All season we’ve been saying, “If they don’t get to the World Series, does any of this matter?” Well, guess what, the Dodgers are in the World Series and this, all of this, matters.
When I was a kid, I dreamed about the day the Dodgers got to the World Series, and how great all of it will be. Then I grew up and, for a time, I convinced myself I was being naive, that all the things I dreamed about when I was little were unrealistic.
Well, here we are. All the things I dreamed about are happening, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.
Tuesday night, the Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 to force a Game 7 on Wednesday evening at the Ravine. The Dodgers won a game that, until tonight, was the most important game of 2017. All the doubts we had throughout the season, all the questions and concerned remarks, none of that matters anymore. Right now, all that matters is Game 7.
It may be a difference of about 20 hours, but the chasm between Game 6 and Game 7 is wide and unpredictable. The Dodgers won on Tuesday to even the series, but the series isn’t tied at one, or two. It’s tied at three and the series is no longer best of seven, it’s best of one.
On April 6th, we had 162 Games to look forward to. Then, this team played like legends and we found ourselves with another 14 games of Dodger baseball.
The difference between Wednesday and Thursday is that there is no possibility of more. Of course, we can look forward to Spring Training, I already am. But, for now, Game 7 is all we have.
This team wants it, badly. You can tell from the demeanor in the dugout.
Clayton Kershaw said last night that he “can go 27 innings in Game 7.” Our ace is ready to win and he is just one of many arms in the bullpen tonight.
Alex Wood, who threw over five no-hit innings against the Astros on Saturday, will be available. Kenley Jansen will be available. Brandon Morrow and Kenta Maeda may not be asked to go more than a couple outs, as they have both pitched multiple times in this series, but they will be there. Tony Watson, who picked up the win last night, will be there, as will Tony Cingrani, Ross Stripling, and Brandon McCarthy.
That list doesn’t even include the starter.
Yu Darvish is undoubtedly capable of pitching the game of his life tonight, but if he falters, he has the entire team to back him up. That’s what this team has been able to do this year, back each other up. If someone can’t get the job done, don’t worry, the next guy will.
The main difference between last night and tonight is the finality of it all. The season ends tonight, no matter what. We all knew that there was only a 50% chance that the series would end on Tuesday, but tonight, it’s a whole new ballgame.
The air in Los Angeles will be cold, and it will be a picturesque autumn day. If that’s not World Series weather, I’m not sure what is.
The chasm may be wide, but this team is capable of building a bridge and getting to the other side. I’ve seen it plenty of times before.
So, stop and enjoy the view, and live in the 2017 season for a few more minutes.
The Dodgers are one win away from writing 2017 in the history books forever, and it’s a story that each and every one of us were lucky enough to be a part of.
Let’s enjoy it.
(Sarah is an eighteen-year-old from Southern California. She’s grown up a Dodger fan and her love for the team—as well as the game of baseball—has grown up with her. She’s now embarking on a year of writing, reading, and learning more about baseball before she leaves for college in 2018. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahManinger)