Tag: Rafael Furcal

Post-season exposes the Achilles heel of the Phillies — turns out it’s the post-season

With a 1-0 loss on Friday, the Phils dropped their series with St Louis and were bounced out of the playoffs. For the second time in two years, it’s a disappointing end to a year for a team that looked destined for great things at times during the regular season.

Again it was an offensive collapse that did the Phillies in. After scoring 11 runs in the first game of the NLDS, the Phils scored just ten runs in the last four games. Three of those came on a pinch-hit home run by Ben Francisco in game three. In the five-game series, Pence, Ibanez, Howard, Polanco and Ruiz combined to go 12-for-89 (.135).

Game five featured two brilliant pitching performances, one from Roy Halladay and the other from Chris Carpenter. Halladay gave up a triple and a double to the first two batters in the game, with Skip Schumaker’s double plating Rafael Furcal for the only run of the contest. Carpenter threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits. Utley had a single on a ball deflected by a diving Pujols in the sixth. Victorino doubled in the second and singled in the fourth.

It was even worse than that for the Phils. For the second straight year, Ryan Howard got the last at-bat of the season for the Phils. He grounded to second this time, but crumpled to the ground almost immediately after with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. The timeline for his return is not known, but he may not be ready for Spring Training.

Again the Phils were eliminated from the post-season in a series in which they scored more runs than their opponent. The Phils outscored the Cards 21-19 in this year’s NLDS and outscored the Giants 20-19 in the 2010 NLCS.

The season is over for the Phils after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 1-0 in game five of the NLDS. Since the start for 2010, the Phillies have won 199 regular season games, winning the most games in either league in both ’10 and ’11. They are 7-7 in their last 14 playoff games.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple allowed to the first two hitters of the game. He struck out seven.

Halladay was the only Phillie to make more than one start in the series. In two starts, he threw to an 2.25 ERA and an 0.69 ratio. He allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks over 16 innings. All four of the runs he allowed came in the first inning. Three came on a three-run homer by Berkman in game one.

He faced a St Louis lineup that went (1) Rafael Furcal (SS/S) (2) Skip Schumaker (CF/L) (3) Albert Pujols (1B/R) (4) Lance Berkman (LF/S) (5) Matt Holliday (LF/R) (6) Yadier Molina (C/R) (7) David Freese (3B/R) (8) Punto (2B/S). Schumaker starts in center, where he played 13 innings during the regular season. Theriot, 1-for-7 against Halladay for his career, on the bench with the switch-hitter Punto (4-for-14) at second.

St Louis had six hitters on the bench to start the game, righties Matt Theriot, Allen Craig and Gerald Laird, and lefties Adron Chambers, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso.

Furcal was the first batter of the game and tripled to center on a 2-1 pitch. Schumaker was next and Halladay got ahead of him 0-2, but Schumaker hit a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner for a double that scored Furcal and put the Cards up 1-0. Pujols was next and hit a weird spinning ball towards second. Utley bare-handed it and threw to third, where Schumaker was tagged out for the first out with Pujols safe at first. Pujols took second on a wild pitch before Berkman reached on catcher’s interference when his backswing hit Ruiz’s glove, putting men on first and second. Halladay got Holliday to pop to Polanco in foul territory for the second out and Molina grounded to short to set the Cards down.

Yet another aggressive play by Utley and this one works as he guns down Schumaker at third for the first out.

Halladay set St Louis down in order in the second, striking Freese out swinging, getting Punto on a line drive to third and the pitcher Carpenter on a ground ball to short.

Furcal grounded to second to start the third. Schumaker flew to left for the second out and Pujols struck out swinging.

Eight in a row for Halladay.

Berkman flew to center to start the fourth and Berkman struck out swinging behind him. Molina singled to center and stole second before Freese struck out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.

Punto started the fifth with a single to left. Carpenter was next and bunted, but Ruiz jumped on the ball and threw to second to force Punto. Carpenter didn’t run and was easily doubled up. Furcal flew to Ibanez to set St Louis down.

In the sixth, Halladay got Jay (who took over for Schumaker in center in the third), Pujols and Berkman on three ground balls.

He got Holliday on a fly ball to center for the first out in the seventh and struck Molina out looking for the second. Freese was next and he singled to left. Descalso ran for Freese, but Halladay struck Punto out swinging 0-2 to leave him at first.

Carpenter singled into center to start the eighth. Furcal was next and hit a ball out in front of the plate. Ruiz took it and went to second, where his throw wasn’t handled by Rollins for an error. Ruiz was charged with an error and St Louis had men on first and second with nobody out. Jay bunted the runners to second and third with the first out and Halladay walked Pujols intentionally to load the bases. Halladay stayed in to pitch to Berkman and struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Holliday flew to left to leave the bases loaded.

Manuel sure stayed with Halladay a long time. The pitch that got Holliday was number 126 in the game. Worked out great for the Phillies, but I think you have to bring Bastardo in to pitch to Berkman with one out and the bases loaded. Berkman is a lot better against righties than lefties. On the other hand, Halladay struck him out and kept St Louis off the board after loading the bases with one out.

Madson struck out Descalso and Punto in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Madson made four appearances in the series, allowing a run on four hits and no walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out six.

Overall, the pen threw ten innings in five games for the Phils in the series. They allowed five earned runs on 12 hits and four walks over ten innings (4.50 ERA and a 1.60 ratio). They struggled in game one as Stutes allowed three runs in relief of Halladay. In game two they threw three scoreless innings to back Lee. In game three they allowed two runs over three innings in relief of Hamels, but held on for the win. Blanton and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless frames in game four and Madson threw a shutout inning in game five.

Nobody on the Cards had more than one hit in the game.

Schumaker and Theriot both went 6-for-10 in the series, each with two doubles.

Pujols was 7-for-20 with two walks and three doubles.

Freese 5-for-19 with nine strikeouts, but drove in a team-high five runs, including four in game four. Two doubles and a home run in the series.

Berkman was just 3-for-18, but with a big home run in game one.

Craig 1-for-10 with a triple and four walks.

Furcal 5-for-22 with two triples. He didn’t draw a walk out of the leadoff spot for St Louis in the series.

Holliday was 2-for-9 with two singles and Jay 2-for-12 with two singles. Jay drew three walks.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Carpenter went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Utley (2B/L) (3) Pence (RF/R) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Victorino (CF/S) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Polanco (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phils started the game with six players on their bench, righties John Mayberry, Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco, lefties Brian Schneider and Ross Gload and switch-hitter Michael Martinez.

Rollins, Utley and Pence went in order in the bottom of the first with the Phils down 1-0.

Howard grounded to second to start the second, but Victorino was next and ripped a double to right. Ibanez fouled out to Punto for the second out and Polanco grounded to short.

In the third, Ruiz flew to right, Halladay struck out swinging and Rollins grounded to third on a ball he thought was foul.

Carpenter hit Utley with a pitch to start the fourth. Pence was next and grounded to second with Utley forced at second for the first out. Howard lined to second for the second out. Victorino moved Pence to third with a single, bringing Ibanez to the plate with men on the corners. Ibanez hammered a 3-2 pitch to right, but Berkman took it at the wall to end the inning.

Two hits for Victorino to start the game, but Phils can’t score. Ibanez just missed.

Polanco, Ruiz and Halladay all grounded out as the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Rollins grounded to short to start the sixth. Utley was next and hit a ball to first, deflected by a diving Pujols and into right for a single. Molina threw him out trying to steal second for the second out. Pence grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Fantastic throw by Molina to throw Utley out at second on a breaking ball. Again Utley aggressive on the bases and again it hurts the Phils. Utley stole 14 bases during the regular season without being caught. Over the last three years he has stolen 50 bases during the regular season and been caught twice.

Howard, Victorino and Ibanez went in order in the seventh. Howard got way ahead in the count, then flew to right 3-0 for the first out.

Polanco and Ruiz both grounded out to start the eighth. With the righty Carpenter still pitching for the Cards, Gload hit for Halladay. Gload struck out swinging 1-2, but Molina’s throw to first pulled Pujols off the bag and Gload was safe. Rollins smashed a ball back up the middle, but it was deflected by Carpenter, went to Punto and Punto threw to first in time to nip Rollins.

Close play at first for the third out. Rollins used to be a little faster than he is now.

Utley smashed Carpenter’s first pitch of the ninth to center, but Chambers took it at the wall for the first out. Pence grounded to third for the second out. Howard grounded to second to end the season, crumpling to the ground with an injury unable to get up as the Cardinals celebrated.

Utley just missed.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. He hit 450/476/650 in the series, going 9-for-20 with a walk and four doubles.

Utley 1-for-3 in the game with a caught stealing. 438/571/688 7-for-16 with three walks, two doubles and a triple.

Pence 0-for-4 in game five. 4-for-19 with two walks and four singles in the series. 211/286/211. 2-for-5 in game one and 2-for-14 after game one.

Howard 0-for-4. 2-for-19 with a walk, a home run and six RBI in the series with a 105/143/263 line. People remember him striking out to end the NLCS in 2010, but Howard was good in that series, going 7-for-22 with a 318/400/500 line.

Victorino was 2-for-3 in game five with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. 6-for-19 with a double in the series. 316/316/368.

Ibanez 0-for-3. 3-for-15 with a home run and four RBI in the series. 200/200/400. He’s 10-for-46 (.217) for the Phils in the post-season since the start of 2010.

Polanco 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-19 in the series (105/105/105). 8-for-his-last-65 in the post-season (.123) and 8-for-48 over the last two years in the playoffs with the Phillies (.167).

Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-17 in the series (059/111/059).

Mayberry didn’t play in game five. He was 0-for-4 in the series.

Gload 0-for-1 in game five and 1-for-2 in the series.

Francisco didn’t play in game five. He was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer in the series.

Martinez appeared as a pinch-runner but didn’t have an at-bat in the series. Schneider didn’t appear.

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:


Runs Scored

NL Rank

’09 LA


’09 PHI


’08 LA



’08 PHI


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:


Runs Allowed

NL Rank

’09 LA



’09 PHI


’08 LA


’08 PHI


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.

California, here we come

Here’s the runs scored and allowed per game and the difference between the two for the Phillies and Dodgers this season:

Regular Season
PHI 162 5.06 4.38 0.69
LA 162 4.81 3.77 1.04

LA won 95 games this year while the Phils won 93.

The Phillies had the better offense, but LA was a lot better at preventing runs. Overall, the difference between the average number of runs scored and allowed per game is a lot bigger for the Dodgers.

Here’s what they did after the All-Star break:

Second Half
PHI 76 4.74 3.91 0.83
LA 74 4.55 3.69 0.86

The Phillies were 45-31 (.592) in the second-half while LA went 39-35 (.527), coming off of a brilliant first half when they were 56-32 (.636). The Dodgers had a seven game lead in the NL West going into the break. The Phils still scored more runs in the second half, but also closed the gap between the teams in terms of average difference between runs scored and allowed by improving their pitching significantly.

The Phillies offense was down a little in September, and their pitching got a little worse. The Dodgers widened the gap:

PHI 30 4.67 4.13 0.53
LA 27 4.89 3.81 1.07

Here’s what they’ve done over the past ten games, including games in the post-season:

Last ten games (including post-season)
PHI 10 5.20 4.40 0.80
LA 10 3.30 3.80 -0.50

The LA offense has been slowed a little, perhaps in part by the Cardinals pitching staff. They went just 2-5 in their seven games before they swept the Cards, scoring just 20 runs in those seven games. Despite outscoring the Cards 13-6 in the NLDS, LA has allowed 38 runs over their last ten games and scored just 33.

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games against each other this year:

Vs opponent in 2009
PHI 7 3.57 3.71 -0.14
LA 7 3.71 3.57 0.14

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games this year during the regular season. The Dodgers won four, outscoring the Phils 26-25.

Ruiz, Ibanez and Stairs were the only three Phillies that had an OPS for the year against the Dodgers that was better than .750.

Ruiz was 8-for-14 with three doubles, seven walks and a homer (571/714/1.000).

Ibanez 8-for-26, also with three doubles and a home run (308/400/538).

Stairs was 2-for-3 with two singles.

At the less good end of the pool, Victorino was 3-for-24 without a walk (125/125/250). Howard 3-for-28 with a double and a home run (107/156/250). Rollins 5-for-28 with a double and a home run (179/207/321).

Loney, Ethier and Blake all hit the Phillies well this season. Loney 11-for-28 with two home runs (393/433/607), Ethier 8-for-29 with three doubles and two home runs (276/323/586) and Blake 8-for-24 with two doubles and a home run (333/308/542). Curious about that to me is that two of those guys (Loney and Ethier) are lefties and one of them, Ethier, was absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching this year. By absolutely atrocious I mean 194/283/345 over 187 plate appearances in this case. So maybe the lefty-heavy rotation will have more luck with them in the NLCS.

Lefty-killer Kemp was pretty good against the Phils, but not as good as Loney, Ethier and Blake by OPS. He was 9-for-27 with a double and a triple against the Phils (333/379/444).

Not to be forgotten when you consider what the Phillies did against the Dodgers this season is that Manny Ramirez did not have a single plate appearance against them this season. Seemingly less important is that Belliard didn’t as a Dodger, either, although Ron did slug .714 against the Phils as a Nat in ’09, going 4-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run (286/286/714).

Furcal (222/250/407) and Martin (227/346/273) both hit under .230 against the Phils in ’09.

West obsessed

Still a few games left to play, but it looks almost just about sure the Phillies will be playing the Rockies of the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs. Here’s how the offenses for the three teams compare for the year, since the All-Star break and for the month that just ended:

Team G R R/G
COL 158 788 4.99
LA 159 767 4.82
PHI 158 805 5.09

Second Half
COL 70 346 4.94
LA 71 324 4.56
PHI 72 345 4.79

COL 27 134 4.96
LA 27 132 4.89
PHI 30 140 4.67

The Rockies have been a little better than the Dodgers offensively.

Ignoring the Phillies offense thinking only about which offense the Phils’ pitchers would fare best against, I still like the Phillies chances against the Rockies a little better than the Dodgers given the Phils seem sure to start lefties Lee and Hamels in the first two games of a short set.

Here’s what the Rockies and Dodgers have done against lefties this season — their average, on-base percentage and slugging against them as a team as well as their rate of getting hits, walks, doubles and triples and hitting home runs per 100 plate appearances:
























The Rockies did hit for a little more power against lefties this season, but the Dodgers got hits and walks at a higher rate. LA’s .358 on-base percentage against lefties is particularly impressive.

Here are the Rockies hitters that have at least 50 plate appearances this year with an OPS of .850 or better against lefties:





Iannetta 299 407 597 1.004
Tulowitzki 268 379 530 .909
Fowler 326 379 492 .872
Smith 259 368 500 .868
Gonzalez 294 356 510 .866

Iannetta hasn’t played nearly as much as Torrealba recently. Smith is a left-handed batter who has only had about 18% of his plate appearances against lefties this season. Fowler and Gonzalez can’t both play center field at the same time — Fowler has appeared only as a center fielder this season while Gonzalez has appeared at all three outfield positions, but mostly center and left.

Tulowitzki is just great.

Lefty Brad Hawpe plays right field just about all the time and has hit 252/348/453 against left-handed pitching this year.

Here’s how the list for the Dodgers looks:





Kemp 365 431 620 1.052
Blake 317 441 564 1.005
Ramirez 274 384 521 .904
Hudson 295 363 496 .859

Kemp, Blake and Ramirez are all terrors against lefties. Blake has been out with a sore hamstring, but he should be back this weekend.

Furcal and Pierre have both also been good against lefties this season, but don’t quite have their OPS against them up to .850. Furcal is hitting 298/363/454 against them and Pierre 316/412/398.

Loney and Martin both did a great job of getting on base against lefties this year, but with little power. Loney on-based .373 against them and Martin .411.

On the plus side, Andre Ethier had a fantastic year in which he hit 31 home runs and drove in 105 but was terrible against lefties. In 186 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season he hit 189/280/341.

Jamie Moyer is out for the season. That is very disappointing — both because it would have been nice to see him help the team in the post-season and because there was a very good chance he was going to be able to given how well he had been pitching. Moyer looking up from his knees, badly injured, to see if Victorino had caught the ball in center wasn’t really the last memory of his season I was hoping for. It is, however, a good reminder of what he has given this team. After a terrible first two months this year he had thrown to a 4.06 ERA with a 1.22 ratio over his last 108 2/3 innings.

This article says that Myers was available last night, that Park will be back “very quickly” and seems to suggest that Myers may be on the post-season roster.

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.


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.

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