Behind the five hit pitching of the National League Championship Series MVP Cole Hamels, the Phillies have defeated the Dodgers, 5-1, to win the NLCS four games to one. The Phillies are now in the World Series for the sixth time in the organization’s 126 years history and are now looking for their second World Series crown. The Phillies would strick first in the first inning as Jimmy Rollins would smack Chad Billingsley’s 3-2 fastball into the right center field seats for a lead-off home run, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would threaten to tie the game in the second as they would put two men on base, via singles to James Loney and Matt Kemp, with only one out. But Hamels would get out of the jam as he would get Blake DeWitt to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Kemp at second base. The Phillies would then increase their lead in the third, as, with runners on first and second, and two outs, Ryan Howard would get a RBI single, knocking in Rollins, who has earlier walked, and then steal second, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who has also walked, over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Utley, making it 3-0 Phillies, while sending Howard over to third. After a wild pitch by Billingsley would send Burrell over to second base to put two runners in scoring position, Billingsley would intentionally walk Shane Victorino to load the bases. Billingsley would then be taken out of the game by Joe Torre and be replaced on the mound by Chan Ho Park. Park would then end the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. The Phillies would then put the game away in the fifth. Jayson Werth would start the inning off with a lead-off single. Utley would then hit into a force out, 3-6, that would wipe out Werth at second for the inning’s first out, while Utley would beat the throw back to first. Howard would then follow with a single, putting Utley on second base. Burrell would then hit a ground ball to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would proceed to first boot the ball off of his glove and then kick it away from himself with his left foot, for a fielding error. Utley, who was running on the play, would then turn around third and head for home, while Howard would round second and head for third. Furcal, after catching up with the ball, would then uncork a wild throw towards home plate which would get past Dodgers’ catcher Russell Martin, allowing Utley to score safely and make it a 4-0 Phillies lead as Furcal would receive his second error on the play. Meanwhile, Howard would stop at third, while Burrell would move up to second, with still one man out. Shane Victorino is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. Feliz would then strike out swinging for the inning’s second out. Carlos Ruiz would then come up and hit a grounder towards Furcal, who would then proceed to commit his third error of the inning as he threw the ball past Dodgers’ first baseman Loney, allowing Howard to cross the plate with the Phillies’ fifth run, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead, while allowing Burrell to get to third and Victorino to move up to second, while leaving the bases still loaded. Hamels would then end the inning by grounding out to Loney at first. The Dodgers would then try to get back into the ballgame in their half of the fifth, as Casey Blake and Kemp would both reach base with back-to-back singles. But Hamels would then get DeWitt to hit into another double play, 4-6-3, wiping out Kemp at second for two outs, while sending Blake over to third. Hamels would then end the inning by striking out pinch hitter Jeff Kent swinging. The Dodgers would finally score a run in the sixth, as, with no one on base and two out, Manny Ramirez would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the series, to make it a 5-1 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by striking out Martin looking. The Dodgers would threaten again in the seventh, as, with two men out, first Kemp and then pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra would both reach base on walks, putting runners on first and second. Hamels would then settle down enough to end the inning by striking out Kent, looking, on a 2-2 fastball. In the Dodgers’ eighth, after getting out the first two batters, Ryan Madson would give up a single to Ramirez. After Ramirez would move up to second base on defensive indifference, Madson would end the inning by getting Martin to ground out to Howard at first. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to their closer Brad Lidge. Lidge would give up a lead-off single to Loney. Lidge would then get Blake to fly out to Victorino in right center field for the inning’s first out. He would then get Kemp to hit a deep fly ball to center that would be caught in front of the fence by Victorino for the inning’s second out. After Loney would move up to second on defensive indifference, Lidge would end the game by getting Garciaparra to pop up a 3-2 slider into third base foul territory, which would be caught by Ruiz for the final out of the ballgame, sending the Phillies into the 2008 World Series.
Cole Hamels would get the win, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and three walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, earning him the NLCS MVP. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning of scoreless relief, giving up only one hit. Brad Lidge would also pitch an inning of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit. Chad Billingsley would take the lost, as this time he would only last two and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch two innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. James McDonald would pitch two innings of shut out ball, giving up only one hit and a walk, while striking out two. Joe Beimel, Cory Wade and Hong-Chih Kuo would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit (Kuo), while striking out one (also Kuo).
Like in the fourth game in Milwaukee, the Phillies would take the Dodgers’ fateful out of the game early with Jimmy Rollins’ lead-off solo home run. The Phillies’ offense would then knock Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley out of the ballgame in the third by scoring two more runs against a pitcher who has wilted under the post-season spotlight. The Phillies would then get their last two runs in the fifth, thanks to three errors by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would commit four errors in the series, all of them detrimental to the Dodgers’ hope for a series victory. Meanwhile, Cole Hamels would pitch a superb game, getting the first two Dodgers’ batters out constantly, so that Manny Ramirez would be unable to do any major damage against him, so that his solo shot late in the game would turn out to have no effect upon the game’s final outcome. Hamels was also helped along by a pair of double play balls that were hit by Blake DeWitt that would help to defuse Dodgers’ rallies in the second and fifth innings, while a Russell Martin strike out would help end a post two out threat in the seventh. The Phillies’ bullpen was once again superb as both Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine for two shut out innings, both giving up only one hit.
With the victory, the Phillies can now relax for close to a week before they will finally face the American League Champion on October 22 in the home of the American League Champion. Of the two teams, I myself would prefer that the Phillies face the Boston Red Sox, as that would give them both a chance to snatch the World Series crown from the present champs as well as get revenge for the lost back in ’15. But, unless the Red Sox are able to pull off another trailing three games to one-three victories in a row senario, it looks like it’ll be a Phillies-Rays World Series, Fox’s ratings nightmare come true. And if it does, I’ll be laughing my head off, as this is what Fox gets for trying to overlook a couple of good teams because they were hoping for a Manny v. Red Sox wet dream. Shame on you, Fox. And, let go, PHILLIES!!!!
Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels three hit the Reds while going the distance as the Phillies defeat the Reds, 5-0. Junior is finally in the Reds’ starting line-up, going one for four with a double as he is unable to hit home run number 600 in Philadelphia. The closest he would get would be with a deep fly ball to center field that would be caught right in front of the wall by Shane Victorino. Also, Jimmy Rollins would be taken out of the ballgame, because he didn’t hustle as he was disgusted with himself after hitting a pop up high into the air in the third inning, with a runner on second and two out, that was misplayed by Reds’ shortstop Paul Janish into an error, which would lead to the Phillies’ first unearned run of the game, as it gave the Phils a sudden 1-0 lead. Since Rollins did not end up on second because of his lack of hustling, Charlie Manuel would bench him for the rest of the game and replace him with Eric Bruntlett. More on that later. The runner on second at the time, Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, and moved to second on Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, would score on the play. The Phils would increase their lead in the fifth, when Ken Griffey, Jr. would misplay Bruntlett’s fly ball, allowing it to drop in for an error, scoring Pedro Feliz, who has earlier reached base on an infield single and has went to second on a throwing error by Reds’ starter Homer Bailey, to make the score 2-0 Phils. Victorino would then hit an RBI single, scoring Ruiz, who has earlier walked, giving the Philliess a 3-0 lead. In the sixth inning, the score would become 4-0 Phillies when Geoff Jenkins would hit his sixth home run of the year. The Phils’ final run would come in the seventh, when Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single of off Jeremy Affeldt, who was pitching in relief of Bailey, scoring Bruntlett, who has earlier walked. Hamels would end the game by getting Corey Patterson to pop out to Howard in foul territory with a runner on first.
Cole Hamels gets the win, as he pitches both his second complete game and his second shut out of the year, as he gives up no runs on three hits. With this good performance, his record is now 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA. Homer Bailey would take the lost for the Reds, as he would last six and one third innings, giving up five runs, only two of which were earned, thanks to three Reds’ errors, on only four hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Jeremy Affeldt would pitch a third of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on only one hit, Ryan Howard’s RBI single. Mike Lincoln would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits.
On Jimmy Rollins’ benching, I agree with Charlie doing it 100%. As Jimmy would himself acknowledge during a post-game interview, he should’ve been running hard towards first after hitting the ball into the air, because if he had been running hard, he would’ve been on second after seeing the Red’s shortstop botch the play. Jimmy acknowledged in the interview that he had screwed up and had accepted the benching like a professional. Okay, the deed has been done, the punishment has been assessed and accepted, and that should be the end of it.
Junior would finally get into the Reds’ starting line-up this afternoon, and as mentioned earlier, he would only go one for four, getting only a double and just miss hitting a home run in the top of the ninth. Within the four games series, he would go one for four with two walks. But, I will not be talking about that. I’m going to be talking about the error that he made during the game. As I listened to the game this afterrnoon, I’d heard the Phillies’ announcers say that Junior had moved back on the ball when he got close to it before it would drop in for an error. I would not be surprised if that have happened because his knees are still sore from last Sunday’s game. If that is the reason, then the Reds should have kept him out of the line-up for one more game, for both his and their own good, because, while having him hit home run number 600 might be important, I, personally would’ve preferred that it happen when he is 95-100 percent, and it would not hurt his team defensively. But, hey, I’m a fan, and a Phillies’ fan at that, what the heck do I know.
The Phillies’ offense recently have not been getting the hits lately. This might not be the best time for it to happen as they head on the road to visit Atlanta, Miami and St. Louis, for nine games. Hopefully, the bats will return when they enter Atlanta for a three games series that will start tomorrow night at Turner Field at 7:30 PM Eastern. The Phillies’ (36-26) starter will be Jamie Moyer (6-3, 4.65), who is coming off of his fourth straight victory, as he was the winning pitcher in the Phils’ 7-5 defeat of the Marlins on June 1. Moyer would go seven innings, giving up all five earned runs on seven hits. He will be trying for his fifth straight win, while hoping to continue the Phillies’ starters recent string of quality starts while also hoping that the offense will continue to support him with runs. The Braves (32-29) will counter with Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.01), who left his last start with a hamstring pull, which was a lost to the Reds on June 1. In that game, he would go six innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, in the Braves’ 6-2 lost He hopes that he will be more successful in his third attempt for his eighth win of the season, while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.
With the win, the Phillies, with their 8-2 home stand, are now once again leading the second place Marlins by two and a half games as they lost the third of their four games with the third place Braves. The Braves’ victory keep them three and a half games behind the Phils. The fourth place Mets, with their lost to San Diego, fall back four and a half games behind the Phillies. The Phillies hope that they can continue their good fortune on the road while doing some damage to the Braves’ home record. when they play in Atlanta tomorrow.