Friday, September 19, 2014

We are Playoff Bound! WooHoo!

It's now official.  The Dodger will be playing October playoff Baseball.

This afternoon, the Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs in glorious fashion and clinched, at minimum, a tie for a wild card playoff berth.  Then, with the Milwaukee Brewers defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates this evening the Dodgers now claim an official berth. 

Of course, the "Boys in Blue" are not content with just the wild card.  They want to win the division.  So, you shouldn't expect the Dodgers to let up now. 

Per Don Mattingly via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:
"If you're able to do that, you've at least given yourself a chance to play when there's only going to be 10 teams left," Manager Don Mattingly said before the Milwaukee outcome. "If that's your only way, you're good with it. But you feel like winning the division is really what you're here to accomplish."
Clayton Kershaw seconded that notion, via Bill Plunkett on twitter:

Heck, Matt Kemp has an even bigger goal in mind, via Bill Plunkett on twitter:

The Dodgers now have a magic number of seven games for a West Division Championship, and with the Giants currently losing 5 to 0 to the Padres at the time of this writing that number could drop to six.  As it now looks, the Dodgers may very well be able to secure a Western Division trophy against the Giants at home at the beginning of next week.  How great would it be to celebrate that with the Gaints watching from the dugout?

Graphic above via SportsNet LA on twitter

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2014 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball - The Dodger Base Cards

Topps just released a brand new Baseball card set and it's an minor league version of their Heritage card set they put out in March.  It is called 2014 Topps Heritage Minor League and it includes some of the best and brightest prospects in the game.  Go here for a complete checklist.  As you can see, this set borrows the vintage 1965 Topps Baseball card design.

There are seven Dodger prospects in the 200 card base set.  Check them all out below.  Of note, Jesmuel Valentin is no longer a part of the Dodger franchise.  He was traded to the Phillies a few weeks back as a part of the Roberto Hernandez trade.  Also, this will be the last time we see a Dodger prospect wearing an Isotope uniform on a Baseball card.  The Dodgers recently purchased an ownership stake in the Oklahoma City RedHawks AAA club, and will begin playing there next year.

BTW, there are Short Printed Variation cards of Julio Urias and Joc Pederson, but I have yet to see them.  I hope to have photos of those cards to share next week.

#17 Zach Lee                                      #22 Corey Seager

#55 Julio Urias                                 #76 Jesmuel Valentin

#127 Chris Anderson                                 #147 Tom Windle

#160 Joc Pederson

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Blog Kiosk: 9/19/2014 - Dodger Links - A Dodger Win from Behind

The Dodgers came in to Wrigley Field with all of the motivation in the world.  They had ten games left to play in the long season and with just a few more wins they can take the division.  Unfortunately, it took longer than desired for them to finally put their game faces on - unlike Matt Kemp as evidenced in the photo taken above by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  He joined a young Dodger fan before the game for a "selfie scowl" that I'm sure the little tyke will share with his friends.  Go here to check out more pics by Jon taken yesterday.

Things were looking bleak for the Dodgers in the early going.  They quickly fell behind to the Cubs, 4 to 1, going into the seventh inning.  Zack Greinke could not hold back the young Chicago bats as they knocked out nine hits against our second ace.  Then, the Dodger bats woke up.  In the seventh inning they knocked out three singles, two doubles, and scored five runs to take a lead they would not relinquish.  

The Dodgers 8 to 4 victory drops their magic number to 8 games and increases their lead over the Giants to 2.5 games.  Clayton Kershaw pitches this afternoons game against old friend Edwin Jackson in hopes of attaining his league leading 20th win.  Check out some more links below:
But sometime within the last week or so somebody finally got to Puig. Whether it was Mark McGwire or John Valentin or Don Mattingly is anybody’s guess, but the message finally sunk in and Puig moved in closer to the plate – and the results have been immediate and staggering. 
  • Topps has just release a retro 1969 Dodger team poster (numbered to only 99 copies) on their website.  Go here to check it out.  There is also a parallel version numbered to only 10 copies available.  The "1 of 1" version is already sold out.  Check out the more common poster on the right, priced at $29.99.
  • Via Ron Shah at FanGraphs, "Dodgers’ Lefty Tom Windle Shows Power Stuff."
  • Via Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider, "J.P. Howell nears single-season Dodger reliever ERA record."
  • Via a Dodger fan was able to save the life of a young Giants fan with a bone marrow transplant.
  • Via Jeff Sullivan at Fan Graphs, "Zack Greinke’s Turned Into an Actual Hitter."
But all the while, as Greinke’s numbers have bounced around, he’s genuinely improved. And he’s improved to the point where, now, Greinke might be a half-decent hitter, and I don’t mean relative to pitchers this time.
  • Via All About Cards, Topps announced that the 2014 Finest Rookie Auto Redemption #1 will be Sandy Koufax.  So, if you pulled that card wondering who it might be then you are in luck. I will be sure to share a photo once they are sent out by Topps

Rookie Autograph Redemption

#1 Sandy Koufax
(via a redemption card)
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