Ring The Bell

It all went wrong when Mary Hart went to the jacket.

 

The host of “Entertainment Tonight,” a huge L.A. Dodger fan in the front row at Dodger Stadium, put on her bullpen Dodgers jacket and turned the series around in a flash when the Philadelphia Phillies came to bat in the 8th inning.

 

Ok, not really.

 

In game four of the National League Championship Series, Philadelphia cracked under the pressure in the early innings and battled back to have the last laugh in a 7-5 win in Los Angeles.

 

Maybe L.A. should just skip the fourth game in a huge series. In the NBA Finals, the Lakers inexplicably blew a 22 point lead at the Staples Center and gave the Larry O’Brien trophy to the Boston Celtics. Monday night in Los Angeles, the Dodgers let a light hitting centerfielder and strike out artist crush one of the best bullpens in the game.

 

Don’t think of this as a column that comes across as a solemn novena for the Dodgers. Philadelphia pounced on the home team in a key spot to produce a 3-1 series lead. They deserve the lead and will likely go on to meet the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

 

The biggest problem for the Dodgers in their current quagmire has a laundry list of postseason awards and four World Series rings.

 

Joe Torre can’t manage a National League team to the World Series. It’s a different game in the National League and Torre can’t adjust his managerial style. Mowing down hitters in the 7th inning, Hong-Chih Kuo started off the eight inning with a 2-0 count to Ryan Howard. A base hit followed and Torre yanked Kuo from the game. Cory Wade followed and promptly gave up a ludicrous 2-run homer to Shane Victorino.

 

This tied the game and sealed Torre’s fate in the 2008 NLCS. Taking out starter Derek Lowe early in the game, Torre set up the fourth game of the series as a bullpen game.

 

Charlie Manuel, the manager of the Phillies, countered with a wink and a nod. He knew that his offense, confined to scoring in selected innings in the series, would wake up late in a game.

 

On Monday night in Los Angeles, the Phillies rang the bell loud and clear. They only need another win to advance to the World Series. Has the bell tolled for the Los Angeles?

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