The transmission from Citizens Bank Park was loud and clear and now it’s ended. The Phillies have made a compelling case that they are the class of the National League and are headed back to the World Series after topping the Dodgers 10-4 in game five of the NLCS.
Vicente Padilla simply didn’t bring his game two magic to game five and it didn’t take long to tell. He walked Utley in the first and then pitched around the big lefty Howard behind him. It brought Werth to the plate and Werth set the tone for the night, blasting a three-run homer out to right. Werth and Victorino would be the driving force for the Phils’ offense in the game. The pair combined to go 5-for-8 with three home runs and seven RBI last night while the other six regulars for the Phils went 3-for-20.
Charlie Manuel deserves his share of the credit for the win as well. Manuel managed like a man who thought he had a chance to go to the World Series, pulling his starting pitcher with one out in the fifth and a three-run lead. It meant he was going to have to walk a tightrope with his shaky pen the rest of the way. He did. LA put the tying run on deck in the bottom of the eighth, but the bullpen came through for Manuel and the Phils.
Andre Ethier put LA up 1-0 with a homer off of Hamels in the first. Werth put the Phils up 3-1 with his first homer of the day in the bottom of the inning. James Loney hit yet another homer off of Hamels in the second. 3-2. A homer from Feliz in the bottom of the second made it 4-2. An Ibanez double got the Phillies rolling in the fourth and they added two more to make it 6-2. A pinch-hit homer from Orlando Hudson off of Hamels to start the fifth made it 6-3 and Manuel went to his pen. Victorino hit a two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw in the sixth. 8-3. Werth hit a solo shot off of Hong-Chih Kuo in the seventh. 9-3. The Dodgers made rallied in the eighth, putting their first four men on base to make it 9-4 with nobody out and the bases loaded. Madson snapped back to life just in time, though, getting the next three batters and leaving the runners stranded. A single by Rollins that was followed by a double by Victorino helped the Phils add another run in the bottom of the eighth and end the scoring at 10-4.
The Phillies have won the NLCS, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to one in the best-of-seven NLCS. They will play either the Yankees or the Angels in the World Series, which starts on Wednesday.
Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and didn’t pitch well. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out three. Hamels simply doesn’t have it these days, and it’s hard not to wonder what the Phils can do about that for the World Series. Over his last six starts he’s allowed 40 hits in 31 1/3 innings, throwing to a 6.89 ERA with a 1.50 ratio. He’s allowed six home runs in 14 2/3 innings in three starts this post-season.
The Dodger lineup facing Hamels went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Belliard (2B/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Kemp (CF/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Martin (C/R) (8) Blake (3B/R That’s the same lineup they used the last time the Phillies started a lefty, which was Lee in game three, except that Blake and Martin are switched in the 7-8 spots at the bottom of the lineup. Blake was a miserable 2-for-15 in the series coming into the game, but I still think he should hit higher against a lefty. He was fifth in the order when Hamels started game one.
The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.
Furcal led off the game and got ahead 3-0 on a couple of close pitches, but struck out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Belliard flew to right on a 2-1 pitch. Hamels got ahead of Ethier 1-2, but couldn’t put him away. Ethier fouled off four pitches in a row and Ruiz came out to the mound. Whatever they talked about didn’t work, cause Ethier hit Hamels’ next pitch out to right to put LA up 1-0. Manny followed and singled to right on the first pitch of his at-bat. Kemp struck out looking 1-2 to leave him stranded.
Tiny strike zone in the first for Hamels. He threw 23 pitches in the inning. Another big hit against him for a lefty. Loney homered off of him in the opener.
He started the second up 3-1. Loney led off and hit a 1-2 pitch way out to right, cutting the lead to 3-2. Martin grounded to short on a 3-1 pitch. Blake grounded to third 0-2. Padilla flew softly to left 1-2 to set LA down.
Eighteen pitches in the inning had Hamels at 41 for the game. Again with the lefties. Third home run off of Hamels this year for Loney.
Phils were up 4-2 when Hamels started the third. Furcal got behind 0-2 and grounded to second. Belliard popped to Rollins 1-1 for the second out. Ethier struck out swinging 3-2 to set LA down.
Not a single homer off of Hamels in that inning. Thirteen pitches had him at 54.
Manny grounded to short 1-2 for the first out of the fourth. Kemp was next and he grounded to short too. Loney drew a two-out walk, but Martin popped to second to leave him stranded.
The walk to Loney broke a string of eight in a row set down by Hamels. Hamels had thrown 76 pitches after throwing 22 in the inning.
He started the fifth with a 6-2 lead after a bottom of the fourth that took about half an hour. Blake led off and popped to Utley 3-2 for the first out. The switch-hitter Hudson hit for pitcher George Sherrill and hit a long home run down the left field line. 6-3. Belliard was next and he lined a double to left, which was enough to chase Hamels. Happ came in to pitch to Belliard and walked him on a 3-2 pitch that was nowhere near the plate. Happ did get the lefty Ethier, though. Ethier flew to left on the first pitch of his at-bat for the second out. It brought up Manny with two outs and two on and Manuel called on Durbin to pitch to him. Durbin got ahead of Manny 0-2. Ramirez tried to check his swing 2-2, but hit a dribbler down the third base line. He was slow getting out of the box, giving Durbin plenty of time to throw him out and leave the runners stranded.
Third home run in the game allowed by Hamels. Hudson isn’t even left-handed. I was very surprised to see Happ gone after facing just two hitters — I was assuming he was in for a while after the early exit by Hamels. Great job by Durbin to get Manny in a big spot. It did leave me wondering what the plan was for the rest of the game. I was guessing it was Park-Madson-Lidge in the seventh, eighth and ninth, but had little clue what Manuel was thinking for the top of the sixth and had no idea what might be Plan B if Park, Madson or Lidge struggled. Not sure Manuel did, either.
Turns out he was thinking Durbin for the sixth and Durbin was fantastic. Kemp struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. The lefty Loney grounded to short 0-1 for the second. Martin swung at the first pitch and grounded back to the mound to set LA down.
Fantastic work from Durbin who has had an outstanding post-season. He made four appearances in the series, throwing three innings without allowing a hit or a walk.
Speaking of fantastic, Park pitched the seventh with an 8-3 lead. He struck Blake out looking 2-2. Juan Pierre hit for the pitcher Clayton Kershaw and he grounded to first 0-2 for the second out. Furcal flew to center 0-2 to set LA down.
Eleven pitches in the seventh for Park after Durbin threw just eight in the sixth.
Park came back to start the eighth with a 9-3 lead. Things got interesting quickly, as Belliard and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles that put men on first and third with nobody out for Ramirez. Madson came in to pitch to Ramirez and walked him on five pitches to load the bases. Kemp lined an 0-1 pitch into center that dropped in front of Victorino for a single and moved everyone up a base, brought in Belliard and made the score 9-4 with the bases still loaded and nobody out. Dubee came out to talk to Madson. Don’t know what he said, but whatever it was, things got better quick. Loney swung at the first pitch and fouled out to Feliz. Martin struck out swinging 2-2. Madson got ahead of Blake 1-2 and delivered what looked for sure like strike three. Madson walked off the mound towards the dugout, but didn’t get the call. Ruiz slammed his glove on the plate, but the at-bat continued. Blake grounded to second 2-2 to leave the runners stranded.
Park ends the series having thrown to an 8.10 ERA, charged with three runs in 3 1/3 innings. He pitched way better than that, though. He looked great in the first inning he pitched. Less great in game two pitching on back-to-back days and less great last night trying to come back for a second inning.
Madson allowed six hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings in the series. That’s a 2.70 ratio, which isn’t what you’re looking for.
Lidge started the ninth with a 10-4 lead. Mark Loretta hit for the pitcher Ronald Belisario and struck out swinging 2-2. Furcal fouled out to Ruiz on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Belliard hit a soft fly ball to center field on a 2-1 pitch. Victorino took it and the Phils had won the National League and were headed to the World Series.
Three appearances for Lidge in the series in which he threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Still wonder what Manuel would have done if Park, Madson or Lidge hadn’t been able to get the job done in their inning. I assume Eyre was next in line, but things would have gotten pretty dicey after that.
Lefties Loney and Ethier were the two Dodgers with an OPS of .800 or better in the series. Loney was a monster, going 6-for-17 with two home runs to post a 353/421/706 line. Ethier was 5-for-19 with a double and a home run (263/333/474). Manny was 5-for-19 with a home run and two RBI. Kemp hit .250 and struck out eight times in 20 at-bats. Furcal, Blake and Martin combined to go 9-for-56 (.160).
Very good pitching for the Phils in the series. They held LA to 16 runs over five games. Overall the Phillies threw 44 innings with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.14 ratio.
Thanks to brilliant starts from Pedro and Lee in games two and three, the numbers for the starting rotation were very good. The starters threw 30 2/3 innings in the set, pitching to a 2.93 ERA and an 0.91 ratio.
Martinez and Lee were amazing in the middle of the series, combing to throw 15 shutout innings in games two and three in which they allowed five hits and did not walk a batter. Blanton allowed four runs in six innings in game four. Hamels started the other two games and didn’t pitch well in either. Over the two starts he threw 9 2/3 innings with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.55 ratio. The Phillies offense scored 18 runs in the two games he started and 17 in the three that he did not.
The starters threw 30 2/3 of the 44 innings the team pitched in the series. That’s 69.7%. They were charged with 11 of the 16 runs that LA scored — that’s 68.75%.
The rotation allowed six home runs in the series. Five off of Hamels and Kemp’s shot off of Blanton in game four.
The bullpen did not allow a home run in their 13 1/3 innings. What they did allow was a lot of walks, giving up eight to go with 14 hits. Overall the bullpen threw to a 3.38 ERA with a 1.65 ratio in the series.
Madson got hit hard in game one and was charged with two runs on four hits. Park struggled in game two, trying to pitch back-to-back days after a long time away, and was charged with two runs while getting just one out. Park was charged with another run last night in game five when he came back for a second inning and gave up back-to-back singles to start the eighth.
Happ managed to escape the series without being charged with a run, but he pitched terribly. He made three appearances, walking three batters and getting two outs. It seems like he surely would have been Manuel’s choice to give the Phils some innings in relief of Hamels last night if he had been pitching better.
The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).
The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.
The Phillies hit in the bottom of the first down 1-0. Rollins flew to Manny just in front of the track for the first out. Victorino bounced back to the mound 0-1 for the second. Utley took a 3-1 pitch high for a walk. Howard was next and Padilla looked like pitched around him, walking him on four pitches. Werth got ahead 3-0 then took two strikes to run the count full. He blasted a ball down the third base line but just foul before he smoked a ball out right to put the Phils up 3-1. Ibanez grounded to second to end the inning.
Padilla threw 23 pitches in the first inning. The pitch-around of Howard costs the Dodgers.
The lead was cut to 3-2 when they hit in the second. Feliz hit Padilla’s first pitch just out to right. 4-2. Ruiz grounded to second. Hamels struck out looking 1-2 for the second out. Rollins struck out swinging 3-2.
Fourteen pitches in the inning for Padilla, 37 for the game. The Dodgers had lots of action in their pen after Feliz led off with a homer, but Padilla got the next three hitters and got to stay in the game.
Victorino fouled out to Blake on an 0-1 pitch to start the third. Utley struck out looking 2-2. Howard grounded to Loney.
Padilla had retired six in a row since the Feliz homer. He needed just nine pitches to go through 2-3-4, which put him at 46 for the game.
Werth led off the fourth and singled into left on a 1-2 pitch. Ibanez ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right-center field gap. Ethier had a little trouble picking the ball up and Werth scored from first to put the Phils up 5-2. That was it for Padilla. Righty Ramon Troncoso came in to pitch to Feliz and Feliz grounded to third for the first out with Ibanez holding second. Ruiz was next and Troncoso walked him on four pitches to put men on first and second. Hamels bunted the runners to second and third. It brought up Rollins with two down and Troncoso nipped him with a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. Lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino got ahead 3-0 before Sherrill hit him with a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez scored to make it 6-2. Sherrill struck Utley out looking 1-2 to end the inning.
Wasn’t expecting to see Sherrill in the fourth.
The Phils led 6-3 when they hit in the fifth. Lefty Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for LA and he walked Howard on a 3-2 pitch. Werth got ahead 2-0, but Kershaw came back to strike him out looking 3-2 for the first out. Ibanez hit a double-play ball to second, but Belliard had trouble getting the ball out of his glove for the flip to second and LA got just one out. Feliz struck out swinging to leave Ibanez stranded at first.
Kershaw snapped out of it after getting behind Werth 2-0.
He got the first two hitters to start the sixth. Ruiz flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the first out. Cairo was next, hitting for Durbin, and he grounded to short 1-0 for the second. Rollins was next and Kershaw hit him in the foot with a 1-1 pitch, the third time in the game the Dodgers had hit a batter. Victorino was next and he blasted Kershaw’s first pitch to him well out to left, putting the Phils up 8-3. Utley struck out swinging to end the inning.
Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo pitched the seventh for LA. He struck Howard out looking 0-2, took a brief break for Werth to hit an 0-2 pitch out to center to make it 9-3, and then struck Ibanez and Feliz both out swinging.
Righty Ronald Belisario pitched the eighth with the Phils up 9-4. Ruiz led off and hit a ball to center, but Kemp made a nice diving catch for the first out. Stairs hit for Madson and popped to the catcher for the second out. Rollins was next and he singled back up the middle. Victorino followed and lined a 1-2 pitch that would have hit high off the wall in right if a fan had not reached over and tried to catch it. Victorino was given a double on fan interference and Rollins had to hold third. It cost the Phillies a run, but only for a minute. Belisario’s 1-0 pitch to Utley was inside and low and Martin couldn’t handle it. Rollins scored to make it 10-4 and Victorino took third. Utley grounded to second on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning.
Rollins was 1-for-3 in the game and was hit by two pitches. 5-for-22 in the series with two doubles. His double to end game four was the biggest hit of the series. The difference between that single at-bat to end game four was the difference between the series being tied or the Dodgers needing to win the next two games to tie the series.
Victorino had a monster game last night, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 7-for-19 in the series with a double, a triple and two home runs. 368/478/842 in the series and led the team in total bases with 16.
Utley was miserable last night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk. 4-for-19 with four singles and four walks in the series.
Howard was 0-for-2 with two walks and did not drive in a run for the first time in his last nine post-season games. He was 5-for-15 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the series. He led the Phils with eight RBI. He also walked six times, which was the most on the team. 333/524/933, which was good enough to get him named MVP of the series.
Werth was 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. 4-for-18 with three home runs and a single in the series.
Ibanez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 3-for-18 with a double and a home run in the series. The home run was a huge one, though, a three-run shot off of Sherrill the Phils needed to win game one. 167/211/389.
Feliz was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game and 2-for-17 with a triple and a home run in the series. 118/167/412.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 5-for-13 with a double, a home run and five walks in the set. 385/579/692.
Ruiz, Howard and Victorino all on-based .478 or better in the series. All three also hit .333 or better.
Howard, Victorino, Werth and Ruiz all slugged .692 or better.
Feliz, Ibanez and Utley combined to go 9-for-54 (.167).
Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-1 in the series with a big walk in game four.
Cairo was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-2 in the series.
Francisco seems sure to be a big part of the World Series. He did not play last night and was 0-for-3 in the series.
Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series.
Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series but made an appearance as a pinch-runner for Stairs in game four and scored a critical run.
Bako did not play.
The pitching was terrible for LA in the set as they allowed 35 runs in five games. Overall, the Dodgers’ pitchers threw to a 7.38 ERA and a 1.38 ratio over 42 2/3 innings. They allowed ten home runs. In the regular season they pitched 1,473 1/3 innings and allowed 127 homers. If they had allowed home runs at their NLCS pace over the regular season and thrown the same number of innings they would have allowed 345. The Brewers were the only NL team to allow more than 200 home runs this season — they allowed 207.
Padilla made a great start for LA in game two. That was it for the starting pitching, though. Padilla was bad last night, Kershaw bad in game one and Kuroda awful in game three. Wolf allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings in game four. Overall the starters pitched 21 2/3 innings in the series for the Dodgers, throwing to a 8.72 ERA and a 1.48 ratio. Excluding Padilla’s game two start they made four starts in which they threw a total of just 14 2/3 innings with a 12.56 ERA and a 1.88 ratio.
The starters threw just 50.7% of the team’s innings for the series and allowed 60% of the runs LA gave up.
Coming into the series a big question was whether the Phils would be able to do anything against the mighty pen of LA. They would. The LA relievers had to throw almost as many innings as their starters in the five games. In 21 innings they gave up just 14 hits, but walked 13, which is way too many, and gave up four home runs. Overall they threw to a 6.00 ERA with a 1.29 ratio in the series.
Ibanez hit a huge three-run homer off of Sherrill in game one. The LA pen pitched well in game three, but they had a lot of work to do after Kuroda didn’t make it out of the second. Belisario was charged with three runs in an inning in that game. Broxton allowed a huge two-run double to Rollins in game four. The Phils scored four runs off of Kershaw, Kuo and Belisario in the last four innings of last night’s game.
Kuo and Troncoso pitched pretty well in relief for the Dodgers in the series. Troncoso wasn’t charged with a run in three innings over three appearances. He didn’t give up a hit but walked three. Kuo struck out six in four innings and allowed one run on the homer by Werth.
No game today. The first game of the World Series is Wednesday.