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For the Dodgers, the plan is to discover a whole new plan

October 13, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • It's hard to imagine Hanley Ramirez playing Monday with bruised, possibly fractured ribs.
It's hard to imagine Hanley Ramirez playing Monday with bruised,… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Well, that didn’t work out so well. And it looked like such great plan.

Who wouldn’t want to head into a best-of-seven series with a pair of Cy Young winners going? And they pitched great too -- Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw did everything right but win.

The Dodgers boarded what must have been one very quiet flight after Saturday’s 1-0 loss in St. Louis and headed back to Los Angeles, where they hope to regroup, find some semblance of health and dramatically turn things around.

History is not kind here. Only one team has come back from an 0-2 deficit in the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series. Perhaps you remember that team, though possibly not as well as Tommy Lasorda and Jack Clark. It was, ironically, the 1985 Cardinals against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers played Saturday without Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and essentially Andre Ethier. And, you could argue, Yasiel Puig. If Puig looked anymore lost, he’d be adrift on a boat from Cuba.

The Dodgers have played 22 innings in the NLCS and managed to score in one of them.

Now they return home, wounded and dispirited, trying to find that edge, that great wave they were riding seemingly just a few moments ago -- with the Cardinals sending ace Adam Wainwright to the mound.

Looks bleak, of course, but right now the Dodgers have to fall back on that oldest of sporting cliches -- take it one game at a time. They can only win once Monday, not four times.

They have to figure out a way to grind out a win against Wainwright. As a blueprint, they have only to look at the Cardinals. They’re batting .134 in the first two games and are up 2-0.

They can’t wait around for Ramirez to come to the rescue. It’s hard to imagine he plays Monday with those bruised, and possibly fractured, ribs, and even if he does, it’s harder to imagine he plays at anything approximating full power.

If they scratch together a win Monday, all things are again possible. As a grand plan, it doesn’t look as great as the one with which they started the series, but it’s the one they’re left with now.

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