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.