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Archive for October, 2009

Burnett, Rivera Stifle Phillies as Yankees Tie Series

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Phillies starter Pedro Martinez provided a quality six inning performance in Thursday’s game 2 giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 of those hits being solo homers, but the offense which grabbed control of game 1 in the late innings, was largely shut down by Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, who went seven innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits, and future Hall of Fame closer  Mariano Rivera.  In the 3 situations where the Phillies threatened against Burnett and Rivera, they couldn’t buy that clutch RBI hit as Burnett and Rivera stifled the Phillies by a 3-1 score as the Yankees knotted the Series at a game apiece.
 
As in game 1, the Phillies hit the scoreboard first with a run in the second after Pedro made short work of the Yankees in the first inning.
In that first inning, Martinez struck out both
Derek Jeter, the 1st of 3 times Jeter went down on strikes in the game, and leftfielder Johnny Damon before getting 1st baseman Mark Teixeira to pop out to shortstop on a 2-2 pitch.

Burnett retired the first 5 Phillies he faced, 2 on strikeouts, before leftfielder Raul Ibanez pounded a 2 out ground-rule double to leftfield.  DH lefthanded hitting Matt Stairs followed with a single to leftfield scoring Ibanez with the Phils’ only run.  Burnett struck out 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz to end the inning.

Rightfielder Jayson Werth led off the third inning with a single to rightfield but was picked-off of 1st base by Burnett with Ibanez at the plate.  The Yankee starter struck out Ibanez and Stairs, first pitch swinging, lined out to leftfield to end the inning.

The 1-0 Phillies lead held up until Teixeira blistered Martinez’s 2nd pitch of the fourth inning out to right centerfield to knot the game at 1-1.

In the fifth, catcher Carlos Ruiz stroked Burnett’s 2-2 pitch to leftfield for a double but was stranded as shortstop Jimmy Rollins struck out and centerfielder Shane Victorino popped out to 3rd base to end the inning.

Burnett went clean on the Phils in the sixth inning as 1st baseman Ryan Howard struck out for the 3rd time in the game.  Howard fanned in all 4 plate appearances.

Martinez looked as if cruising striking out Teixeira and 3rd baseman  Alex Rodriguez to open the the Yankees’ sixth.  A-Rod would fan 3 times in the game, both he and Jeter would account for 5 of Pedro’s 8 strikeouts.  But with a 1-2 count, DH Hideki Matsui reached Martinez for a solo shot to rightfield giving the Yanks a 2-1 lead.

In the Phillies seventh, Burnett was, by now, cruising going clean on the Phillies fanning 2 and coaxing Feliz into a groundout. 

Martinez was chased in the seventh after giving up singles to the first 2 Yankee hitters he faced and was relieved by Chan Ho Park and then by lefthander Scott Eyre as the Yanks’ pinch hitter and catcher Jorge Posada singled to center to drive-in the Yankees’ 3rd and final run which was charged to Martinez.

Pedro provided an impressive effort throwing 107 pitches in six-
plus innings walking 2 and striking out 8 while giving up the 2 homers and giving up the 3 runs on 6 hits in a losing cause.

The Phillies Nation blog sums up Martinez’s effort:

When Charlie Manuel announced that Pedro Martinez would get the nod in New York, the script was written, it was just waiting to be performed.

All of the hype surrounding Martinez’s return to New York and “Who’s Your Daddy,” and what not, Pedro came out unfazed. He made two mistakes that were rightly hammered for long-balls. However, everywhere Martinez goes, a show is sure to follow. For six innings, Phillies fans got exactly that.

Winning pitcher Burnett went seven innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2, striking out 9 and largely baffling Phillies hitters.

Yankee manager Girardi, seeing Burnett’s pitch count at 108 after seven innings, didn’t mess with middle relief or set-up and went right to closer Rivera to start the eighth inning.  After getting Ruiz to ground out to 3rd base, Rollins battled Rivera for an 11 pitch at-bat finally drawing a walk.   Victorino followed touching Rivera for a single to rightfield — runners on 1st and 2nd base.  But 2nd baseman Chase Utley, silent in game 2 after a 2 homer game 1, grounded Rivera’s full-count pitch into an inning-ending doubleplay.

The Phillies brought on reliever Ryan Madson who had an impressive ninth inning only giving up a single to 2nd baseman Robinson Cano while striking out the side: A-Rod, Matsui and late-game centerfield replacement Brett Gardner.

Ibanez, the only Phil with any production at the plate, stroked his 2nd double of the game with 2 outs in the ninth. But Rivera went to a 2-2 count on Matt Stairs before fanning him to end the game.

Just how unproductive was the Phillies’ offense?  The first 5 hitters went a collective 2 for 17 with 3 walks while fanning 6 times.  4 of strikeouts were on Howard.

Both teams have Friday off and resume play on Saturday at Citizen’s Bank Park as the Phils look to jump-start their offense and to jump ahead of the Yankees in another battle of lefties as Cole Hamels is opposed by Andy Pettitte.

Lee, Utley, Ibanez Lead Phillies to Opening Win Over Yankees

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

     Chase Utley   Cliff Lee   Raul Ibanez

Phillies ace Cliff Lee was nothing short of magnificent in the matchup of lefthanders with Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia.  Lee carried a shutout into the ninth inning with the Yanks only run scoring on shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ throwing error on a fielder’s choice grounder. 2nd baseman Chase Utley reached Sabathia for solo homers in the third and sixth innings as Lee breezed.  But the Phillies offense salted the game away taking control with 4 late-inning runs including an eighth inning bases loaded 2 run single by leftfielder Raul Ibanez.  Lee, Utley and Ibanez led Phillies to a 6-1 World Series opening win over the Yankees.

The win was the Phillies first-ever World Series win over the Yankees to whom they lost in a 4 game sweep in the only other series match-up between the 2 teams in 1950.  That series marked one of the lowest-scoring match-ups in MLB history.  A total of 16 runs were scored in the 4 games; 11 by the Yanks and 5 by the Phils’ “Whiz Kids.”

Lee was masterful on the mound and equally masterful defensively in flawlessly handling 4 put-out opportunities; a first inning bunt grounder, a sixth inning pop out and groundouts in the seventh and eighth innings.  The eighth inning play, as recounted by Phillies Nation’s Brian Michael, was “an amazing behind-the-back stab to rob Robinson Cano of a single.”

As Lee breezed through 9 of the first 11 Yanks he faced allowing only a 1 out single in the second inning and a 2 out double in the third, Utley blistered a 2 out, full-count pitch from Sabathia to the rightfield seats to put the Phils on the board.

Then Lee struck out the side in fourth in a great power-pitching display; 1st baseman Mark Teixeira, 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez and catcher Jorge Posada — all swinging.

In the fifth, DH Hideki Matsui led off with a single to center but then got doubled off of first base on Cano’s line drive to shortstop Rollins.  Lee then retired the side on a pop out to rightfield.

With 1 out in the Phils’ sixth inning, Utley then turned on Sabathia’s 0-2 pitch bombing it to right centerfield for his 2nd solo shot of the game — sooo nice, we gonna do it twice, and the Phils had a 2-0 lead.

Shortstop Derek Jeter, the only Yankee to reach regularly in the game going 3 for 4, singled to center with 1 out in the sixth.  But then Lee coaxed a pop out to the pitcher and a fielder’s choice grounder rubbing the Yanks in the inning.

Lee then went clean on the Yanks in the seventh on 9 pitches, 3 groundouts.

Then the Phils offense went to work scoring 4 runs, 2 in the eighth and 2 in the ninth as the Yankees burned through 5 reliever to no avail.  Meanwhile, Lee went clean again on the Yanks in the eighth, this time on 12 pitches.

AP’s Ben Walker recaps the Phils eighth and ninth inning scoring for Yahoo sports:

Lee bamboozled the Yankees with a spiked curveball, deceptive changeup and his usual pinpoint fastball, pitching a six-hitter while striking out 10 without a walk. He became the first [pitcher] since Don Newcombe in 1949 to fan double digits with no walks in a Series game.

Raul Ibanez hit a two-run single in the eighth and Shane Victorino added an RBI single in the ninth.

1st baseman Ryan Howard, who had 2 doubles in the game, added his 2nd one for good measure in the ninth driving in the 6th run while Victorino was nailed trying to score from 1st base on the play to end the inning. 

Lee took a shutout into the ninth but then Jeter and leftfielder Johnny Damon each singled to open the frame.  Teixeira then grounded to 2nd base into a textbook fielder’s choice. Damon was out at 2nd base with Jeter moving to third. But Jeter scored and Teixeira moved to second on shortstop Rollins’ throwing error.  With 1 out in the Yanks ninth, Lee fanned A-Rod and Posada to end it.

Winning pitcher Lee threw 122 pitches striking out 10, walking none and giving up the ninth inning run and 6 hits in his complete game effort.  Sabathia provided a superior performance only giving up Utley’s 2 dingers, although he ran deep counts and thus threw 113 pitches in seven innings while giving up 4 hits, walking 3 and striking out 6.

AP’s Walker continues:

The defending champion Phillies shut down Alex Rodriguez & Co. in the first Series game at the new billion-dollar ballpark. Trying to become the first NL team to repeat since Cincinnati in 1975-76, the Phils’ 17-4 postseason run is the best in league history.

How complete was Lee’s shutdown of the Yankees?  A-Rod went down on strikes 3 times while Teixeira and Posada each fanned twice accounting for 7 of Lee’s 10 strikeouts. 

With game 1 in the Phillies hopper, manager Charlie Manuel goes to veteran Pedro Martinez for game 2 on Thursday as the best chance of possibly sneaking out of Yankee stadium with 2 wins over the Yanks.  Martinez also translates into a mega-TV bucks across the nation.  Pedro will be opposed by A.J. Burnett.

Phillies, Yankees in 2nd World Series Match in MLB History

Monday, October 26th, 2009

          Ryan Howard  Cliff Lee C.C. Sabathia             

              Yankee STADIUM        A-Rod

The New York Yankees finally dispensed with the Los Angeles Angels to join the Phillies in a World Series matchup for only the 2nd time in MLB history.

The Angels attempt to come back, after trailing the Yanks by a 3 games to 1 deficit, fell far short in Sunday’s game 6 as the Yankees erased a 1-0 Angels lead with 3 runs in the fourth inning and 2 more in the eighth to  win the game and the AL pennant by a 5-2 score. 

And so, two powerhouse offenses meet in the first matchup between these two franchises since 1950 when the Yankees swept the Phillies in one of the closest, lowest-scoring series in MLB history. The 2 teams scored 16 runs between them in 4 games, the Yanks scoring 11 and those Whiz Kid Phillies scoring 5.  Baseball Almanac provides a summary of the 1950 series as well as its boxscores and series batting averages.

Both these 2009 clubs have power-laden offenses which can put runs on the board in a hurry via the long ball.  7 Yankee starters each pounded 20 or more homers with shortstop Derek Jeter close behind with 18.  1st baseman Mark Texeira led the Yanks with 39 homers and 122 RBIs.

The Phils had 5 starters each pounding 20 or more dingers with 1st baseman Ryan Howard leading them all with 45 homers, 141 RBIs while improving to a .279 BA.  2nd baseman Chase Utley, rightfielder Jayson Werth and leftfielder Raul Ibanez each had 30 or more round-trippers.  The Phils can also hurt an opponent with small-ball, via bunting, stealing bases and extra-base hits although these aspects are underplayed vs their power numbers.

Both clubs play mostly fine defense, although opponents are hesitant to run on centerfielder Shane Victorino and rightfielder Werth who have nailed a number of runners at home this season.

The Phillies, it must be remembered, took 2 of the 3 interleague games played with the Yanks in May of this season while somewhat roughing up the 3 top Yankee starters.  2 of those games played at the new Yankee stadium were decided by 1 run while the Phils won the opener by a 7-3 count in a game where 4 Phillies homered.  The Phils pounded A.J. Burnett for 3 of the 4 dingers.   The Phils also took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning while reaching Andy Pettite for a pair of homers before losing by 5-4 on a 3 run Yankee rally.  They also managed 3 runs on 9 hits in eight innings against Yankee game 1 starter C.C. Sabathia who they previously pounded in the 2008 division championshp series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The series opener on Wednesday is a battle of lefthanders as Sabathia appears in a rematch against the Phillies opposing his former Cleveland teammate Cliff Lee.  Lee is 4-4 lifetime against the Yankees from his days with the Indians.  Sabathia is 1-1 lifetime in 3 appearances against the Phils.   Sabathia carries a liftime ERA in 3 games of 4.35 vs the Phils while Lee carries a 5.02 ERA in 9 lifetime appearances against the Yankees.

In game 2, lefthander Cole Hamels is currently tapped to oppose Burnett, although columnists are indicating that manager Charlie Manuel will go to veteran Pedro Martinez, rather than Hamels, as the best chance of possibly sneaking out of Yankee stadium with 2 wins over the Yanks.  Martinez also translates into a mega-TV bucks across the nation for game 2.

A re-emerging Brad Lidge gives the Phils an edge in the all-important bullpen along with solid middle and set-up relievers.  The Yankees still have perennially consistent star closer Mariano Rivera, who went 2 innings in closing out L.A.  But the Yankees bullpen is an adventure between starter and Rivera-time.

Games 3, 4 and game 5 if needed will be played at Citizen’s Bank Park on Saturday through Monday before the venue returns to Yankee stadium for games 6 and 7 if necessary.

This promises to be a great series.  Go Phillies!

Phillies Pound Dodgers, Clinch 2nd NL Pennant in 2 Seasons

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

          Phillies  Phillies

Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels lasted just 4 1/3 innings.  But the Phils clubbed Los Angeles starter Vicente Padilla for 6 runs in four innings on Wednesday.  Four homers, including 2 by rightfielder Jayson Werth, led the Phillies who pounded the Dodgers by a 10-4 tally to clinch their 2nd NL Pennant in 2 seasons and set-off celebrations in Philadelphia.

With this 2nd Pennant in 2 seasons, the Phils have achieved not only a first in their franchise history but a rarity in Philadelphia sports history. The only other Philadelphia teams ever to make it to a Championship series 2 seasons in a row were the Eagles in 1948 and 1949 seasons, the 76ers with Wilt Chamberlain in 1966-67 and 1967-68 seasons and the Flyers in 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons.

1st baseman Ryan Howard was awarded the NLCS MVP award.  Howard, who hit .333 for the series with 2 homers and 8 RBIs while going 5 for 15 in the series also collected a double, a triple. This blog noted after game 4 that Howard tied Lou Gehrig’s 7 decades old MLB record garnering at least one RBI in eight straight playoff games.  Howard’s RBI streak ended in Wednesday’s clincher when he failed to knock in a run.  He went 0-2 in game 5 as Dodgers pitching gave him little to hit resulting in his reaching twice on walks.

The Dodgers notched a first inning run off of Hamels on leftfielder Andre Ethier’s 2 out solo homer, but the Phils came back wth 3 runs in their first inning as Werth homered to right centerfield off of Padilla following 2 out walks to 2nd baseman Chase Utley and 1st baseman Ryan Howard.

The two teams swapped single runs in the second inning as Dodger 1st baseman James Loney reached Hamels for a leadoff homer and 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz followed suit with a leadoff shot off of Padilla.

After Hamels settled down somewhat retiring 6 of the next 7 Dodgers he faced in the third and fourth innings, Werth lead off the Phillies fourth with a single to leftfield and scored on Raul Ibanez’s double to deep centerfield.   That was it for Padilla who was relieved by Ramon Troncosco who first got Feliz to ground out to 3rd base before walking catcher Carlos Ruiz.  Hamels bunt sacrificed the runners up — Ibanez to 3rd base and Ruiz to 2nd.  Then Troncosco proceeded to hit shortstop Jimmy Rollins and was gone, replaced by reliever George Sherrill who plunked centerfielder  Shane Victorino, the latter hit batsmen forcing in the Phillies 6th run.  Sherrill finished the inning by striking out Utley with the sacks jammed. After four innings, the Phillies were up by 6-2. 

Hamels opened the fifth by getting 3rd baseman Casey Blake to pop out to rightfield before pinch hitter Orlando Hudson solo homered to narrow the Phils lead to 6-3.  Shortstop Rafael Furcal followed with a double to leftfield chasing Hamels and beginning a parade of Phillies relievers.  Lefthander  J.A. Happ notched the 2nd out and Chad Durbin the final out of the fifth.  Durbin went clean in the sixth inning to notch the Pennant-clinching win. 

Victorino padded the Phils’ lead to 8-3 with a 2 out, 2 run shot in the sixth off of reliever lefthander Clayton Kershaw, the originally schedule starter for game 5.

Chan Ho Park relieved Durbin and went clean on the Dodgers in the seventh inning.   Lefthander Hong-Chih Kuo replaced Kershaw for the seventh inning and opened by striking out Howard.  But Werth followed solving Kuo for his 2nd homer of the game, a solo shot to centerfield.  Kuo then fanned both Ibanez and Feliz to strikeout the side.  After seven innings, Phillies 9, Dodgers 3.

In the eighth, Park was chased giving up 2 hits to open the inning.  Ryan Madson came on to walk leftfielder Manny Ramirez to load the sacks with none out.  Centerfielder Matt Kemp followed capping the Dodger scoring with an RBI single to center — the run being charged to Park.  Madson then got Loney on a foul-out and struck out catcher Russell Martin.   Madson could almost see himself out of the inning, but still had to get past Casey Blake as the sacks remained loaded with Dodgers.   What ensued was a epic 9 pitch confrontation between Madson and Blake in a situation where one solid swing could have changed the game from a Phillies cruise into a nail-biter.   After 2 balls and 2 strikes including 4 fouls,  Madson coaxed a shortstop fielder’s choice  by Blake to end the only significant Dodger threat of the game.

Leading 9-4 in the game, the Phils capped their scoring as Rollins scored on a wild pitch after singling with 2 outs and going to 3rd on Victorino’s ground-rule centerfield double.

Then, all there was left was for suddenly rejuvenated closer Brad Lidge to close out the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth.  He notched a strikeout, a foul out and a fly out to centerfield to cinch the game, the series and the 2nd NL Pennant in 2 seasons for the Phillies.

Interesting, former disgrunted BoSoxer Manny Ramirez,  who chose to shower and not to stick around with the team in game 4 after removed for defensive reasons, provided some offense for the Dodgers; 6 hits in 19 at-bats with a homer and 2 RBIs in the series, but he was largely not a factor in the offense against the Phillies.

The boxscores for both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s league championship games in both leagues can be found here and here.

The World Series opener is tentatively set for Wednesday October 28, 2009, barring any weather-related postponements in either the ALCS final games or in the opener itself, in the stadium of the ALCS winner, either the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Angels.  This gives the Phils 7 days to rest, heal and prepare for the series.

Rollins’ Walk-Off Double Gives Phillies 3 Games to 1 Lead Over Dodgers

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

                         Jimmy Rollins

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins came to bat with runners on 1st and 2nd base with 2 outs in the ninth and lined Los Angeles closer Jonathan Broxton’s 1-1 pitch for a 2 run game-winning double to right centerfield as the Dodgers blew a 4-2 lead.  Phils closer Brad Lidge won his first game of 2009 pitching striking out 2 in the ninth as Rollins’ walkoff double gave the Phillies a 5-4 win and a 3 games to 1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS.

Phillies Nation’s Amanda Orr best sums up the feelings of all Phillies fans on another clutch October playoff win:

Never doubt this team.  The Phillies were down to their last out, but another clutch hit led to another stunning victory.

Rollins was deservedly mobbed by his teammates, but the bullpen deserves some credit too.  The ‘pen threw three scoreless innings.  Brad Lidge earned the win, striking out two batters in 2/3 of an inning.

This game will go down as one of the most unbelievable endings in postseason history.

The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead as Rollins led off with a single off of Dodger starter and former Phils lefthander Randy Wolf.  After center-fielder Shane Victorino and 2nd baseman Chase Utley both popped out, Wolf fell behind 1st baseman Ryan Howard by a 3-1 count. Howard bombed Wolf’s next pitch to rightfield to give the Phils the early lead.  Howard’s homer gave him eight straight postseason games driving in at least one run, tying Lou  Gehrig’s seven decades-old major league record.

Meanwhile, Phils starter Joe Blanton breezed through the 1st three innings and into the fourth retiring the first 10 hitters he faced before the Dodgers tied the score in the fourth.  Blanton got the first 2 outs of the inning issuing a walk to centerfielder Matt Kemp in-between.  But then leftfielder Manny Ramirez singled with Kemp reaching 3rd base. Ramirez went 1 for 4 for the game but scored 2 runs.  1st baseman James Loney singled to right driving in Kemp with Ramirez moving to 2nd base.  Blanton walked 2nd baseman Ronnie Belliard and catcher Russell Martin singled to leftfield driving in Ramirez — game tied at 2-2.

With 2 outs in the fifth, Kemp slammed Blanton’s 2-0 pitch out to centerfield to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead and 3rd baseman Casey Blake ripped a 2 out sixth inning RBI single to rightfield driving in Ramirez with the 4th run after Manny opened the inning reaching on a throwing error by 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz.

The Phils pulled to within 4-3 as Victorino slammed a 1 out triple to leftfield and scored 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s RBI single to rightfield.   The seventh inning and top of the eighth passed uneventfully as both starters gave way to the bullpens.

The Phillies threatened in bottom of the eighth inning as Dodger reliever  George Sherrill hit Victorino with a pitch with 1 out.  The Flyin’ Hawaiian advanced to 2nd base on a wild pitch as Sherrill later walked Utley.  But Sherrill struck out Howard and then gave way to closer Broxton who retired rightfielder Jayson Werth on a fly to rightfield to retire the side and end the threat.

Lefthanded reliever Scott Eyre opened the ninth by inducing a foul out for the 1st out before walking shortstop Rafael Furcal.  With the runner on 1st base, manager Manuel went to closer Lidge who struck out Kemp and rightfielder  Andre Eithier to end the inning setting up Rollins’ game-winning heroics in the bottom of the ninth.

AP reporter Rob Maaddi recaps the Phillies’ ninth for Yahoo sports:

Trailing 4-3, the Phillies started their rally with one out in the ninth when pinch-hitter Matt Stairs walked on four pitches against Broxton. Stairs hit a two-run homer off Broxton in Game 4 of the NLCS last year at Dodger Stadium.

Broxton hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch, but pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs looped a soft liner to third for the second out.

Rollins, just 3 for 18 in the series to that point, ripped a 99 mph fastball to right-center and the ball rolled to the wall. Andre Ethier’s throw toward the infield was high and off line, and Ruiz slid home without a play.

Rollins pointed in the air as he rounded second and got mobbed by teammates at third base. Even Jamie Moyer, who just had surgery on his lower abdomen, limped out and joined the celebration.

“I’m all right. I had to curl up in the fetal position and throw some punches of my own,” Rollins said before taking a cream pie in the face from a teammate.

And so the Phillies now stand 1 win away from a return appearance in the World Series.  Ironically, Lidge, who blew 11 saves during the regular season, has been golden in the post-season and registered his first win of 2009.  Broxton was hung with a loss and a blown save.

The boxscores for Monday’s league championship games in both leagues can be found here.

Both teams have Tuesday off before Wednesday’s rematch between lefthanders and Cole Hamels and Clayton Kershaw in what may be the decisive, series-clinching 5th game, the 3rd of the 3 games at Citizens Bank Park.

The schedules for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s league championship games in both leagues can be found here and here.

Lee Pitches Shutout as Phillies Pummel Dodgers in NLCS Game 3

Monday, October 19th, 2009

     Jayson Werth   Cliff Lee  Shane Victorino

Phillies ace lefthander Cliff Lee struck out 10 and gave up but 3 hits to the  Dodgers on Sunday, 2 of them being singles by leftfielder Manny Ramirez, in an overpowering performance.  The Phils offense ground up starter Hiroki Kuroda and the L.A. bullpen as the Phillies pummelled the Dodgers by an 11-0 score in game 3 of the NLCS.

The Phils started pounding early and often scoring 4 first inning runs off of Kuroda who lasted 1 out into the second inning and gave up 6 runs, including 1st baseman Ryan Howard’s 2 run triple and rightfielder Jayson Werth’s 2 run bomb — both in the first and shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ RBI double in the second.  The 6th run of the game scored when lefthanded reliever Scott Ebert coaxed Howard into bases-loaded ground out to first base for the 2nd out. 

Then the Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre burned through starter Chad Billingsley in an already outta-control game.  Billingsley retired Werth on strikes to end the inning and pitched three more innings giving up 2 fifth inning runs on 3rd baseman  Pedro Feliz’s RBI triple and catcher Carlos Ruiz’s RBI single which followed.   Ruiz, through this series’ 3rd game, is hitting at an unreal .625 clip.  If he keeps going like this, he could be an MVP winner.  The Phillies lead mounted to 8-0. 

Meanwhile, Lee cruised through 8 innings in easily the most dominant, masterful performance of this post-season, in either league, throwing 114 pitches, walking none, striking out 10 while allowing only second and fifth inning leadoff singles to Ramirez and a seventh inning leadoff single to 2nd baseman Ronnie Belliard — the sum total of the Dodger offense.

The Phils scored 3 more garbage-time runs in their eighth inning against rookie reliever Ronald Belisario who walked Ruiz to open the inning.  Lee followed with some slick stick-work, to go along with masterful pitching,  singling to centerfield.   After Rollins grounded out,  centerfielder Shane Victorino’s 3 run rocket capped Phillies’ scoring.

Chad Durbin came on in the ninth to go clean shutting the lights on the Dodgers as the Phils took a 2-1 lead in the NLCS.

With the Phillies holding a 2 games to 1 lead in the series, Joe Blanton tries to work another win at home on Monday opposing former Phils lefthander Randy Wolf.  Both teams have Tuesday off before Wednesday’s rematch between lefthanders Cole Hamels and Clayton Kershaw the 3rd of the 3 games at Citizens Bank Park.

The schedules for Monday’s and Tuesday’s league championship games in both leagues can be found here and here.