Tag: Chad Billingsley

Hollywood ending

Playing their twentieth game in twenty days and the tenth game of a ten-game road trip, the Phils found themselves down 5-0 after an inning in Los Angeles yesterday. After three innings it was 6-0 and it seemed like it might be about time to call it a day, appreciate what a great trip it had been and get ready for the Nationals on Friday night.

Turned out it was time to remember that the Phillies are the best team in baseball.

Hunter Pence got the comeback started with a two-run homer in the fourth. Two defensive miscues in the middle innings by LA helped the Phils score three unearned runs and cut the lead to 6-5 by the time the Phils were done hitting in the fifth. Kendrick allowed a run on a single and a double in the bottom of the fifth to extend the LA lead to 7-5, but the Phils roared back again, getting four runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Utley in front of a two-run shot by Howard that put them on top at 9-7. Madson allowed a run in the ninth, but hung on to get the save and the Phils won 9-8.

The Phillies are 77-40 on the year after beating the LA Dodgers 9-8 yesterday. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep and end their ten-game road trip with a 9-1 mark. The game also was the end of a stretch in which the Phils played 20 games in 20 days. They went 16-4 in those games and will be off today and Monday with a three-game set with the Nats in-between the two off-days.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out six and his ERA puffed to 2.85. Worley has scuffled in two of his last three starts, allowing 12 runs in 17 innings while opponents have hit .313 and slugged .567 against him. After allowing two home runs in 62 1/3 innings to start the season, Worley has now given up a home run in each of his last four starts, allowing four over 26 innings.

He struck Aaron Miles out looking 0-2 to start the bottom of the first, but things went downhill from there. Worley walked Casey Blake and Andre Ethier back-to-back before Matt Kemp singled into left, scoring Blake to make it 1-0 and moving Ethier to second. Juan Rivera was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left-center for a three-run homer, putting the Dodgers up 4-0. James Loney walked behind Rivera and Dioner Navarro followed that with a double to right. Loney scored and it was 5-0, but Navarro was caught up between second and third and finally tagged out for the second out. Jamey Carroll was next and tripled to left, but was left stranded at third when Worley struck out pitcher Chad Billingsley to end the inning.

Righties came into the game slugging just .270 against Worley for the year, but Rivera takes him deep for a three-run homer, the switch-hitter Navarro doubles and the righty Carroll adds a triple. Navarro making an out on the bases saves the Phils a run when he doesn’t score on the triple by Carroll.

Worley struck out Blake and Ethier in a 1-2-3 second.

Kemp started the third with a double to left and moved to third when Rivera followed with a single to right. Worley struck out Loney for the first out, but Navarro was next and he flew to left, deep enough for Kemp to tag and score and extend the lead to 6-0. Carroll flew to right for the third out.

Miles doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Blake popped to Rollins and Ethier flew to center to leave him stranded.

Five extra-base hits allowed by Worley in four innings.

Kendrick started the fifth for the Phils with the LA lead cut to 6-5. He struck Kemp out swinging for the first out, but Rivera followed and reached on an infield single. The lefty Loney was next doubled to right, scoring Rivera to make it 7-5. Kendrick struck Navarro out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got Carroll to fly to right to leave Loney at second.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Kendrick has some problems with left-handed hitters. They came into the game hitting 248/350/475 against him. Hitting .248 against him is fine — on-basing .350 and slugging .475 is less great. 311/378/524 against Kendrick for his career coming into the game compared to 258/301/391 for righties.

Herndon set the Dodgers down in order in the sixth.

He dropped his ERA to 4.10 on the year with the 1-2-3 frame. After throwing to a 9.28 ERA in 11 appearances in April, Herndon has pitched to a 2.03 ERA 1.01 ratio in 26 2/3 innings over 21 appearances since.

Lidge started the seventh and struck out Ethier for the first out. Kemp followed with an infield single and stole second before Lidge walked Rivera on four pitches. Bastardo came in to face the left Loney and got him on a fly ball to left for the second out. He struck Navarro out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Bastardo bails out Lidge, coming into the game with runners on first and second and one out. Lidge hasn’t been charged with a run in any of his last three appearances, but six of the 12 batters he has faced have reached base on two singles and four walks.

Bastardo was back to shut the Dodgers down in order in the eighth.

After throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the game, Bastardo has now allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances. Over those eight appearances he hasn’t walked any of the 25 batters he faced and opponents have hit .125 against him.

Madson started the ninth with a two-run lead. Blake led off with a single to left.

Ethier was next and smashed a ball to left, but Ibanez tracked it down after a long run for the first out. Kemp moved Blake to third with another single to third, putting the tying run on base and bringing Rivera to the plate. Rivera hit a ground ball to second. Utley went to Rollins for the second out as Blake scored to cut the lead to 9-8. Righty Rod Barajas hit for the pitcher Javy Guerra and Trent Oeltjen ran for Rivera at first. Barajas hit a ball well to center, but Victorino took it on the edge of the track to end the game.

Not a real impressive outing for Madson, who got the job done but gave up two hits and got outs on balls hit hard by Ethier and Barajas in the inning. He was pitching for the third straight day and has allowed a run on two hits in an inning in each of his last two appearances.

Madson threw 18 pitches in the game. Kendrick 22, Bastardo 16, Lidge 11 and Herndon five. Madson is the only guy in the pen who has pitched more than one day in a row and the Phils are off today.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Schneider catches the day game with the righty on the mound for LA. Martinez at third with Valdez on the bench and Polanco sidelined.

Victorino singled with one out in the first. Utley flew to left for the second out before Howard walked, putting men on first and second for Pence. Pence popped to Carroll to leave both runners stranded.

Down 5-0, Ibanez singled to right to start the second. Schneider followed and grounded into a double-play. Martinez flew to left for the third out.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the third. Victorino followed that with a ground-rule double to left that moved Rollins to third. Utley was next and he flew to center. Rollins tried to tag and score, but Loney took the throw from Kemp, threw home and Rollins and was called out to set the Phillies down.

Close play at the plate and it looked like Rollins might have gotten his hand in. Manuel came out to discuss, but with no success.

The Phils were down 6-0 when they hit in the fourth. Howard led off and walked on four pitches. Pence was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to center, getting the Phils on the board at 6-2. Ibanez flew to left for the first out and Schneider grounded to short for the second. Martinez was next and hit a ball through Loney at first. Martinez wound up at second with Loney charged with a two-base error. Worley was next and hit for himself, singling into center. Martinez scored and it was 6-3 with two down and Worley on first. Rollins grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

No play by Loney on the ball hit by Martinez helps the Phils get a run. Worley hits for himself despite having allowed six runs in three innings and comes through. I was expecting a pinch-hitter with the runner in scoring position, especially given the off-day today for the Phils and another coming on Monday.

Victorino led off the fifth and walked on five pitches. Utley flew to left before Howard moved Victorino to second with a single. Pence was next and hit a ball to third that Blake didn’t handle for an error, allowing Victorino to score (6-4) with Howard going to third and Pence winding up at second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Billingsley and Ibanez grounded to first for the second out, but Howard scored from third to cut the lead to 6-5 and Pence moved up to third. Kuo struck Schneider out swinging to leave Pence at third.

Two more unearned runs in the inning for the Phils thanks to the error by Blake at third, which gave them three unearned runs in the last two innings.

The Phils trailed 7-5 when they hit in the sixth. Martinez flew to center for the first out. With the lefty Kuo still on the mound for the Dodgers, Francisco hit for Kendrick and walked on five pitches. Righty Blake Hawksworth came in to pitch to Rollins and Rollins singled to right, moving Francisco up to third. Rollins stole second, but Victorino struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Utley picked him up, though, lining a single to left that scored both runners and tied the game at 7-7. Howard was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put the Phils on top at 9-7. Matt Guerrier took over for Hawksworth and struck out Pence to end the inning.

Looked like a huge strikeout for Victorino with one out and men on second and third, but Utley picks him up with the single and Howard delivers another long ball against a right-handed pitcher.

Schneider singled to right with one out in the seventh. Martinez flew to left for the second out. With the righty Guerrier still pitching for the Dodgers, Mayberry hit for Herndon and struck out swinging to set the Phillies down.

Coming off a stretch where he hit four home runs in 16 at-bats, Mayberry is 0-for-his-last-6.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Pence walked with one out in the ninth, but Ibanez and Schneider went down behind him to leave Pence at first.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 5-for-12 with two walks and two doubles in the three-game set. He’s hitting 267/341/401 for the year. 298/403/474 over his last 67 plate appearances.

Victorino 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. 6-for-12 with three doubles and a home run in the series. 312/391/542 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 with two RBI. 2-for-14 with two RBI in the set. 7-for-his-last-33 with seven singles. He’s hitting 280/368/461 for the year.

Howard was 2-for-3 in the game with two walks and a two-run homer. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the game. He’s hit 24 home runs against righties for the year and one against lefties. 252/341/489 for the year.

Pence 1-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. 347/389/592 in 49 plate appearances with the Phils so far. 313/360/484 for the season overall. The Phillies are 11-1 since he joined the team.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with an RBI. 1-for-9 in the series. 1-for-his-last-17. 240/286/416 for the year.

Schneider was 1-for-5 in the game in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 180/253/292 for the year. Ruiz was 1-for-8 in the series and is hitting 261/360/367 for the season.

Martinez 0-for-4 to drop his average on the year to .216. He was 1-for-8 in the series. 4-for-his-last-30 with a walk and a double. 216/258/304 for the year. Valdez didn’t play but was 1-for-4 in the series and is hitting 236/283/298 on the season.

The Phillies don’t play today. They start a three-game set with the Nationals at home tomorrow.

Philliesflow won’t be updated again until August 23.


Third time’s the replica

Cliff Lee came into game three with the Dodgers having made two post-season starts for the year and for his career. In those starts he had thrown 16 1/3 innings with a 1.10 ERA and an 0.86 ratio. He improved on both of those impressive numbers last night, holding the Dodgers to three singles over eight innings as the Phils blew LA out 11-0.

The Phils were all over Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, who would only get four outs in the game. A two-run triple by Howard put the Phils up 2-0 after they had sent four batters to the plate. Werth followed with a two-run homer and it was 4-0. Ruiz started the second with a double as the Phils scored two more to make it 6-0. Chad Billingsley took over for Kuroda in the second and kept the Phils quiet until the fifth, when a two-out walk by Ibanez was followed by a triple by Feliz and another hit from Ruiz, this one a single that put the Phils up 8-0. Lee was masterful all the while, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing just two singles to Manny Ramirez and another to Ronnie Belliard while striking out ten. The Phils took an eight-run lead into the bottom of the eighth when Victorino pounded a three-run homer out to right to make it 11-0. Durbin finished off the Dodgers with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Over the last two games, Phillies starting pitchers have thrown 15 innings, allowing five singles without walking a batter. The last extra-base hit of the series for the Dodgers was the double that Ethier hit off of Bastardo to start the seventh inning of game one.

The Phillies won game three of the NLCS last night, topping the Dodgers 11-0. They lead the best-of-seven series two games to one.

Lee faced a lineup that 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) Blake (3B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). That was a change from the lineup Hamels faced in game one. Belliard is up to second in the lineup with everyone else moving down a spot. Loney and Blake are switched in the order after Blake hit fifth in game one. Blake came into the series 1-for-8 with a single.

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 for the Dodgers and got behind 0-2 before flying to left. Belliard was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch to left where a sliding Ibanez took it for the second out. Ethier struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Lee threw 13 pitches in the inning.

He started the second with a 4-0 lead. Manny led off and singled into center on a 3-2 pitch. Kemp was next and he lined softly to Utley for the first out. Loney grounded a 2-2 pitch to Howard and the Phillies turned the double-play nicely, with Howard going to Rollins and then back to Howard to set the Dodgers down.

Sixteen pitches had Lee at 29.

The Phils were up 6-0 when Lee started the third. He struck Blake out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Martin hit a ground ball back to the mound for the second. The pitcher Chad Billingsley was next and he swung out swinging 1-2.

Thanks to the double-play, Lee had faced the minimum through three innings. After throwing 14 pitches in the inning he had thrown 43 in the game.

Furcal started the fourth and worked the count full, then fouled off three pitches in a row before striking out looking for the first out. Belliard grounded to Howard and Howard tossed to Lee covering for the second out. Ethier hit a ground ball to Utley on a 2-2 pitch and Utley made another bad throw to first, but Howard dug it out to set the Dodgers down.

Lee threw 18 pitches in the inning and was up to 61 for the game.

Manny led off the fifth and swung at the first pitch, hitting a ball to right that dropped in front of Werth for a single. Lee struck Kemp out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Loney hit a 1-1 pitch to second. Utley fielded and made a nice throw to Rollins to force Ramirez for the second out with Loney safe at first. Blake grounded to short for the third out.

Just 11 pitches in the inning for Lee, who was up to 72.

Lee was up 8-0 when he started the sixth. Martin got ahead 2-0 but popped to Werth in short right for the first out. Orlando Hudson hit for Billingsley and he got ahead 2-0, too, but also flew to right. Werth took that one just in front of the track for the second out. Furcal struck out swinging 0-2 for the third out.

12 and 84.

Belliard started the seventh and singled to right on a 1-0 pitch. Ethier got behind 1-2 and hit a ground ball to second. Utley fielded and threw to first for the first out with Belliard safe at second. Manny struck out swinging 3-2. Kemp struck out swinging 3-2.

Nineteen pitches in the inning for Lee had him at 103 for the game.

He threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Loney struck out looking. Blake flew to right on an 0-1 pitch. Martin struck out swinging 1-2.

114 pitches in the game for Lee.

Durbin started the ninth with an 11-0 lead and set the Dodgers down in order. Mark Loretta lined to left for the first out. Furcal grounded to second for the second. Belliard fouled out to Ruiz to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda 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.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first and flew to right on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Victorino was next and singled to right 1-0. He stole second as the count went 2-1 on Utley. Utley singled into right on a 3-1 pitch, sending Victorino to third. It brought up Howard with two men on and Howard lined a 3-1 pitch into right field for a bases clearing triple that put the Phils up 2-0. Werth was next and blasted a 2-1 pitch out to center. 4-0 with Chad Billingsley warming in the LA pen. Ibanez got ahead 3-0 but struck out swinging. Feliz grounded to third to end the inning.

Kuroda threw 29 pitches in the inning.

Ruiz started the second and hammered a 1-1 pitch from Kuroda into the gap in left-center for a double. Lee bunted him to third for the first out. Rollins was next and he grounded a 3-1 pitch past a diving Loney and down the first base line for a double. Ruiz scored and it was 5-0. That was it for Kuroda and lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino walked on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Utley. Elbert’s 1-0 offering to Utley was in the dirt and Martin couldn’t handle it, allowing the runners to move to second and third. Utley went on to walk on a 3-1 pitch, loading the bases for Howard. Howard swung at the first pitch and hit a dribbler to first. Loney took it and tagged Howard out for the second out as Rollins scored to make it 6-0. Righty Chad Billingsley came in to pitch to Werth and struck Werth out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

Billingsley was back to pitch the third and set the Phillies down in order. Ibanez got ahead 2-0 and hit a ball hard, but on the ground to Belliard at second for the first out. Feliz grounded softly to short and Ruiz flew to right.

Lee flew to center to start the fourth. Rollins was next and he did the same, making it six in a row for Billingsley. Victorino was next and broke the string, walking on a 3-1 pitch that was outside. Utley laced a ball down the right field line but just foul before he grounded softly to second to end the inning.

Billingsley had thrown 30 pitches in the game.

Howard flew to right for the first out of the fifth. Werth got ahead 2-0 but went down swinging for the second out. Ibanez drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch and Feliz followed with the first hit off of Billingsley for the Phils as he blasted a triple off of the right field scoreboard for a triple. Ibanez scored to put the Phils up 7-0. Ruiz was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch into right-center for a single. Feliz scored and it was 8-0. Lee struck out for the third out.

Righty Ramon Troncoso pitched the sixth for LA. He struck Rollins out looking 2-2 and then Victorino swinging 1-2. Utley crushed a 1-0 pitch to center, but Kemp took it at the wall to set the Phillies down.

Troncoso was back for the seventh. He walked Howard on four pitches. Werth was next and he draw a walk as well. Ibanez struck out swinging 3-2, though, and Feliz chopped a double-play ball to third to end the inning.

Righty Ronald Belisario started the eighth for LA with the Phils up 8-0. Ruiz led off with a walk and moved to second when Lee followed with a single to center. Rollins grounded out to first for the first out, moving the runners to second and third. Victorino was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch from Belisario way out to right, putting the Phils up 11-0. Utley followed with a single and went to second on a passed ball with Howard at the plate. Howard grounded to first for the second out, with Utley moving to third. Werth grounded out to third to end the inning.

Thanks to some nice work by Billingsley, the Dodgers pen didn’t suffer too terribly from Kuroda getting just four outs. Billingsley threw 57 pitches in the game, Troncoso 36 and Belisario 28. Billingsley seems sure not to pitch tonight, but that could help the Phils out if we see Troncoso or Belisario in game four.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 2-for-14 in the series.

Victorino 2-for-3 with two walks and a three-run homer. 4-for-12 with two walks in the series.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and no throwing errors. 3-for-12 with two walks so far.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk, a triple and three RBI. 4-for-10 with a double, a triple, a home run, three walks and six RBI in the series.

Werth 1-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer. 1-for-10 with two walks and five strikeouts.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-10 with a big home run in the series.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI last night and is 1-for-10 with a walk in the series.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI. 5-for-8 with a double, a home run and three walks in the series to put his line at 625/727/1.125. Howard’s amazing post-season may be blocking out what Ruiz has been doing with the bat, but Ruiz has been outstanding as well.

Rollins, Utley, Feliz and Werth are a combined 7-for-46 (.152) in the series with four RBI. Victorino, Howard, Ibanez and Ruiz are a combined 15-for-40 (.375) with 16 RBI.

Game four is tonight with Joe Blanton facing Randy Wolf.


Only the names, and the fact that the Dodgers are much, much better now, have changed

If it seems like you’ve seen the NLCS between the Phils and Dodgers before it’s because you have. A lot has changed over the past year, though, and the most important among them is that the Dodgers have gotten a lot better. After going 84-78 in 2008, the Dodgers posted the best record in the NL in 2009 at 95-67.

The wins aren’t the only thing that improved for LA this year. Here’s a look at the runs scored by the Dodgers and Phils for this year and 2008:


Team

Runs Scored

NL Rank

’09 LA

780
4

’09 PHI

820
1
     

’08 LA

700

13

’08 PHI

799
3

The Phillies hit in both years compared to the other teams in the National League. The Dodgers were third in runs scored this year, but thirteenth in 2008.

LA was fantastic at preventing runs in both ’08 and ’09. The Phillies allowed 29 more runs in ’09 than they did in ’08 and their rank in the NL dropped from third to sixth:


Team

Runs Allowed

NL Rank

’09 LA

611

T-1

’09 PHI

709
6
     

’08 LA

648
1

’08 PHI

680
3

In 2008 the Phillies scored 799 runs and allowed 680. So they scored 119 more runs than they allowed. In ’09 they scored 820 and allowed 709, which is the difference of a pretty similar 111.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, scored 700 and allowed 648 in 2008, for a difference of 52 runs. This year they scored 780 and allowed 611, which is the difference of a pretty dissimilar 169.

I don’t think there’s much of an argument to be made that the Phillies were better than the Dodgers in 2009. They weren’t. The Dodgers were better. What I’m not sure about is how much it matters. A big part of why the Dodgers were better for the year is that they went 35-17 in April and May. That’s pretty awesome, but it’s also a long time ago. The Phillies are World Champs and if you watched game four of the NLDS it’s a little hard to deny that their magic is alive and well.

At the same time, the Dodgers won more games than the Phillies this year. Their offense was a little worse than the Phillies, but still among the best in the league, while their pitching was much better. They come off an impressive sweep of the Cardinals. They went 4-3 against the Phillies this year without a single plate appearance from Manny Ramirez.

I do think the Phillies will win the series, but it is going to be a tight one.

Here’s a look back at the series from last year:

Hamels started game one last year against Derek Lowe. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but Victorino led off the bottom of the sixth and hit a ground ball to Furcal and Furcal threw it away. Utley followed with a home run to tie the game at 2-2 and Burrell hit a solo shot two batters later, putting the Phils on top to stay at 3-2.

Brett Myers and Chad Billingsley faced off in game two. Myers threw behind Manny in the first inning and a Loney double in the second helped put LA up 1-0. A Myers single helped the Phillies score four times in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 4-1. Loney had another big hit off of Myers in the third, an RBI-single that made it 4-2. The Phils extended their lead to 8-2 with four more runs in the bottom of the third, which featured Chan Ho Park striking out Rollins for the second out of the inning. That should have been it for the game, but LA got back into it in the top of the fourth. With two outs and nobody on, Furcal struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning. Ruiz didn’t block the ball, though, and Furcal was safe at first. Martin followed with a single before Manny hit a three-run homer to make it 8-5. The lead stood up for the Phils, thanks to Durbin, Romero, Lidge and Madson, who combined to throw four shutout innings.

Game three was the game the Phillies lost, falling 7-2 in LA. Moyer got the start and the Dodgers scored five times against him in the bottom of the first. Five of the first six Dodgers hitters to face Moyer reached base before he struck out Kemp for the second out of the inning with the bases loaded. He looked like he was going to get out of it down 2-0, but Blake DeWitt cleared the bases with a three-run triple that made it 5-0. A leadoff double by Howard helped the Phils cut the lead to 5-1 in the top of the second, but Moyer didn’t make it out of the bottom of the second. Furcal led off the bottom of the second with a homer that made it 6-1. Nomar Garciaparra extended the lead to 7-1 with an RBI-single off of Happ in the bottom of the fourth. Burrell drove in Utley with a single in the seventh for the Phillies other run.

Coming off of Myers throwing behind Ramirez in game one, LA starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a ball near the head of Shane Victorino in game three. It led to a bench-clearing incident after Victorino grounded out to end the inning.

Game four changed the series thanks to a late home run from Matt Stairs. Utley and Howard drove in runs off of Lowe in the top of the first, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Blake homered off of Blanton in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 2-1. Blanton protected the one-run lead until LA hit in the bottom of the fifth. Furcal led off with a walk and moved to second when Ethier followed with a bloop single. Ramirez followed with an RBI-single (2-2) and a ground out by Martin brought in Ethier to make it 3-2. Howard led off the sixth with a walk and came in to score on a wild pitch by Park to tie the game at 3-3. Blake led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer off of Durbin, though, making it 4-3, and a throwing error by Howard on a bunt by Furcal helped the Dodgers score another run to extend the lead to 5-3. That score held till the top of the eighth, when Howard led off with a single. Victorino followed two batters later and lined a ball out to right off of Corey Wade, tying the game at 5-5. Feliz flew out for the second out, but Ruiz delivered a two-out single off of Jonathan Broxton and Stairs followed and connected for a mammoth homer to put the Phils up 7-5. Romero and Lidge kept LA off the board in the eighth and the ninth.

It was hard to imagine LA coming back from Stairs dagger. They didn’t. Hamels outpitched Billingsley in game five with the Phillies winning 5-1. Rollins was the first batter of the game and he put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run to center. Howard and Burrell had RBI-singles in the third, making it 3-0. Furcal had an inning to forget in the fifth, making three errors as the Phils extended the lead to 5-0. Manny Ramirez homered off of Hamels with two outs in the sixth to get LA their only run of the game.

Kendrick and Myers are off the Phillies roster for the NLCS and have been replaced by Chan Ho Park and Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett and Cairo are a lot of similar guys to have on your roster, especially since it means going with 11 pitchers. I think that’s a bad decision — I would rather have seen them carry 12 pitchers and just one of Bruntlett and Cairo given the bullpen struggles and the fact that I would be pretty worried about Park since he hasn’t pitched for the Phils since September 16.

On the other hand, if they weren’t comfortable with letting Kendrick pitch they shouldn’t have him on the roster. You should try to have 12 pitchers in your organization you feel okay about putting into a game, though. Cairo and Bruntlett both is a lot of Cairos and Bruntletts. Condrey and Walker sure must be wondering what is going on.

My guess is that the thinking here may be to try to put another right-handed bat on the bench out of fear of the lefties in the bullpen for the Dodgers, Kuo and Sherrill. Those guys are scary, but if that’s the reasoning I think the Phils may have overthought this one. If it is about putting another righty on the bench, I wonder if they considered Mayberry instead of Bruntlett. It sure seems like he would provoke a bit more worry in the Dodgers since he can hit the ball out of the yard.

This article suggests Pedro Martinez may start game two. I am hoping for Blanton and Pedro in game four. Blanton was 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio in three post-season starts in the post-season in 2008. Manuel’s seeming reluctance to start him is curious to me. It no doubt has a lot to do with fear of his bullpen, but I’d just let him start.

There have been many technical problems with Philliesflow over the past few days. If the site goes down again for a long period of time, I may post at philliesflow.wordpress.com and would let people know where to find the site via the Philliesflow Twitter page.


And if someone can just tell Fonzie we’re keeping the Liberty Bell, too, I think we can call that a wrap

Henry Winkler, best known from his years on Happy Days, read the Dodgers lineup on FOX to kick off game five of the NLCS. The diehard Dodger fan ended his reading by suggesting that Philadelphia could keep the Liberty Bell, but LA was taking the game. The Fonz is a pretty cool cat, but there was nobody in the stadium cooler than Cole Hamels last night. Hamels gave the Phils his third fantastic start of the post-season, holding LA to a run over seven innings. All Police Officer Kirk could manage off of him was a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth. And Kirk never could play short.

After the heart-breaking blast that Matt Stairs delivered the Dodgers in the eighth-inning of game three, there were a lot of people who saw the Phillies finishing off the series as a formality. Jimmy Rollins got it going pretty quickly, leading off the game, like he did when the Phillies won game four of the NLDS to beat the Brewers, with a home run. The Phillies scored two more in the third and another pair of runs in a fifth inning that featured three errors by Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Five runs was more than Hamels would need. And when he departed after seven strong innings, Madson and Lidge looked just as fantastic as they have all post-season. After two shutdown frames last night, they’ve combined to throw 16 1/3 playoff innings in which they allowed two earned runs (1.10 ERA) on twelve hits and four walks (0.98 ratio) while striking out 16.

The Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, winning 5-1 to take the NLCS four games to one. The Phils will play either the Red Sox or the Devil Rays in the World Series, which starts on Wednesday.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run by Ramirez. Hamels struck out five.

Hamels has made three playoff starts for the Phillies in 2008, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and an 0.82 ratio. In 22 innings he has struck out 22.

The Dodger lineup against Hamels went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3) Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Martin (C/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Blake (3B/R) (7) Kemp (CF/R) (8) DeWitt (2B/L). That’s the same lineup that faced Hamels in game one with Blake and Kemp switched in the six and seven holes.

The Dodgers started the game with six hitters on their bench: Kent (R), Berroa (R), Ardoin (R), Ozuna (R), Garciaparra (R) and Pierre (L).

Hamels started the first with a 1-0 lead and got Furcal to ground a 1-1 pitch to short for the first out. Ethier popped a fly ball into right for the second out before Ramirez walked on a 3-1 pitch outside. Martin grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Fifteen pitches for Hamels in the first.

Loney singled into center on a 1-2 pitch to start the second. Blake flew to right for the first out before Kemp moved Loney to second with a single to right. DeWitt swung at the first pitch and hit into a double-play ball to second to end the inning. Ten pitches in the inning had Hamels at 25.

Pablo Ozuna hit for pitcher Chan Ho Park and tried to bunt for a hit, but Hamels took the ball and threw to first for the first out with the Phils up 3-0. Furcal popped to second and Ethier struck out swinging. Ten more pitches for Hamels. Thirty-five for the game.

Manny struck out the first pitch in the fourth and grounded to third. Martin grounded back to Hamels for the second out. Hamels struck Loney out on three pitches to end the inning. Just eight pitches in the inning for Hamels. 43.

Blake started the fifth with a single into center and moved to second when Kemp hit a 2-2 pitch into left field for another single. DeWitt was next and hit a 2-1 pitch hard, but right at Utley at second. Utley and Rollins turned the double-play, leaving Blake at third with two down. Kent hit for Greg Maddux and struck out swinging 0-2 to end the inning. Fifteen pitches in the inning and 58 for the game for Hamels.

Second time in the game Hamels got out of a jam by getting DeWitt to hit into a big double-play.

Furcal grounded to second for the first out of the sixth. Ethier was next and drove a 2-2 pitch to left field, but Burrell made a nice running catch near the corner for the second out. It left the bases empty for Manny and saved the Phils a run, cause Ramirez hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the lead to 5-1. Martin was infuriated when he went down looking at a 3-2 pitch that may have been low. Twenty pitches for Hamels in the inning. 78.

Ramirez was 8-for-15 (533/682/1.067) in the series with two doubles, two home runs and seven walks.

Loney led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch into center that Victorino took for the first out. Blake drove a ball into right center that Victorino caught just before he bumped into the wall. Hamels got ahead of Kemp 0-2, but walked him on a 3-2 pitch way low and outside. Nomar Garciaparra hit for the pitcher James McDonald and Hamels again got ahead of him 0-2 and couldn’t put him away, walking him on a high 3-2 pitch. Manuel came out to talk to Hamels and left him in the game to pitch to the righty Kent with the pitcher’s spot due to lead off the eighth for the Phils. Kent struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner. Twenty-six pitches in the inning for Hamels, 104 for he game.

Manuel almost never comes out to the mound without taking out the pitcher.

Madson started the eighth up 5-1. Furcal led off and shattered his bat hitting a soft liner that Utley made a diving catch on for the first out. Ethier popped a 1-0 pitch into right for the second out. Ramirez again hit with the bases empty. Madson threw a 1-0 fastball past a swinging Ramirez and then a high 1-1 fastball that Ramirez swung under. Ramirez hit a 2-2 pitch on the ground to the left of Rollins. The ball went off of Rollins’ glove and into center field for a single. Ramirez took second on defensive indifference as the count went 1-1 on Martin. Martin hit a slow check-swing roller to first. Howard took it to the bag to end the inning.

Fantastic inning for Madson, who was throwing unusually hard. Fox’s radar gun had him at 97 several times, which is way high for a guy usually topping out in the low 90′s.

Lidge started the ninth with a 5-1 lead. He got ahead of Loney 0-2 before Loney blooped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Blake flailed at a 1-1 slider and then flew to center on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Kemp crushed a 2-0 pitch to straight away center, but Victorino took it just in front of the wall for the second out. Loney took second as Lidge delivered ball one to Garciaparra. Garciaparra popped a 3-2 pitch up foul down the third base line where Ruiz took it to send the Phillies to the World Series.

Two more scoreless innings for the Phillies pen. Both Madson and Lidge have a long time to rest.

Fantastic series for Phillies relievers as they allow three runs in 18 2/3 innings. One of the runs was unearned — two earned runs in 18 2/3 innings is an 0.96 ERA. They struck out 17.

Lidge and Madson carried the bulk of the weight. Madson threw five scoreless innings and Lidge didn’t allow a run in 4 1/3. Both of them looked just fantastic doing it, too. Romero, Eyre and Condrey combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings as well. Romero made three appearances in which he didn’t allow a hit but walked three. Eyre made two appearances without allowing a hit but walking one while Condrey allowed a walk in 2/3 of an inning in the only game he pitched in. Happ pitched three innings in relief of Moyer in game three and allowed a run on four hits and two walks. Durbin was the guy who was hit hard. He made three appearances, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over two innings.

The Dodger pen pitched well again last night, holding the Phils to two unearned runs over 6 1/3 innings. They were fantastic in the series with the notable exception of game four.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz gets the start at third with Dobbs on the bench this time, and Victorino hits sixth with Werth hitting second. Otherwise it’s the same lineup the Phillies used against Billingsley in game two.

The Phils started the game with six players on their bench: Coste (R), Taguchi (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the game and quickly got behind 0-2. Billingsley couldn’t put him away, though, and on the eighth pitch of the at-bat Rollins drove a 3-2 offering out to right-center to put the Phillies up 1-0. Werth followed with a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was high and outside, but Utley was next and hit a ground ball to first. Loney took it and tagged first, then threw to second. Werth went into Furcal hard, but Furcal tagged him out to complete the double-play. Furcal limped around after Werth’s slide, apparently with an injured left ankle, but stayed in the game. Howard grounded to first for the third out.

Burrell waived at an inside 1-2 pitch to start the second. Victorino followed with a strikeout of his own before Feliz lined a 2-1 pitch into left for a single. Ruiz flew to center to leave him stranded.

Hamels struck out swinging for the first out of the third. Rollins was next and he drew a walk on five pitches. Rollins stole second, just barely sliding in safely, as the count went 1-2 on Werth. Werth struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt for the second out. Utley walked on an inside 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second for Howard. Billingsley blew a 1-1 fastball past a swinging Howard, but delivered a 2-2 curveball that Howard drilled past Loney and into right field. Rollins scored from second to put the Phils up 2-0 with Utley going to third. Burrell followed and singled into right-center. Utley scored and Howard went to third with the Phils up 3-0. Billingsley’s 1-0 pitch to Victorino was in the dirt and under Martin’s glove. Howard held third and Burrell went to second. With first base now open and Victorino ahead 2-0, LA walked Victorino intentionally to load the bases for Feliz. Chan Ho Park came in to pitch to Feliz. Park got Feliz to ground to third to end the frame.

Greg Maddux started the fourth. Ruiz flew to right for the first out. Hamels struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch. Rollins struck out looking 2-2 as well to set the Phillies down.

Werth singled to left to start the fifth. Utley was next and he hit a ground ball to Loney at first. Loney would have had the double-play, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and his throw to second was a little slow. Werth was out at second, but Utley beat the relay and was safe at first. Howard moved Utley to second with a single to right and brought up Burrell with two men on and one out. Burrell hit a 1-2 pitch to short, where Furcal tried to backhand the ball but didn’t field it cleanly. It dropped out of his glove and onto his shoe and rolled away. Utley scored from second to make it 4-0. Furcal tracked the ball down and threw home, but his throw to the plate was wild. Two errors on the play by Furcal. Howard wound up on third and Burrell on second. Victorino was again walked intentionally, loading the bases for Feliz with one out. Feliz struck out swinging at a high 1-2 fastball for the second out. Ruiz hit a routine ground ball to short. This time Furcal fielded it fine but his throw to first was terrible, in the dirt for another error. Howard scored and it was 5-0. Just for giggles, Loney picked the ball up and threw it wildly in the direction of, well, I don’t know. It was sort of like he was torn between throwing it wildly to home and wildly into the Dodgers’ dugout and went with a tweener. Burrell had turned back to third thinking the play was over. Hamels grounded to first for the third out.

Two is too many times in a game to walk Victorino intentionally. Feliz had left six men stranded through five innings. Not a good inning for Furcal.

James McDonald started the sixth for the Dodgers. Rollins led off and tried to bunt for a hit and was thrown out by the pitcher. Werth grounded out to second for the second out. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

McDonald walked Howard to start the seventh. Burrell swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and popped to third. Victorino singled into right and Howard moved to second. Just two men on for Feliz this time and he struck out. Martin threw to first after the strikeout and the ball hit Victorino in the ribs as the dove back to the base. Ruiz chopped to third to end the frame.

Eight men left on base for Feliz.

James McDonald threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Phils in the series, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Lefty Joe Beimel started the eighth. Taguchi hit for Hamels and grounded to Blake, now playing second, for the first out. Cory Wade came in to pitch to Rollins. Rollins grounded to second as well. Werth grounded to third for the third out.

The Phillies do not have a good option when it comes to a right-handed pinch-hitter off the bench, as evidenced by Taguchi leading off the eighth.

Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo started the ninth for LA. Utley struck out trying to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch that was very high. Howard singled into right on a 3-1 pitch. Bruntlett was next, having entered in the seventh to play left, and hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and a home run. The home run was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. 3-for-21 (.143) with a home run, two walks and eight strikeouts in the series. He on-based .217 at the top of the Phillies lineup.

Werth was 1-for-4 last night. 4-for-21 (190/227/238) with a double and a walk in the series. Struck out seven times.

Utley 0-for-4 with a walk. 6-for-17 (353/522/647) with two doubles, a home run and six walks in the series.

Howard 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-20 (300/391/350) with a double and three walks in the series. Struck out just twice.

Burrell 1-for-4 with an RBI and a ground ball to Furcal in the game. 6-for-18 (333/368/500) with a home run, one walk and seven strikeouts in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-2 with two walks last night. 4-for-18 (222/300/500) with a triple, a home run and a team-high six RBI.

Feliz was 1-for-4 in the game and left eight men on base. 2-for-13 (154/214/154) with two singles in the series. He went 2-for-10 with San Francisco in the post-seasons of 2002 and 2003 and now has a career post-season line of 194/216/278 in 36 at-bats. Dobbs did not play last night but was 3-for-6 (500/571/667) with a double in the series.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 last night. 5-for-16 (313/353/375) with a double in the series. Coste was 1-for-1 in the series.

No game today. Game one of the World Series will be away for the Phillies, either in Boston or Florida.


Myers, Phils’ offense come up with an October surprise for Billingsley

The Phillies got an offensive explosion yesterday, which isn’t that surprising. What was surprising was the source. Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell and Werth combined to go 3-for-19 without an RBI, but the Phillies scored eight runs in the game. Shane Victorino and pitcher Brett Myers combined to go 5-for-8 with seven RBI.

After a memorable at-bat against CC Sabathia in game two of the NLDS, Myers again shined at the plate in game two of the NLCS. He was 3-for-3 with the bat in the game and drove in three runs. He has two RBI in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 regular seasons combined.

All three of Myers’ hits came on the first pitch of his at-bat. He saw three pitches in the contest.

The Phils were all over Dodgers’ started Chad Billingsley, who didn’t make it out of the third. The Phils started the fourth up 8-2. They should have cruised from there, but the problem was that Myers wasn’t pitching quite as well as he was hitting. He allowed a three-run homer to Manny in the fourth, which got the Dodgers back in the game. LA brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but the Phils’ pen was again up to the task. In the first two games of the series, neither pen has been charged with a run.

The Phillies beat the Dodgers in game two of the NLCS yesterday, winning 8-5. The Phillies lead the best-of-seven series two games to none.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on six hits and four walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six.

The Dodger lineup against Myers went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Martin (C/R) (3) Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Ethier (RF/L) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Kemp (CF/R) (7) DeWitt (2B/L) (8) Blake (3B/R). Ethier hits cleanup after hitting second against the lefty Hamels in game one. Martin moves to second in the order from fourth. Blake and DeWitt both stay in the lineup, but flip-flop the seven and eight spots in the order.

The Dodgers started the game with six hitters on their bench: Kent (R), Berroa (R), Ardoin (R), Ozuna (R), Garciaparra (R) and Pierre (L).

Furcal led off the first for the Dodgers and showed bunt at the first pitch but took strike one. He flew to left on the next pitch for the first out. Martin was next and Myers knocked him down with a 1-2 pitch that was up and in. Martin struck out swinging on the next pitch for the second out. Myers delivered a 1-0 pitch to Ramirez that was behind him. Ramirez went down swinging 3-2 to set the Dodgers down. Thirteen pitches in the first inning for Myers.

Ethier led off the second and hit a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Myers quickly got two strikes on Loney, but didn’t get a close call 0-2. With the count even at 2-2, Loney drilled a ball to deep right and off the top of the wall. Loney had a double and Ethier went to third. Myers struck Kemp out swinging 1-2 for the first out. DeWitt grounded a 1-1 pitch slowly to first for the second out, but Ethier came in to score to put the Dodgers up 1-0 and Loney moved to third. Myers walked Blake intetionally to get to the pitcher Billingsley, putting men on first and third with two down. Billingsley flew to right to leave the runners stranded. Twenty-four pitches in the inning for Myers put him at 37 for the game.

Furcal bunted the first pitch of his at-bat back to the mound for the first out in the third with the Phillies up 4-1. Myers walked Martin on a 3-2 pitch before Ramirez popped to Utley for the second out. Ethier walked on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Myers. Loney was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch into center for a single, scoring Martin to cut the lead to 4-2 with Ethier going to second. Kemp was next and hit a ground ball to third that Dobbs didn’t handle, loading the bases with two outs for DeWitt. Myers struck DeWitt out swinging at a 2-2 curveball to leave the bases loaded.

Awful inning for Myers, who had to work around the error by Dobbs but walked two men to get himself into trouble. Twenty-seven pitches in the inning put him at 64.

Myers started the fourth up 8-2. Blake led off with a single into left. Kent was next, he had entered in the bottom of the third with McDonald to play second, and he hit a 1-2 pitch hard to short, but Rollins took it on one hop and started a double-play that cleared the bases. Furcal struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch, but Ruiz failed to block the ball and it got away from him. Furcal took first and the inning continued. Martin followed with a single into left, moving Furcal to second. It brought Manny to the plate with a chance to get LA back in the game and he did just that, hitting a 1-1 pitch just out to left. Not a terrible pitch from Myers or an easy one to hit out, the ball was a little high and inside. Myers struck Ethier out swinging 1-2.

Big mistake by Ruiz helps cost the Phillies three runs. The home run from Ramirez made the game close again and meant the Phils would have to go to their pen for four innings after starting the fourth with a six run lead. Nineteen pitches for Myers in the inning, nine of which came after Furcal reached on his strikeout, had him at 83 for the game.

Loney flew to left for the first out of the fifth, but Kemp followed with a walk. The pitcher James McDonald hit for himself with one out and a man on first and the Dodgers down three. He hit a slow ground ball to short and Rollins tossed to Utley to get one but the ball was hit too slowly to get two. Blake flew to right for the third out, leaving McDonald stranded at first. Nineteen pitches again for Myers, putting him at 102.

Durbin started the sixth up 8-5. Kent led off and hit the first pitch of his at-bat hard again, but Werth took it in right for the first out. Furcal reached on an infield single, but Martin and Ramirez both flew to right to leave him stranded.

Great to see Durbin have a solid inning.

Romero started the seventh with lefties Ethier and Loney due to lead off. He got them both, getting Ethier on a ground ball to Feliz, who had just entered the game, for the first out and Loney swinging on three pitches for the second. The righty Kemp was next and Romero walked him on a 3-2 pitch. Righty Nomar Garciaparra hit for the pitcher McDonald and Manuel called on Madson to pitch to him. Garciaparra singled into right and Kemp took third, bringing Blake to the plate as the tying run. Blake got ahead 1-0 and then drove a ball deep to left-center. Victorino raced towards the ball, reaching out to feel for the wall then jumping up to make the catch and end the inning.

Great play by Victorino to get to the ball and time the jump.

Madson gave the Phillies another great inning in the eighth, setting the Dodgers down 1-2-3. He got Kent to ground to second and then struck out Furcal and Martin.

Lidge started the ninth up 8-5 and walked Ramirez on five pitches. He struck the lefty Ethier out swinging on three pitches for the first out, Ramirez took second on defensive indifference. Lidge got behind the lefty Loney 3-0 before Loney walked on a 3-2 pitch. It put men on first and second with one and brought Kemp to the plate as the tying run. Kemp struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Garciaparra was next and Lidge got him swinging at an 0-2 pitch way outside and low to end the game.

Four scoreless innings for the pen in the game. They allowed two hits, a single off of Durbin by Furcal and a single off of Madson by Garciaparra, and three walks. Everyone should be well-rested by Sunday with today’s off day.

The LA pen went 5 2/3 innings without allowing a run. They allowed three hits and five walks. McDonald was particularly impressive, throwing 3 1/3 innings and striking out five while allowing two hits and a walk. McDonald threw 60 pitches in the game, which may keep him off the field on Sunday. The LA starter Billingsley only threw 59. Kershaw threw 18 pitches in relief, suggesting that we may see Maddux rather than Kershaw starting game four.

Neither bullpen has been charged with a run in the series. They have combined to throw 14 2/3 innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs at third, getting his second start of the post-season. Burrell gets the start in left on his 32nd birthday. Ruiz catches again. Coste was behind the plate for the Phillies most often when Myers started, he was catching for about 77% of the batters that Myers faced this year.

The Phils started the game with six players on their bench: Coste (R), Taguchi (R), Bruntlett (R), Feliz (R), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the first and went down swinging 2-2. Victorino lined the first pitch of his at-bat into right, where Ethier took it for the second out. Utley walked on five pitches, putting a man on first for Howard. Howard flailed at the first two pitches before Billingsley delivered ball one in the dirt. He struck out swinging at a 1-2 breaking ball to end the inning.

Billingsley struck out Burrell and then Werth to start the second. Dobbs was next and he hit a weird flair that dropped right behind second base and went for a single. Ruiz was next and he ripped a 2-1 pitch into the gap in left-center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall for a double, allowing Dobbs to score from first and tie the game at 1-1. Myers was swinging at the first pitch of his at-bat and singled into center, plating Ruiz to put the Phils up 2-1. Rollins was next and he singled into center. Myers rounded second and headed for third, where he would have been out by a lot, by Kemp bobbled the ball in center and Myers was safe at third and Rollins able to move up to second. Kemp was charged with an error on the play and it was a big one, cause Victorino was next and he singled into center, scoring both runners and putting the Phillies up 4-1. Utley walked to put men on first and second, but Howard left them stranded. He struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

Huge bobble in center by Kemp, who probably would have thrown Myers out at third and ended the inning without the bobble. With two outs, Dobbs gets it started and the Phils go single, double, single, single, single, walk, strikeout.

Burrell singled to start the third with the Phils up 4-2. He went to third when Werth doubled into the corner in left. Dobbs was walked intentionally to load the bases for Ruiz. Ruiz hit a ground ball to first and Loney came home to force Burrell for the first out. Myers was next and again hit the first pitch of his at-bat, lining a ball between a diving Loney and the first base line. Werth and Dobbs scored, putting the Phils up 6-2, and Ruiz took third. Chan Ho Park took over for Billingsley and struck out Rollins for the second out. Victorino was next and he lined a 2-2 pitch into right, where Ethier took a bizarre angle on the ball and it got passed the right fielder. Victorino stormed around the bases for a triple. Two more runs scored and the Phils led 8-2. Lefty Joe Beimel came in to pitch, and walked both Utley and Howard. It loaded the bases for Burrell and righty James McDonald came in to pitch to him. Burrell struck out looking at a 1-2 pitch.

Great inning for the Phils, but both Ruiz and Rollins were unable to bring a runner in from third with less than two outs. Beimel did not do well with his first chance of the series against the Phillies lefties.

McDonald struck out Werth to start the fourth before Dobbs singled. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out with Dobbs forced at second. For the third time in the game, Myers swung at the first pitch and got a hit. This one was a dribbler down the third base line that moved Ruiz to second. Rollins struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

With the lead cut to 8-5, Victorino flew to right for the first out of the fifth before Utley walked on four pitches. Howard grounded to first for the second out with Utley moving to second. McDonald got Burrell swinging again to set the Phils down.

McDonald threw a 1-2-3 sixth, getting Werth on a fly ball to center, Dobbs swinging and Ruiz on a ground ball to second.

Clayton Kershaw threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He got Feliz to fly to right, Rollins on a strikeout swinging with Martin throwing to first to record the out and Victorino on a popup to short.

Kershaw returned to start the eighth to pitch to Utley and Howard. He got them both, getting Utley on a fly ball to center and Howard on a fly ball to left. Bruntlett, who had entered in the top of the inning to play left, drew a walk. Cory Wade came in to pitch to Werth and lined to third on an 0-2 pitch.

The LA pen has thrown 8 2/3 innings in the series. Wade and Broxton have combined to get one out. It’s worked out great for them, but I’m surprised they didn’t use those guys more with the off day today.

Rollins was 1-for-5, struck out four times and left four men on base. 1-for-9 with seven men left on base in the series.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a triple and four RBI. 2-for-9 in the series.

Utley 0-for-1 with four walks in the game. 2-for-5 with a home run in the series.

Howard 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and four men left on base. 0-for-8 in the first two games.

Burrell 1-for-4 with three strikeouts and four men left on base. 3-for-7.

Werth 1-for-5 with a double and two strikeouts. 1-for-8.

Dobbs 2-for-3 in the game and in the set. Feliz 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-3 with a walk in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 3-for-7 in the series.

No game today. Jamie Moyer (16-7, 3.71) faces righty Hiroki Kuroda (9-10, 3.73) in game three on Sunday night. The 33-year-old Kuroda pitched well for the Dodgers this season and was especailly effective down the stretch. In 11 starts in August and September, Kuroda went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.04 ratio. In 14 starts after the All-Star break to end the regular season, Kuroda allowed just three home runs in 78 1/3 innings.

He doesn’t give up the walk. Hasn’t walked more than two batters in a game in any of his last 18 starts.

He started game three of the NLDS in LA, which the Dodgers won 3-1, and held the Cubs to six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies faced him twice this season and Kuroda handled them both times, holding them to two earned runs over 13 innings (1.38 ERA) while allowing just four hits and two walks (0.46 ratio) and striking out 12. The Phillies hit .095 against him. On August 14 he got the win in LA, holding the Phils to a run on two hits, doubles by Werth and Utley, over seven innings as the Dodgers won the game 3-1. On August 24, Feliz hit a three-run homer off of Jason Johnson in the bottom of the eleventh to win the game, but again Kuroda pitched well. He went six innings, allowing two singles and two walks.

Rollins, Howard and Burrell combined to go 0-for-16 against him this season. Ruiz was 1-for-2 with a double and Werth 1-for-4 with a double. Utley 2-for-6 with a double.

After fantastic performances in critical games for the Phils in 2007 and 2008, Moyer finally had a bad start in game three of the NLDS. He lasted just four innings before the Phils hit for him in the top of the fifth in Milwaukee, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. He pitched a little worse than his line, needing 90 pitches to get through four frames.

Moyer was dramatically better away from home this season. He threw to a 4.61 ERA with a 1.47 ratio in 16 starts away from Citizens Bank Park with going 10-3 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.20 ratio in 17 starts away.

Moyer didn’t face the Dodgers this season. Ramirez has seen him a lot over his career, though, and the numbers are ugly: 18-for-53 with ten homers (340/417/962). Blake 2-for-17 (.118). Ethier, Kemp, Loney and Martin all have less than five at-bats against him.


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