Goats to Heroes in LA
Posted December 26, 2019
When the Dodgers lost 5 of their first 6 games in 59 their fans could be forgiven for expecting a repeat of 58, with 3rd place the best they could hope for. However, the team turned it around and posted 16 wins in their last 24 games. Add to the fact the Yankees were dropping like the proverbial stone, the Dodgers last day win and the Yankees same day loss, meant somehow the team were heading to the post season. Fans consoled themselves with this fact, knowing their chances of defeating the table topping White Sox were slim. Wrong again, as the Dodgers swept the Sox 4-0 and headed to the World Series against the 58 Champion Braves. Again the Dodgers were written off, as they were defeated in Game 1 by 7-5 and shut down in G2 9-0. Again they confounded fans and scribes alike, by winning the next four games to become World Champions. In the process they scored 16 runs and only gave up 4 in those final 4 games.
Who was the series hero? Nobody imagined it could be Roger Craig who, in 3 regular seasons, had posted a 2-5 (1 save) record and a 3.58 era with 5 homers given up. Ok he managed a win and a save in the play off series, with an 0.82 era. He couldn't possibly equal that in the WS could he? No he couldn't...he smashed it, winning two games and an era of 0.50, to mean his post season record is now 3-0 (1) with era 0.62. He led the Dodgers to a 5-1 win in game 3 which changed the whole dynamic of this game and, when Walter Alston needed someone to close down the Braves in 66, he had no hesitation in turning to Craig. He duly delivered, shutting down the Braves 5-0 and sending the fans wild in Los Angeles.