Joe Blanton faces lefty Randy Wolf tonight in game four.

The 33-year-old Wolf was very good for LA this season, throwing to a 3.23 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over 34 starts. In 214 1/3 innings he allowed just 178 hits. He was tenth in the NL in innings pitched. Lefties were helpless against him this year, posting a 159/217/200 line for the season. They had four extra-base hits, two doubles, a triple and a home run, on the year.

Wolf was better away from Dodger Stadium than he was at it. 7-4 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.06 ratio in 16 starts away from home and 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 18 starts at home.

He faced the Phils twice this season. He was good the first time but not the second. On May 13 he held the Phils to a run over six innings as the Dodgers rolled to a 9-2 win over Moyer and the Phillies in Philadelphia. On June 7 Ruiz and Victorino both hit homers off of him in LA as the Phils won 7-2. Wolf allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings in that game, which was his only start on the year in which he allowed six or more runs.

Wolf started game one of the NLDS against the Cardinals and allowed two runs on six hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings in the only post-season start of his career. He had not walked five batters in a game in any start in the regular season.

The Phillies took Wolf in the second round of the 1997 draft. He pitched for the Phils from 1999 through 2006. His won 16 games and went to the All-Star game in 2003, but his best year may have been 2002 when he went 11-9 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.12 ratio over 31 starts. After the 2006 season he signed with the Dodgers and made 18 starts for LA in ’07. It looked like the Phillies were about to sign him as a free agent in December of 2007, but it didn’t happen. Gillick came up with this memorable quote about Wolf and the situation after it had become apparent that Wolf would sign with the Padres: “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. We went after him a couple times, and it didn’t work out last year and this year. So, it’s pretty evident that he doesn’t want to play for our team. If someone doesn’t want to be part of the team, it’s better if he plays somewhere else.” Wolf made 21 starts for the Padres in 2008 before they traded him to the Astros. He made 12 starts for the Astros before signing with the Dodgers again for the 2009 season.

Feliz is the Phillie who has faced Wolf the most over his career. He’s 5-for-17 with three home runs against him. Ruiz 4-for-6 with two doubles and a homer. Howard 1-for-9 with a double and four strikeouts. Utley 1-for-8 with four strikeouts. Werth 1-for-9 with a home run and three walks. Victorino 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. Rollins 3-for-6 with a home run. Ibanez 3-for-11 with two doubles.

Blanton made 31 starts for the Phillies this season, going 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio over 195 1/3 innings. He allowed 30 home runs, which was a career high.

He made one start against the Dodgers this season. On June 6 he pitched well, holding LA to a run on five hits and a walk over six innings, but Kuroda was a little better and LA won 3-2 on a twelfth inning home run that Ethier hit off of Durbin. Ethier also homered off of Blanton in that game, giving LA the only run they would manage off of him.

Blanton has made two appearances in the post-season for the Phillies this year, both in the NLDS against the Rockies. In game two he threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phillies down 4-0 in relief of Hamels. He also pitched in game three. In that game he entered in the bottom of the fourth in relief of Happ and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits.

He was great in the 2008 post-season, making three starts in which he went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. The worst of his three ’08 playoff starts came against the Dodgers. He started game four against Derek Lowe, which is the game where Victorino tied it with a late home run and Stairs homered off of Broxton. Blanton didn’t pitch very well in the game, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings.

Fellow former American Leaguers Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez have both faced Blanton a ton over their careers. Blake is an ugly 1-for-21 with three walks against him and Manny an ugly in a different way 14-for-25 with a double and a home run (560/600/720). Ethier 5-for-11 with two home runs. Kemp 2-for-11 with a double. Loney 5-for-8 with a walk. Martin 2-for-7 with a double.


Game four of the NLCS started with the fantastic Dodger bullpen having shut down the Phillies completely. It didn’t end that way. LA took a 5-3 lead into the eighth, but Cory Wade, after throwing 33 pitches a day before, surrendered a two-run homer to Victorino with one out in the inning. Three batters later it was Jonathan Broxton on the mound facing grizzled veteran Matt Stairs and Stairs blasted Broxton’s 3-1 fastball deep into to the night to put the Phillies on top to stay.

Two huge home runs from a Phillies team that not only offers up the standard we’re-going-to-fight-for-27-outs but has been playing that way for a long time now. The Stairs home run was something special, though, something that’s going to be hard to erase from one’s mind if one were inclined to try. The Dodgers get an off-day to think about it and I’m not sure that’s going to make it any easier. It’s not just that the ball Stairs hit went out, it’s who he hit it off of and how far out it went. It left with room to spare, a little more than was necessary to make the point. Definitive and a little mean. While Victorino’s looping liner to right just barely left the yard, nearly scraping the top of the right field fence as it cleared, the one Stairs hit seemed stuck in time and space a little longer than physics should allow. It went out leaving you to wonder if you were ever going to see anyone hit a baseball harder. It’s impossible to win a seven game series by winning three games, but I think you’d also have a hard time getting much closer than the Phillies did last night.

That’s not to say the Dodgers are done. But I do think they’re going to need something momentous of their own if they’re going to get back into the series, something bigger even than what the Phillies got last night. And while that’s not impossible, it’s hard to imagine what it might look like.

Going by ERA, the Phillies bullpen was just a little better than the LA pen this season. Phils’ relievers threw to an NL-best 3.19 ERA while the Dodgers’ bullpen ERA was 3.33, second-best in the league. They were a little better last night, too. Led by Lidge, Madson and a fabulously timed double-play that Romero got Andre Ethier to hit into in front of Manny Ramirez in the eighth, the Phillies bullpen outpitched their counterparts from Los Angeles. Along with two big swings from Victorino and Stairs, it was the difference in the game.

The Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, winning 7-5. With the win the Phils lead the best-of-seven series three games to one.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four.

Blanton faced a Dodgers lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3) Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Martin (C/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) DeWitt (2B/L) (7) Blake (3B/R) (8) Pierre (CF/L). Pierre gets his first start of the series with Kemp on the bench. Martin hits cleanup after hitting second against Myers in game two.

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

Blanton started the first with a 2-0 lead. Furcal led off with a bunt that sailed over the head of a drawn in Dobbs for a single. Ethier was next and he grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Utley tried to tag Furcal as he went by, then looked to flip to second and then threw to first to get DeWitt for the first out with Furcal safe at second. Blanton walked Ramirez intentionally to put men on first and second before he struck Martin out swinging at a 1-2 pitch. He had Loney deep in a hole but Loney drilled an 0-2 pitch off the wall in center. Furcal scored from second to cut the lead to 2-1 with Manny holding third. DeWitt hit a 2-2 pitch hard on a line, but right at Howard who took it to end the inning.

Furcal has been looking to bunt towards Dobbs whenever he has a chance. I would have walked Ramirez, too.

Twenty-one pitches in the inning for Blanton.

Blanton faced Blake to start the second and Blanton bunted the first pitch of his at-bat foul. Blake struck out looking at a 1-2 breaking ball. Pierre was next and laced a single into center. Lowe bunted the first pitch of his at-bat foul. Pierre took off on the next pitch and Lowe swung through the pitch for strike two. Ruiz’s throw beat Pierre to second and Rollins tagged him out for the second out. Lowe blooped the next pitch to center field. Rollins went out and tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball went off the heel of his glove for a single. Furcal flew to center for the third out.

Thirteen more pitches for Blanton had him at 34 for the game.

Ethier grounded to second to start the third. Ramirez followed with a walk. Martin was next and grounded to short, but not hard enough to get the double-play. Rollins threw to second for the second out with Martin safe at first. Loney singled past a diving Utley for his second hit of the game, this one a single that send Martin to third. DeWitt swung at the first pitch and hit a soft fly ball into left that Burrell appeared to lose for a moment, but found and caught to end the inning. Sixteen pitches for Blanton, 50 for the game.

Blake struck out swinging 2-2 to start the fourth. Pierre lined a 2-2 pitch to Dobbs for the second out. Lowe went down looking for the third. Seventeen pitches for Blanton. 67.

Furcal led off the fifth and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Ethier was next and he blooped a 2-2 pitch into left-center for a single that sent Furcal to second. Manny was next and he roped the first pitch he saw into left. Burrell threw home as Furcal ran through the stop sign at third and slid in just safe to tie the game at 2-2. Ethier went to third and Ramirez took second. Martin was next and Blanton got ahead of him 1-2, but Martin grounded to short and Ethier came in to score and make it 3-2 with one out and Ramirez on second. Blanton walked Loney intentionally and stayed in to face the lefty DeWitt. DeWitt hit into a double-play to second to end the inning. After throwing 24 pitches in the inning, Blanton had thrown 91 for the game.

Durbin started the sixth with the game tied at 3-3. Temporarily. Blake led off and hit a 1-2 pitch out to left to put LA up 4-3. Pierre was next and he doubled into left-center. Matt Kemp hit for the pitcher Joe Beimel and wanted to bunt, but Durbin walked him. Eyre came in to pitch to Furcal. Furcal bunted up the first base line. Howard fielded, looked to third and then threw to first but wildly. The ball went off of Utley’s glove and Furcal took second. Pierre scored to make it 5-3. With men on second and third and still nobody out, Ethier lined softly to first for the first out. Eyre walked Ramirez intentionally to load the bases with one down for Martin. Madson came in to pitch to Martin. Martin lined a 1-2 pitch to Utley, who caught the ball and dove to tag second, just beating Kemp to the bag to double him off and end the inning.

Madson came back for the seventh. He got ahead of Loney 0-2 before ball one was way up and in. Loney went down swinging on the next pitch. The lefty DeWitt got ahead 3-0 and then walked on a 3-2 pitch. Blake followed with a single into left that sent DeWitt to second. The pitcher Kuo hit for himself and put a bunt down in front of home plate. Howard fielded and this time his throw to first was good enough to get the second out as the runners moved to second and third. Kemp lined an 0-1 pitch to center for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with a 7-5 lead. Furcal walked on five pitches. Ethier swung at the first pitch and chopped a ball back up the middle where Rollins fielded, tagged second and threw to first to complete the enormous double-play with Manny coming to the plate. Lidge came in to pitch to Ramirez. Lidge threw a 1-1 fastball past Ramirez. The 1-2 pitch was very close, but called a ball, maybe low. Ball three wasn’t close. Ramirez drove the 3-2 pitch into center where it landed in front of the warning track. Ramirez had a double and it brought Martin to the plate as the tying run. Martin struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt that Ruiz didn’t block. The ball bounced way away from Ruiz and Martin took first and Ramirez went to third. Loney fouled off two 1-2 pitches before he flew to Bruntlett in left to leave both runners stranded.

Lidge set the Dodgers down in order in the ninth with a two-run lead. Garciaparra flew to center on an 0-1 pitch. Lidge struck Blake out swinging 0-2. Jeff Kent hit for the pitcher Broxton and got ahead 2-1 before he smashed a ball to third where it was caught by Feliz to end the game.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow two runs, both of which were charged to Durbin. Madson and Lidge were fantastic and Romero got the huge double-play from Ethier in front of Manny in the eighth. Durbin continues to struggle, giving up a home run, a double and a walk without getting anybody out. Lidge threw 24 pitches, Madson 20, Durbin 14, Eyre 14 and Romero six. Everyone should be ready on Wednesday.

The Phillies finally got to the LA pen, Dodgers relievers were charged with six runs in four innings. They gave up six hits, including two home runs, and three walks. Broxton needed 30 pitches to throw 1 1/3 innings, but you have to assume he will be ready for game five.

Overall the Phillies walked eight hitters in the game. They have walked 22 in the first four games of the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs starts at third with Feliz on the bench. Werth and the slumping Victorino flop in the order.

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 singled into center. Lowe got behind Werth 3-0 before he got strike one over. With Rollins running, Werth singled into left on the 3-1 pitch. Rollins went all the way to third. Utley quickly got behind 0-2, but pulled the next pitch past a diving Loney and down the right field line for a double. Rollins scored to make it 1-0 with Werth going to third. Howard hit a slow ground ball to second with DeWitt playing in shallow right. DeWitt dropped the ball, but picked it up in time to throw out Howard. Werth scored to make it 2-0 and Rollins went to third. Burrell flailed and missed the first two pitches of his at-bat, but Lowe delivered four straight balls to walk him on a close 3-2 pitch that was just a tick outside. It put men on first an third with one down for Victorino. Victorino grounded into a double-play on an 0-1 pitch to set the Phillies down.

Dobbs led off the second with the Phils up 2-1 and plunked a double down the right field line. Ruiz was next and grounded an 0-2 pitch back to Lowe for the first out with Dobbs holding. Lowe struck Blanton out swinging on three pitches for the second out. Rollins swung at a 2-2 pitch that was way down and in before jack-knifing out of the way of strike three on the inside corner.

Werth chopped a ball to short for the first out of the third. Utley was next and singled into right on a 1-2 pitch. Howard lined a ball into center for the second out. Burrell hit a slow ground ball to third to leave Utley stranded.

Victorino flew to center on an 0-2 pitch to start the fourth. Dobbs flew to center on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Ruiz hit a ball back up the middle that Furcal fielded but dropped behind second. Single for Ruiz, but Blanton struck out swinging on three pitches to leave him stranded.

Rollins grounded to second on the first pitch of the fifth inning. Werth grounded to second on a 3-2 pitch. Utley struck out looking 1-2.

Clayton Kershaw started the sixth with LA up 3-2. Howard walked on a low 3-2 pitch to start the inning. Burrell got ahead 3-0 and then hit a 3-2 pitch just under the glove of Furcal and into left for a single that moved Howard to second. Victorino bunted the runners to second and third with one down. Feliz hit for Dobbs and Chan Ho Park came in to pitch to him. Feliz popped a ball into short right field. DeWitt and Ethier nearly collided, but Ethier caught the ball for the second out and both runners had to hold. The first pitch to Ruiz was outside and in the dirt. Martin couldn’t block it and the ball bounced away, allowing Howard to come in and score, tying the game at 3-3. Burrell went to third on the play. Jenkins hit for Blanton and the lefty Beimel came in to pitch to him. Taguchi hit for Jenkins with two outs and men on first and third. Taguchi looped a ball into shallow right-center, but Ethier made a nice sliding catch to take it for the third out and leave both men stranded.

Hate bunting with Victorino, but if you wanted one run it worked. The Phillies have no good right-handed hitter on their bench, as evidenced by the at-bat by Taguchi.

Rollins led off the seventh with Hong-Chih Kuo pitching for LA. He shattered his bat grounding to short for the first out. Kuo did a little dance on the mound after he threw an 0-2 pitch past a swinging Werth for the second out. Utley struck out swinging at a high 0-2 fastball for the third out.

Howard led off the eighth and got ahead of Kuo 2-0 before he singled into center. Cory Wade came in to pitch to Burrell after throwing 33 pitches the night before. Burrell popped to Berroa, the new Dodger second baseman, for the first out. Victorino laced the first pitch of his at-bat out to right for a two-run homer that tied the game at 5-5. At least he didn’t bunt. Feliz hit it well, too, but flew to left for the second out. Ruiz was next and he singled into left. Stairs hit for Madson with the Dodgers out of lefties. Broxton came on to pitch to Stairs. He threw strike one down the middle past Stairs, but followed that up with three straight balls. The 3-1 pitch was right where strike one was, and Stairs absolutely crushed it way, way out to right. 7-5. Rollins was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Rollins stole second as a called strike made the count 2-1 on Werth. Werth struck out swinging 2-2 to leave him stranded.

Broxton returned for the ninth and Utley led off with a single to right. Howard grounded to second, with Utley forced at second for the first out and Howard safe at first. Bruntlett was next after taking over for Burrell in left in the eighth, and he hit a ground ball to short. Howard was forced at second for the second out with Bruntlett safe at first. Victorino got behind and the Dodgers pitched out 0-2 as Bruntlett tried to steal second. Martin threw him out to set the Phillies down.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk. He’s 2-for-17 (.118) with two singles in the series. He has struck out seven times, which leads both teams.

Werth 1-for-5 and struck out twice. 3-for-17 (.176) in the series.

Utley 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 6-for-13 (.462) with five walks in the series. The Phillies have 13 walks in the series and Utley has five of them.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-16 (.188) with a double. Just two strikeouts

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-14 (.357) with a home run in the series.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. 3-for-16 (.188) with a team-high six RBI in the series.

Dobbs 1-for-2 with a double in the game and 3-for-6 in the series. Feliz 0-for-2 in the game and 1-for-9 in the series.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk. Big hit in the eighth to extend the inning for Stairs. Ruiz is 5-for-12 (.417) in the series.

No game today.

Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09) faces Chad Billingsley (16-10, 3.14) tomorrow night. Billingsley started game two against Myers and took the loss. The Phillies hit him hard, Billingsley was charged with eight runs in 2 1/3 innings. The Phils scored four times in the second inning after Billingsley set down the first two hitters in the inning. Ruiz had an RBI-double, Myers drove in a run with a single and Victorino delivered a two-run single. The Phillies scored four more times in the third, getting a two-run double down the right field line before Park relieved Billingsley and surrendered a two-run triple to Victorino.

Hamels started game one against Lowe and got the win. He allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings while striking out eight. Ethier and Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles in the first for the first run. The Dodgers scored again when Kemp led off the fourth with a check-swing double down the right field line.

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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