Billingsley, Dodgers face long odds
LOS ANGELES -- Anyone who happened upon the home clubhouse at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday would have guessed the offseason had already begun. Nobody was playing cards. Nobody was listening to music. Nobody was even there. With the Dodgers trailing the Phillies 3-1 in the National League Championship Series, manager
Torre believes it will behoove his players to spend some time away from the ballpark and clear their heads in anticipation of Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. But he seems to be running out of moves. Giving a team the day off on a non-travel day, especially so close to the end of the season, smacks of desperation. Of course, that doesn't mean it can't ever work. Before Game 3 of the 1986 World Series, Mets manager
The odds facing the Dodgers are just as daunting. In order to win the NLCS they must beat Phillies ace
After the Dodgers'
No matter how the Dodgers feel about Billingsley right now, he is a huge part of their future. Like Martin,
"He's sensitive," Torre says. "And yet he's very aggressive and very sure of himself. The first time I watched
Even if Billingsley can summon his inner Pettitte, the Dodgers will have to hit a pitcher whose changeup has been nearly untouchable in the playoffs. With a Hamels victory the Phillies will not have to play again until next week, in Game 1 of the World Series. Already dressed for a party, outfielder
Stairs has become an overnight hero in Philadelphia, just as Victorino has become a villain in Los Angeles. A former Dodgers farmhand, Victorino not only got into a shouting match with Kuroda, but also hit the two-run, game-tying homer that set up the blast by Stairs. "Shane's always been a villain in this clubhouse," Phillies shortstop
A year ago the Indians had a 3-1 lead on the Red Sox in the ALCS, but let up and lost the series. Rollins does not believe that will happen to the Phillies, who learned a valuable lesson about the urgency of playoff baseball after being swept by the Rockies in the Division Series last season. "We took it as a five-game series," Rollins says. "We came to an understanding after it was over that you have to win every game. Even when you're winning, you have to fight like you're losing."