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October 8, 2013

Kershaw Koufax-esque but Uribe steals the show, sends Dodgers to NLCS

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/kershaw_who_uribe_steals_the_night_sends_dodgers_to_nlcs/

Photo

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Photo by Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Not many saw him coming, all eyes are on him now.

With the Dodgers trailing 3-2 in the pivotal Game 4 of the NLDS, “Wild Horse” Yasiel Puig chugged out a two-bagger on a hit to right field that most people on earth would have been thrilled to be standing on first.

Juan “Papi” Uribe came to the plate with one job: move Puig to third with a sacrifice bunt.

He failed.

The once electric crowd at Dodger Stadium was left to stand and stare as their supposed martyr was backed into a corner.

After a brief conversation with third-base coach Tim Wallach, Uribe stepped back to the plate down 0-2 against a pitcher who was throwing fire.

The veteran was able to check his swing on back-to-back tough pitches — something he had done all series, hitting 4 for 9 in 2-strike counts.

Then? Bedlam.

Uribe crushed a hanging breaking ball into the ocean of Dodger Blue causing a frenzy not seen since Mr. Kirk Gibson limped to victory in 1988.

Vin Scully, as always, said it best: “Isn’t it amazing what somebody will do when he can’t bunt.”

Here's the moment on TBS:

Maybe its time to let him off the hook for the hidden-ball-trick blunder earlier this season... maybe.

This wasn’t Uribe’s first clutch postseason homerun — though that one was painful to watch as a Dodgers fan — and it won’t be his last. The guy just has a knack for the spectacular when his team needs it most.

Papi's failure to play small ball sends the Los Angeles Dodgers to their first NLCS since 2009. 

[More MLB: Hebrew Hammers — Jewish players outperform non-Jews in 2013 season]

Kershaw, Koufax-esque

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 8. Photo by Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

All of the talk leading up to (and during) Game 4 of the NLDS was “how will Clayton Kershaw fair on three-days rest.”

I pointed out that Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly would likely lose his job if they couldn’t  pull out a win in their last home game of the series.

Well — lucky for you, Donny Baseball, you have the modern-day Sandy Koufax on your ball club.

Kershaw was absolutely brilliant.

The young lefty gave up just 2 unearned runs (Adrian Gonzalez owes him an apology or two)  on 3 hits through 6 innings — striking out 6.

How did Kersh do in the NLDS? 1-0, 0.69 ERA, 18 Ks, 6 hits, 0.77 WHIP, 13 IP.

For those of you who don’t know baseball speak: D-O-M-I-N-A-N-T.

Other pitchers of note:

J.P. Howell had another perfect outing after Ronald Bellasario gave up up the leading run to Atlanta.

Former Giant Brian Wilson continued his ridiculous run with the the boys in blue posting another goose-egg in the eighth. He now has a 0.61 ERA since joining the club.

Kenley Jansen, still somehow flying under the MLB radar, came in to strike out the side and save the game in the ninth.

Stat of the day:

Jansen appeared in 3 games of the NLDS. He struck out 7 in 2.1 innings (or all 7 of his outs) while giving up just 1 hit. The catcher-turned-closer now has 118 strikeouts and only 18 walks (6.5 K/BB ratio).

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