8:22 PM ET from Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine
Outcome: Tonights the night. Cole vs Chad. Easy mark in my mind. Billingsley will get crushed in the biggest game of his life, whereas his counterpart, Cole Hamels will shine bright in the spotlight. I see Cole going 7, possibly 8 strong innings and controlling the game. He has something to prove, and its the fact he is the best young lefty in the game today.
Ryan Howard finally gets his bat going and at the most opportune time, heading into the World Series. Phils jump on Billingsley early and cruise to a 7-2 win. GO PHIGHTINS.
Final: PHI 7 LA 2
Player of the Game: Ryan Howard – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Outcome: Tonight our Phightin’s look to clinch their first NL Pennant since the memorable ’93 team. It couldn’t look more promising then tonight, with the Dodgers reeling after Monday’s loss plus Phillie ace Cole Hamels scheduled to start. I truly think the Phillies see the prize and will take care of business tonight, clinching a World Series berth.
Look for the Phillies bats to be fully awakened after Monday night and jump all over starter Chad Billingsley, just as in Game 2. King Cole will be on point for 7 solid innings, giving up a Manny blast and really no further damage. The offense will give Hamels plenty of breathing room, and the Phils will cruise to a Game 5 win and the promised land to boot.
Final: PHI 8 LA 1
Player of the Game: Cole Hamels – 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 Ks
Joe Torre gave his team a break from practice on Tuesday in hopes of rejuvenating their playoff lives for Game 5 against the Phils Wednesday night.
The Dodgers blew a 5-3 lead before losing 7-5 on Monday and now trail the Phightins 3-1 in the NLCS.
A classic game last night moves the Phillies within one win of the World Series. After an amazing night, a game that saw lead changes, countless opportunities for both teams to blow the game open in the early innings, some more long balls, and ho hum another Brad Lidge save, the Phillies pulled out a 7-5 win in Los Angeles to take a 3-1 series lead. Cole Hamels is scheduled to take the mound in Game 5 on Wednesday.
After jumping out to an quick 2-0 lead following Chase Utley and Ryan Howard RBIs, the Dodgers took a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning as Manny Ramirez continued to make it look easy. But then the Phils bats stole the show. In seemingly an instant, playoff MVP Shane Victorino, booed continually from the moment he took batting practice, lined a laser into the Phillies bullpen tying the game at 5, giving the Phillies new life, all while setting the Phillies record for RBIs in a league Championship Series.
After a Carlos Ruiz hit (a two out single), 40 year-old Matt Stairs hit a straight bomb to right field. The Phillies dugout exploded with the 7-5 lead. Brad Lidge came out of the bullpen with 2 outs in the 8th and recorded the final 4 outs, 46 of 46 for the season and playoffs, and the Phillies are one more win away from the Series.
8:22 PM ET from Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine
Outcome: To be honest, Blanton scares me, but I cant decipher if its more or less then Jamie Moyer. I knew deep down Moyer would be throwing meatballs across the plate and that’s what scares me about Blanton. He sucked during the regular season after we acquired him (Eaton-esque) and his only really good game came in the NLCS. PLEASE FOR LOVE OF GOD continue to pitch well Joey. I think the Phils are revving to go on all cylinders after last night’s small tussle in the infield after the Kuroda/Victorino incident. God I would of loved Vic to JACK UP Hiroki.
Anyway look for the Phils to have Lowe’s number after facing him in Game 1 and to be hot in the batters box and flying around the base paths. I also see the Dodgers getting to Blanton a bit and the scoring to be high and often. Maybe Ryan Howard will actually do something with the bat tonight as well. Phils win, Phils win.
Final: PHI 7 LA 4
Player of the Game: Jimmy Rollins – 3 for 4, 3 Rs, 2 SBs, 1 RBI
Outcome: After the intensity level was kicked up a few notches last night, we turn right around and get back on the field tonight for Game 4. Joe Blanton gets the nod against Dodger ace Derek Lowe coming back on 3 days rest.
Lowe baffled the Phils hitters minus one inning in game 1, but that inning was all Phils needed as Lowe was pinned with the loss. Look for the Phils bats to be a little more successful this time around, as a shoot-out will break out tonight.
Look for the scoreboard to start firing up in the middle to late innings as the 2 pitchers will come out throwing strikes trying not to fire up things like last night, for fear of ejections and suspensions, and then try to challenge the hitters the second time around, unsuccessfully. The Phils pen will out-duel the Dodgers and send the Phillies to a 3-1 series lead on a 10-7 Phillies victory.
Final: PHI 10 LA 7
Player of the Game: Jayson Werth – 4 for 6, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs
4:35 PM ET from Citizens Bank Park
Outcome: Manny Ramirez is still on fire but so is Brett Myers of late. With Manny only sporting a career .158 (3 for 19) average against Myers, I think Brett can keep him in check. Hopefully the right hand heavy lineup of the Dodgers has a tough time with Brett today and he can work some solid innings. I see Jimmy and Chase getting their bats going again after an awesome game last night. I think that’s exactly what Chase needed to break out of his mini slump there. Look for Chase, Shane Vic and Jimmy to have a great day and be extremely active on the base paths. I also foresee some Jayson Werth surprise action.
Final: LA 3 PHI 6
Player of the Game: Jayson Werth – 2 for 3, HR, 2 Rs, 2 RBI, BB
Outcome: Well if the Phillies were not fired up enough for this afternoon’s NLCS game 2, word that manager Charlie Manuel’s mother has passed away, has to put their motivation over the top. The Phillies can not let down skipper Manuel’s mother’s honor and be defeated this afternoon and I predict that the Phightin’s will come out bats a blazing. Look for the the Phils to jump on Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley early and often as today’s game will feature much more offense then yesterday.
Final: LA 4 PHI 7
Player of the Game: Ryan Howard – 2 for 3, HR, 3RBI, 1R
Joe Torre in his dugout during the 9th inning. What happened Joe?
Last night in raucous South Philly, your Phightin’s put up barely enough of a fight to eek out a Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ace Cole Hamels settled into his usual dominate outing after a shaky first couple of batters and Chase Utley and Pat Burrell provided all of the offense with more home runs as the Phillies took a 1-0 series lead over LA. Game 2 is set for this afternoon with the first pitch being tossed at 4:35pm.
With the Phillies offense looking pathetic through 5 innings, it was the flying Hawaiian sparking a rally yet again in the bottom of the 6th as he busted his hump down the line on a seemingly routine ground-out. But Victorino’s hustle forced Furcal to rush his throw which went out of the glove and over the head of first basemen James Loney and Victorino took second on the error.
The very next pitch, Utley ripped a two run blast into the right field seats and the Bank was shaking. Two batters later, “Bait” as we learned is what one Patrick Burrell is affectionately referred to by his teammates, we think its pretty explanatory what “Bait” is referring too, hit his 3rd home run in 2 games staking the Phillies to their first lead of the series.
Hamels and Ryan Madsen did the rest of the work setting the stage for another Lidge save, as he worked a 1-2-3 9th inning, and the Phillies improved their record to 80-0 when leading after 8 innings.
8:22 PM ET from Citizens Bank Park
Outcome: Manny Ramirez is on fire. Rafael Furcal is back. Joe Torre is in the playoffs again. And Cole Hamels is LIGHTS OUT BAY BAY! Cole will continue his dominant pitching in Game 1 and take a shutout into the seventh where I think he might get a little tired and let up a few hits, possibly a run before Charlie Manuel gives him the pull. This will be perfectly fine, because we will have a solid lead at this point behind the timely hitting of our fearless leader Jimmy Rollins and the rest of the order. A raucous Philly crowd who haven’t been this close to a championship since the Eagles choked in the NFC Championship will be the spark for the Phils as their bats finally get back on track in this one.
Final: LA 2 PHI 5
Player of the Game: Cole Hamels – 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 Ks, 1 BB
Outcome: Both of these teams come in feeling good about themselves. Game 1 is going to come down to who works out their nerves first. Reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins does not get phased by the big stage; expect him to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 lead with back to back games with a lead off HR putting the Citizen’s Bank crowd into a frenzy. Expect the Phillies left handed power bats of Ryan Howard when he gets his chances, but more-so Chase Utley to do a lot of damage in this series as the Dodgers have no left handed arms to combat the sluggers. Cole put on an ace-like performance we’ve started to become accustomed too, going deep into tonight’s game keeping the Dodgers hitters looking silly with his deadly fastball and curveball combo as Citizen’s Bank Park will be never be louder tonight from start to finish.
Final: LA 1 PHI 6
Player of the Game: Jimmy Rollins – 3 for 4, HR, 3 RS, 2 RBI, Double, Single, 2 SBs
Pat “The Bat” Burrell. This is my call to re-sign him RIGHT NOW. Patrick Brian Burrell, in a contract, performed bigger then any Phillie in the biggest game of the season to date.
After struggling to swing the bats through the first three games of the NL division series, Philadelphia’s offense broke out in a big way against the Brewers in Game 4 of the NLDS series. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a home run and Pat Burrell connected twice to break out of his postseason slump and Jayson Werth added a solo shot to seal the deal and move the Phils one step closer to a World Series run.
Let’s not forget about Joe Blanton who had possibly his best outing in a Phillies uniform since coming over in the deal with the Oakland A’s earlier this season. He threw six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out seven to get the victory.
After the game Charlie Manuel spoke about how proud he was of this team and also added how he feels about the Phils chances against the upcoming Los Angeles Dodgers:
I think we can hold our own with them. Actually, I think we can beat anybody in the National League, really.
Some Fast Facts (courtesy of ESPN.com):
- The Phillies, who won a postseason series for the first time since the 1993 NLCS, set a postseason team record with four home runs.
- Jimmy Rollins started the game with the Phillies’ second postseason leadoff homer in team history. Rollins belted the other in Game 2 of the 2007 NLDS.
- Prince Fielder’s homer was the first by a Brewer in the postseason since Ben Oglivie’s in Game 7 of the 1982 World Series. It was the Brewers’ only extra-base hit of the game.
- The Phillies recorded 17 extra-base hits in the four-game series. The Brewers, who hit .206 in the set, had four.