so that they won't recover.
All signs point to "no," because they actually rallied in the top of the ninth and continued tattooing pitches up until the last out was recorded on Utley's blistered liner that resulted in a double play.
We will see tonight how affected they are as Kershaw toes the rubber again on short rest, again. A Dodger win tonight and game one is forgotten. A second loss in a row and things could spiral downward. For that reason, tonight's game can be viewed as the Dodgers true test of a champion. They will need to dig deep inside and win the second contest of this series or risk being labeled going into next season as the team that was mentally defeated by the grand slam.
By the way, the Dodgers had a great comeback and proved that they could solve the Aroldis Chapman dilemma. Let's see if all that labor last night was for naught. L.A. hit the ball hard all evening and walked away with a defeat. Luck wasn't on their side, but a series split after two games can completely change the outlook on the series. Game two is crucial to their psyche.