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True Blue LA podcast episode 2137: Goodbye Cardinals, hello Giants

It’s finally happening

MLB: NLDS-Workouts D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

With a quick turnaround between the National League wild card game and the NLDS, here’s a podcast to serve as your bridge from Dodgers-Cardinals to Dodgers-Giants.

On this week’s episode, we discuss the nervous energy prevalent at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, but also the incredible highs, especially when Chris Taylor hit the fourth walk-off home run in franchise postseason history.

Then we look ahead to the first-ever postseason matchup between the Dodgers and Giants, and how off days in the division series make it so both sides should be able to deploy the best parts of their bullpens more aggressively than usual. Game 4, if necessary, is the interesting point, to see what the Dodgers do without having Clayton Kershaw to turn to, specifically how much they trust Tony Gonsolin.

Special thanks to producer extraordinaire Brian Salvatore for all his work behind the scenes.

Dodgers rewind

Among players who have suited up for both the Dodgers and Giants, Kenny Lofton played in the most total postseason games in his career. Lofton’s 95 postseason games ranks eighth in MLB history, and includes 17 games with the Giants and three with the Dodgers.

Chicago Cubs vs Los Angeles Dodgers - April 18, 2006 Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage

Lofton was an excellent player who has an excellent Hall of Fame case, a .299 career hitter with a .372 on-base percentage in 17 years of mostly hitting leadoff, playing excellent defense in centerfield while stealing 622 bases at a 79.5-percent clip, accumulating 68.4 career bWAR. Yet Lofton was only one and done on the BBWAA ballot, earning only 3.2 percent of the vote in 2013, his only year on the ballot.

After playing four years of basketball at Arizona, including being the sixth man on the Wildcats’ 1988 Final Four team, Lofton played 17 years in the majors, and is most associated with Cleveland, playing with them for 10 seasons. But what I didn’t remember is how much of a vagabond he was outside of his Cleveland years. Lofton in his seven other seasons played for 10 different teams, never more than one season with any of them. He was traded three times mid-season, and six times total in his career.

Lofton was a trade deadline pickup for the Giants in 2002, and scored 16 runs in 17 postseason games, starting every game and batting leadoff during San Francisco’s World Series run, delivering the pennant-winning walk-off hit in Game 5 of the NLCS. He signed with the Dodgers in 2006, and among other things is one of only two Dodgers in the last 28 years to hit at least 10 triples in a season.

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Episode link (time: 45:40)