The Next Day: Yep, Still Great

October 8, 2013 at 11:16 am | Posted in 2013 NLDS | Leave a comment

If you’re wondering if a full night’s sleep took any of the edge off from last night’s, game: nope. Obviously.

Really, thinking about the last two games, I keep coming back to one particular feeling. Without overlooking how great Clayton Kershaw was on short rest yesterday, many of the players we’re remembering as the heroes from Games 3 and 4 came from absolutely nowhere at the beginning of the year. I mean, think about it:

Juan Uribe, four hits including two homers — left for dead, stuck behind Luis Cruz, shockingly made it through the winter without a DFA.
Carl Crawford, four hits including three homers — coming off two seasons nearly as bad as Uribe’s, not even certain to be able to be ready to play after elbow surgery.
Brian Wilson, four shutout innings in the series — completely off the radar after 2012 Tommy John surgery, in no one’s plans to even pitch this year.
Kenley Jansen, struck out the side in a perfect ninth — once again pushed aside for an inferior reliever in the ninth by the front office before reclaiming his job.
Chris Capuano, a huge three shutout innings of relief — something like the seventh starter, destined for a year in the bullpen or a trade.

Of course, there were large contributions from the guys you expected, like Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig (who only hit .471/.500/.529 in the series) and Adrian Gonzalez (when he wasn’t torturing Kershaw with shoddy defense), but for all the attention given to the stars here, this team isn’t winning this series without the support of guys we had uncertain expectations for at the start of the year.

The NLCS starts Friday, with Zack Greinke on the mound either in St. Louis or home against the Pirates, depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s Game 5. Kershaw backs him up for Game 2. It’s all coming together, isn’t it?

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