Ready for Wrigley Field? Ready for the unpredictable winds in the outfield? For the anxiety that no lead can calm?
"I don't think about it until I get to the park," Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said of the Chicago Cubs' 95-year-old home stadium, where his team will open a four-game series today.
Well, Torre at least prepared himself for the emotional oscillations he could face in the coming days after the Dodgers on Wednesday hung on to complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with an 8-6 victory at Coors Field.
"So much for saving your closer," Torre said, shaking his head.
A lopsided game was turned into something far more interesting -- or, for Torre, nerve-racking -- in the ninth inning, when the Dodgers' bullpen gave up three runs. Ronald Belisario had to be replaced by Will Ohman, who, in turn, had to be replaced by closer Jonathan Broxton.
Broxton walked Todd Helton with the bases loaded, reducing what was a five-run lead at the start of the inning to three.
Up to hit was Brad Hawpe, who was six for 12 all-time against Broxton.
But Hawpe grounded out and the Dodgers' lead was preserved.
Broxton, however, had to throw 38 pitches.
"I didn't have it today," he said.
But, really, how bad can life be for these Dodgers when that's pretty much all that went wrong for them over the last three days?
They are 18 games over .500 for the first time in five seasons, which might as well be a lifetime ago in this era of free agency.
Juan Pierre is hitting .404, Juan Castro .385 and Mark Loretta .333. Orlando Hudson has a 17-game hitting streak.
"You can sense an overall confidence in the team," Loretta said. "I think that's contagious."
Clayton Kershaw, who held the Rockies to three runs over six innings to improve to 3-3, said that confidence helped him regain his composure.
The Dodgers handed Kershaw a 2-0 lead, scoring in the first inning on a single by James Loney and in the second on an error by pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who had a throw from Troy Tulowitzki sail by him while covering first base to let Andre Ethier go from second base to home.
But Kershaw's all-too-familiar control problems resurfaced in the third inning.
Kershaw started the inning by walking Clint Barmes and Paul Phillips. They moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Jimenez and Barmes scored on a balk.
Kershaw walked Dexter Fowler to put runners on the corners, but Fowler then tried to steal second and was thrown out by catcher Russell Martin. A pop-up by Tulowitzki got Kershaw out of the inning.
"Russell really bailed me out," Kershaw said.
Kershaw gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Spilborghs in the next inning to put the Dodgers behind, 3-2, but said he knew his team would rally as long as he could keep the game close.
Kershaw was right.
"It doesn't matter who we put in right now," Kershaw said, referring to how Loretta played in place of Casey Blake and Castro in place of Rafael Furcal.
The Dodgers got five runs in the seventh inning, as Pierre and Loretta drove in runs with two-out singles, then Loney cleared the bases with a double to right-center to put the Dodgers up, 7-3.
Pierre, who was three for five with a double and two runs batted in, finished the series eight for 16 with seven runs batted in.
"Every day a different guy's been contributing," Castro said.
Perhaps more so than was the case in October, the last time the Dodgers visited Wrigley Field. Behind Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers beat the Cubs twice on their way to sweeping them in the National League division series.
"This is a 25-man team," Castro said. "This is not a Manny team."
DODGERS 8, COLORADO 6