Postseason baseball is a nervous breakdown that lasts nine innings.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on the glories of September baseball. The thrill we experience as our team battles to clinch a spot in the playoffs. It’s like a wild game of baseball musical chairs. When the music stops you’ve either got one of the remaining chairs or you’re left dejected on the sidelines. As nerve wracking as it is, it’s also a lot of fun, especially when your team has nabbed one of the coveted ten playoff spots – like our beloved boys in blue did.
But, the postseason itself is a whole other beast. The excitement, anticipation and stress are next level. It’s no exaggeration (it’s a lot of exaggeration, actually) to say, I age about 10 years per excruciating innining. One moment I’m sliding across the living room floor in socks, sloshing beer out of my glass celebrating and a minute later I’m swearing to give up baseball and take up basket weaving. The emotions of postseason baseball run the gamut:
— #ITFDB Jeremy (@x_Th3_Truth_x) October 14, 2016
— Patty V (@bananaslug4life) October 14, 2016
— Dara Zane Scully (@DaraZaneScully) October 14, 2016
— Trevor Vernola (@tvern16) October 14, 2016
— #CurtisYourFriend (@curt15r) October 14, 2016
Every one of those words describes the emotions we experience during each postseason game!
I’m writing this on Friday, still wired from the epic win of the night before. A game where Kenley Jansen entered in the seventh and left after 2 1/3 innings with a personal record 51 pitches. That was his gutsiest game ever. But, when he was gassed and running on fumes, he thankfully had his closer — CLAYTON KERSHAW — ready to come in and finish the Nats off.
The Twitter #DodgerFam, who I watch every Dodger game with, lost their ever loving minds upon seeing Kershaw head towards the bullpen. There was a whopping 151k ‘Kershaw out of the bullpen’ mentions on Twitter Thursday night!
— MLB (@MLB) October 14, 2016
A mop-topped left-hander named Clayton Kershaw is now warming in the Dodgers bullpen. Baseball is beautiful.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 14, 2016
Kershaw trotting out of the bullpen was a flashback to Orel Hershiser in the 1988 World Series. After pitching seven innings one night the Bulldog was called in the following night for one more out, which he got, of course. Although, one thing would’ve made Kershaw’s final two outs from the bullpen even better, if Vin Scully was there to call them. You just know he would’ve had the perfect words to elevate the moment even higher. Sorry, I’m going to be working in “What if Vin” thoughts for awhile longer.
However, this win wasn’t just due to Kershaw and Jansen, I’d actually venture to credit Joc Pederson’s game tying home run in the seventh with firing up the team. Followed by Carlos Ruiz and Justin Turner’s timely hits which put the Dodgers in the lead. But, this game was a testament to the defining characteristics this team has exhibited all year – teamwork and grit. Every person contributed. Yes, Grant Dayton struggled and brought the Nats within one run, but nobody gave up. They dug deep and held onto their one run lead for the win.
Kershaw threw 7 pitches last night. 7 pitches destroyed a narrative and possibly ignited a post season we'll never forget.#7pitches
— CK's Playoff Wrath (@Geeman1026) October 14, 2016
We now move onto Chicago and the formidable Cubs. It’s safe to say the Dodgers are the underdogs in this series. Especially when the sports media all seem to be rooting for the long suffering, goat cursed Cubs. But, don’t count our Dodgers out just yet because this team, and its rowdy fan base, are hungry for a trip to the World Series. They may not be the favorites, but if we know anything about postseason baseball – anything can happen.
Dodger Family on Twitter
Lastly, to my Dodger family on Twitter you’ve made this season a joy. You’ve brought laughter to the most stressful games and shared the misery over lost games. I consider so many of you friends now. For those of you who don’t join in on the Twitter game watching experience, you might want to check it out. A bunch of awesome fans losing their minds over the Dodgers and having a lot of laughs too. Come join us, you can find me on Twitter @JodyWHL say hello and watch a game with us. There’s many reasons why the Dodger fan experience is even better with Twitter, here’s a few:
— Jesse Pate (@jessedpate) October 14, 2016
— Gail Johnson (@GJOH29) October 14, 2016
@JodyWHL greatest part of watching Dodger playoff baseball and tweeting is that I feel like I am in the CHEERS bar, everybody knows my name?
— Tim Knoch?? (@Octim1) October 14, 2016
— Jim Peel (@peelerjim) October 14, 2016
— DontLookAtAngie (@43v3rblue) October 14, 2016
And that’s why it’s a #DodgerFam
So in conclusion, the anxiety, stress and excitement may feel like it will kill us each game, but be honest, the agony is wonderful too. There’s nothing like postseason baseball, the biggest treat is more baseball — and more baseball is always awesome! The deeper the Dodgers go into October, the shorter the offseason will be. Yes, I’m already counting the days until Spring Training. This series may take us to the brink of insanity, so hold onto your LA Dodger caps kids and let’s take it to those Cubbies. Let’s go crazy together! GO DODGERS!!