Updated May 23, 2012 - 9:26 am
Did L.A. end two of our seasons Tuesday night?
We in Phoenix have long been saddled with the label of being L.A.'s little brother, much to our dismay. And sure, you've given us wedgies, wet willies and played countless practical jokes on us over the years and we've had no choice but to take it.
But now, we're getting older. More established. More sophisticated. More able to rise up and beat you on any given night.
We've had our head-to-head moments in the sun. What you did to us on Tuesday night, however, was just downright cruel. In fact, we're telling Mom.
Dustin Penner's goal 17:42 into overtime lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory and allowed L.A. to punch their ticket the Stanley Cup Finals for just the second time in their 44-year team history. And of course, it ended the Coyotes' longest postseason run ever.
As painful as it was to watch the Kings celebrate on the ice at Jobing.com Arena, it was inevitable. They were, after all, the better hockey team over the course of the five-game series. And they're unbeatable as the road team. Don't believe me? Just look at the big, fat zero in their road loss column during the postseason.
It was a fruitful run for the Coyotes. The team exorcised postseason demons that have haunted them since they called Manitoba home. They ignited a dormant fan base and continued to plant seeds for a long run of relevance should the team remain in Phoenix -- but that's a story for another day. Mike Smith launched himself into the category of Phoenix sports legend with his unbelievable play between the pipes and Mikkel Boedker raised the level of his game enough to make the rest of the league take notice.
While that was going on, about 30 minutes east of Glendale, the Arizona Diamondbacks were receiving an atomic wedgie from the Los Angeles Dodgers. You know, the kind that leave not only physical, but mental marks.
The D-backs led 6-1, but when Trevor Cahill was removed from the game after six effective innings, the wheels on the Sedona red bus fell off. Brad Ziegler relieved Cahill (and I use that term loosely) allowing two hits and three runs without recording an out. Craig Breslow followed and yielded three hits and two runs again without recording an out. Sure, his performance was marred by a throwing error courtesy of third baseman Josh Bell.
In all, the Dodgers scored five times, tying the game at 6-6. Ouch. It feels like the elastic is about to rip.
Unlikely hero Lyle Overbay, who had four hits on the night while raising his season batting average to .370, homered in the 8th to give the D-backs the lead back. It wouldn't last long, as Ivan DeJesus doubled in two runs in the top of the 9th off of J.J. Putz to give the Dodgers their first lead of the game. Arizona went down quietly in the 9th, losing 8-7.
That underwear is toast.
It's only May, but this was the kind of demoralizing, gut- wrenching, I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out kind of loss that has derailed many a baseball club over the last 132 years. And I fear that it will completely derail this Diamondbacks club. At the very least, the defeat further exposed the D-backs' massive bullpen issue and increased their deficit to 11.5 games -- a huge number to overcome at any point of the season.
So, thanks big brother Los Angeles. Thanks for ending one and possibly two of our teams' seasons within minutes.
And you owe us a new pair of boxer briefs, you jerk.