Dodgers-Cubs: Game One Is in the Books

Tomi SalvucciContributor IOctober 1, 2008

Game One down and we are still standing.

Even an early two-run set back could not keep the Dodgers from playing their game.  Bunching up runs in the mid-to-late innings and letting the pitching take them home.

James Loney, with one swing, seemed to punch the wind out of the Wrigley faithful with his four-run bleacher deposit. With contributions from Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin late, the Dodgers took Game One from the much-heralded Cubs.

This game had a lot to choose from. 

Starting with an early two-run homer that defied gravity to reach the right-field stands.  The game's plot seemed to lean toward a dream start for the 100 years and suffering Cubs. 

Then a wild Dempster, who walked seven on this night, loaded the bases with a walk and a slumping Loney connected on a 1-2 count to put the boys in blue ahead. 

Then a Casey Blake RBI and two bombs from Manny and Martin sealed the deal, with wild thing Greg Maddux pulling it out in the ninth.

Did I just say Maddux pulled it out in the ninth? 

For a team that has bowed out early in all of its previous playoff appearances since 1988, the move to pitch a battle-tested veteran in the ninth, who throws nothing but strikes, was complete brilliance in my book.

Joe Torre has made one of the best moves of the postseason by making that decision in the first game of the series. 

Why leave the game in Broxton's hands. He pitched a good eighth. Why push him into a two-inning appearance and hope he floats without any damage. Not that I think he would have blown it, but he got his feet wet. That's the first step. 

Maddux showing the way is part of the reason, in my opinion, he is in L.A. Torre making decisions that benefit the team is what made the Yankee's so successful, it wasn't just the bankroll he was provided. That's why we are here and New York is teeing off on the back nine in the morning.

Manny, Lowe, Maddux, Torre, Bowa. These are all winners who have been there before. They lead by example, and the youngsters are flourishing beneath them. Now, the series is not over, not by a long shot, but a start like this is better than what we are used to.