Few things can become a team like desperation. Being firmly at the brink, looking down and certain there is only one other way to go.
And nothing should cause a team to be more desperate than facing an elimination game. Knowing that one more loss and it’s over — the grueling effort, the dream, the season.
The Dodgers remain there now, they must win two more games in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals or the guillotine falls to their season.
“We don’t want to go home,” said second baseman Mark Ellis. “We want to keep playing. We have a good thing going on here. We want it — we want it bad.”
They really didn’t play like that kind of motivated team Tuesday in their 4-2 loss at Dodger Stadium in Game 4.
But Wednesday afternoon, knowing that one more loss and it was over, they appeared focused. Played like a team with an edge to it.
“We didn’t want our season to end,” said catcher A.J. Ellis. “I hope there was a little edge today. We were a little flat [Tuesday] to be honest with you. It’s kind of uncharacteristic of where we should have been after a great Game 3. The way we came out in Game 4 was a little disheartening. We could have done a little more offensively.
“But we showed up [Wednesday], and hopefully that gives us that edge going forward to Game 6 and 7. This is it.”
They will need it. Regardless of who they send to the mound, winning consecutive games in St. Louis will be a very real challenge. One the Dodgers best play with a touch of desperation.