Tagged: Rafael Furcal

Repeat!!!! The Phils’ bats buried the Dodgers as the Phils win game five of the NLCS, 10-4, to return to the World Series to defend their championship.

Four home runs, with two of them by Jayson Werth, help rocket the Phils past the Dodgers, 10-4, to win the 2009 National League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, to become the first National League squad, since the 1995-96 Atlanta Braves, to win back-to-back National League pennants. The Phillies will now try to become the first NL team, since the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati, to win back-to-back World Series (1975-76).

The Dodgers took the early lead in the first as, with two men out, Andre Ethier hits a solo home run, his first home run iof the series, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the first as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run bomb into the right field seats, his second home run of the series, knocking in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, who had both been walked, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Dodgers got a run back in the second as James Loney hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the second as Pedro Feliz hits the first pitch into right field for a solo home run of his own, his first of both the series and of the post-season, to give the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, thanks to a Carlos Ruiz walk, then Phils’ starter Cole Hamels moving both Ibanez and Ruiz up a base with a sacrifice bunt, and Jimmy Rollins then being hit by the pitch, and with two men out, Shane Victorino brought in another run as he in turn was hit by the pitch, forcing in Ibanez, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead, as both Ruiz and Rollins moved up a base. The Dodgers got a run back in the fifth as, with one man out, pinch hitter Orlando Hudson hits a pinch hit solo home run, his first of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 6-3. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Victorino hits a two-run shot into left field, his second home run of the series, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier been hit by the pitch for the second straight time, to make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the game, his third home run of the series and his fifth of the post-season, to give the Phils a 9-3 lead. The Dodgers then made one last attempt in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Ronnie Belliard and Ethier, who sent Belliard to third with his single, and a walk to Manny Ramirez, and with nobody out, Matt Kemp hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, and moving both Either and Ramirez up a base, making it a 9-4 Phils’ lead, with the bases still loaded. But the Phils then got out of the inning, as Ryan Madson then got Loney to foul out to the third baseman, then struck out Russell Martin, swinging, then got Casey Blake to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Kemp at second. The Phils then got that run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, thanks to a single by Rollins and a ground-rule double, thanks to Fan Interference, by Victorino, and with two men out, with Utley batting, Rollins would score on a wild pitch by Dodgers’ reliever Ronald Belisario, giving the Phils a 10-4 lead, while sending Victorino over to third. The Phils then send out Brad Lidge to end the game. He first struck out pinch hitter Mark Loretta swinging for the first out. He then got Rafael Furcal to foul out to the catcher for the second out. He then got Belliard to fly out to center to end the game, and give the Phils their second straight NL pennant, and the seventh NL pennant in the francishe’s long history.

Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a third innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. J.A. Happ pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched one and a third scoreless innings, as he struck out a batter. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched an inning plus two batters, giving up a run on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a hit. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Vicente Padilla took the lost as he lasted four innings plus two batters, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks, as he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter and hitting a batter. George Sherrill pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run, as he hit a batter, as he struck out one. Clayton Kershaw pitched two innings, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out three. Hong-Chih Kuo pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out three batters. Ronald Belisario pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with three hits, including two home runs, as he knocked in four runs. Shane Victorino followed with two hits, a two-run double and a ground-rule double, knocking in three runs. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz followed with one hit each, with Ibanez’s hit being an RBI double and Feliz’s hit being a solo home run. The Phils had six extra-base hits in the game, two doubles and four home runs, as the offense, once again, got the hits when they needed them.

The Phillies (4-1) now wait to find out who their American League opponent will be in the 2009 World Series, as the 2009 ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continues tonight in Anaheim.

A pair of three-run bombs help propel the Phils past the Dodgers, 8-6, to take a 1-0 lead in the 2009 NLCS.

Two three-run home runs by Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez and a two-run double by Ryan Howard help lead the Phils to an 8-6 victory in the first game of the 2009 National League Championship Series. The Phils lead the seven-games series with the Dodgers, 1-0.

The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the second as James Loney hits a solo home run, his first in the series, over the right field fence to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The game then developed into a pitchers’ duel for the first four innings between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. During those four innings, Kershaw had the Phils’ bats quieted, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out two batters. Meanwhile, Hamels, besides Loney’s home run, gave up three hits and a walk, pitching himself out of a two on, two out jam in the first inning, while striking out three Dodgers. The Phils then struck in the fifth as, with two men on, via a single to Raul Ibanez, who then moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then a walk to Pedro Feliz, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits a three-run shot to left, his first home run of the series, scoring both Ibanez and Feliz, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. Five batters later, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who got on base on a force out, wiping out Hamels at second, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on a wild pitch as Shane Victorino struck out, swinging, and then moved to third on the third wild pitch in the inning, and Chase Utley, who had just walked, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Dodgers then came back in their half of the inning as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Andre Ethier hits into a force out, 6-4, knocking in Russell Martin, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, and then went to third on Rafael Furcal’s single, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead, as Furcal, who had just singled, was forced out at second base, before Ethier would move up to second as Utley’s throw to first went into the Phils’ dugout. The next batter, Manny Ramirez, then made it a 5-4 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run home run into left center field, his first home run of the series, scoring Ethier. The Dodgers would threathen to score in the sixth, as they loaded up the bases on singles by Loney and Ronnie Belliard and a walk to pinch hitter Jim Thome, who was then pinch run for by Randy Wolf, with two men out. But, J.A. Happ, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who had earlier come in in relief of Hamels, ended the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 4-3. The Dodgers then threathen again in the seventh as Ethier lead off the inning with a double. But, Chan Ho Park, pitching in relief of Antonio Bastardo, turned back the Dodgers by getting Ramirez to ground out, 5-3, then struck out Matt Kemp, swinging, before ending the inning by getting Casey Blake to also ground out, 4-3. The Phils then increased their lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Ibanez hits a three-run bomb to right, knocking in Howard and Jayson Werth, who had both walked, giving the Phils an 8-4 lead. The Dodgers then tried to come back in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Martin hits an RBI single, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Belliard’s single, cutting the Phils’ lead to 8-5, while sending Belliard, who had just singled, over to second. Two batters later, after pinch hitter Juan Pierre hits into a force out, 1-4, as a low throw to second from reliever Ryan Madson killed a possible double play attempt, wiping out Martin at second, while Belliard moved up to third, Furcal hits a sacrifice fly for the inning’s second out, knocking in Belliard, to make it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. Madson would then get out of the inning by getting Ramirez to ground out 5-3, with runners on first and third. Brad Lidge was then given the ball in the ninth to save it. Lidge was greeted with a lead-off single by Kemp. But, he then got Blake to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Kemp at second base, for outs number one and two. Loney then worked a walk, after falling behind 0-2, to keep the game alive. After Loney took second on defensive indifference, Lidge finally recorded the save, his first for the series, by getting Belliard to pop up to Rollins for the final out.

Cole Hamels got the win, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA. Chad Durbin picked up his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. J.A. Happ also picked up his first series hold as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Antonio Bastardo pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Chan Ho Park got his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge got the save, his first in the series, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Clayton Kershaw took the lost as he went just four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on four hits, five walks and three wild pitches, while he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo combined for two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Kuo), while striking out two (Kuo). George Sherrill pitched an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter.

The Phils had only eight hits in the game, making the most of them, along with the seven walks that they received. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz led the team with two hits apiece, with both Ibanez and Ruiz each hitting a three-run home run. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a two-run double. The Phils did very well with runners in scoring position as they went 3 for 5.

The Phils (1-0) continues their NL Championship Series with the Dodgers (0-1) with an afternoon game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 4:07 pm Eastern (1:07 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.63), who last pitched on September 30 against the Astros, as he went only four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out two as he received a no-decision in the Phils’ 10-3 win, as they clinched the NL East pennant. This will be his first start of the 2009 post-season, as he hope to give the Phils a chance to take a 2-0 lead back to Philadelphia. The Dodgers will counter with Vicente Padilla (12-6 (4-0), 4.46 (3.20)), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on October 4, as he pitched five innings, giving up just a run on four hits, as he struck out ten, in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win. He will be trying to even up the series before the two teams head for Philadelphia. The Phillies hope to continue their road success before they head back home to continue the series with home field advantage.

Phils waste a good performance by their ace as they lose to the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-3.

The Phillies waste a good performance from the ace, Cole Hamels, as the bullpen is unable to keep the Dodgers down as the Phils lose in extra-innings, 5-3.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers then tied it up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Casey Blake, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, would score on Rollins’ fielding error of a Rafael Furcal grounder. The game then developed into a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley. The Dodgers then took the lead in the seventh as James Loney hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the season, to make it a 2-1 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers added an insurance run in the ninth, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Blake hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who had earlier tripled on a play in which Raul Ibanez tried to catch the ball by slding under it, instead of letting it drop in for a single, making it 3-1 Dodgers. The Phils tied it up at three-all in their half of the ninth, as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run double, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on defensive indifference, and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, who had just walked. The Dodgers would regain the lead in the tenth, as, with a man on, and two outs, Russell Martin hits an RBI double, scoring Andre Ethier, who had earlier walked, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, with two men on base, after an intentional walk to Loney, Kemp hits an RBI double, scoring Martin, while sending Loney to third, for a 5-3 lead. That would be the final score as the Phils would be unable to rally in the tenth.

Coel Hamels pitched a no-decision, as he pitched seven good innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out nine. Ryan Madson pitched a scorless inning, giving up only two hits. Brad Lidge also pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Chad Durbin took the lost, as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. His record is now 1-1 with a 4.19 ERA. Chad Billingsley also received a no-decision, as he pitched seven good inning, giving up just one run on three hits and four walks, while he struck out nine. Cory Wade received his four hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jonathan Broxton had his second blown save of the season before collecting the win, as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, as he struck out the side. His record is now 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Ramon Troncoso recorded his second save as he pitched a scoreless ninth, hitting one batter, while striking out one.

The Phillies’ offense collected only five hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez having two hits and Carlos Ruiz also having two, with one of them being a double. Jimmy Rollins had the other Phil hit, a double. Ruiz knocked in two Phils runs, while Ryan Howard knocked in the other run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils’ bats are presently still in the middle of a team slump.

The Phillies (16-16, T-2nd) will be involved in a four-game series with the Nationals (11-21, 5th) in Washington, D.C. The first game of the series will be played tonight at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Joe Blanton (1-3, 6.82) , who is coming off a so-so start against the Braves on May 9, where he went eight innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 6-2 lost. Blanton will be trying for his second win, while hoping to improve on his last start. The Nats will counter with John Lannan (2-3, 3.89), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on May 9, where he pitched six shut out innings, giving up only three hits, while walking six and striking out two, in the Nationals’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to even his record. The Phillies will be trying to see if they can get out of their present slump at Washington’s expense. 

Moyer is once again denied his 250th career victory as the Phils lose to the Dodgers, 9-2.

For his third straight start, Jamie Moyer is denied his 250th career win, as he is once again knocked out of the box in spite of a good start as the Phils are beaten by the Dodgers, 9-2.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the second as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Dodgers tied the game up at one-all in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and nobody out, Orlando Hudson hits an RBI double, knocking in Rafael Furcal, who had earlier doubled. Three batters later, the Dodgers would take the lead, as, with one out, and runners on the corners, James Loney hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the season, scoring Hudson, who had gone to third on Andre Ethier’s ground out to first, 3-unassisted, and Russell Martin, who had just walked, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. The Dodgers would make it 5-1, as, with two men on, and still one out, Matt Kemp, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Casey Blake’s single, would score all the way from second on Dodgers’ starter Randy Wolf’s sacrifice bunt, while Blake, who had earlier singled, would move on to second base. The Dodgers would add to their lead in the fifth, as, with runners on the corners, and one out, Loney hits an RBI single, knocking in Hudson, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Martin’s single, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead, while sending Martin to second base. After Kemp had walked to load the bases, Blake made it a 7-1 Dodgers lead by hitting a sacrifice fly, scoring Martin, while sending Loney to third base. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 9-1 in the top of the ninth, as, with a runner on base, and two outs, Kemp hits a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, as he knocked in Kemp, who had earlier singled. The Phils got a run back in their half of the ninth, as Raul Ibanez hits a lead-off solo home run, his tenth home run of the year, making it a 9-2 Dodgers lead. But that would be the game, as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torrie would then send out two relievers to stop any possible Phillies rally.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, once again denied his 250th career win, as he would only go four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 3-3 with a rather high ERA of 8.15. J.A. Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk. Jack Taschner pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and two walks, while striking out one. Clay Condrey also pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out two. Randy Wolf got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits and three walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched an inning and a third of relief, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk. Will Ohman pitched two thirds of an inning, plus one batter, giving up one run on one hit. James McDonald pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Brent Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out a batter.

The Phillies only got five hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with two hits, both doubles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth got the other three Phillies’ hits, with Rollins and Ibanez’s hits being solo home runs, accounting for the Phils only runs. The Phillies’ bats have been a bit sluggish during the last several days, while most of their starters have been getting better.

The Phillies (16-15, 2nd) are presently playing the final game of their home stand with the Dodgers (23-12, 1st National League West). The Phillies’ starter is their ace Cole Hamels (1-2, 6.17), who is coming off his win against the Braves on May 8, where he went six innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in the Phils’ 10-6 win. He is trying to even his record, while going out to produce his second straight quality start without a freak injury. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (5-1, 2.45), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on May 8, where he went seven inning, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his sixth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to win the series with the Dodgers so that they can leave Citizens Bank Park with a split in their six-games home stand, before they go off to Washington, D.C. for four games with the Nationals.

National League Championship Series: Game 5: The Phillies Win the Pennant!!! The Phillies Win the Pennant!!!

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!!!!

National League Championship Series: Game 4: Two eighth inning home runs by Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers, giving them a three games to one lead in the NLCS.

Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.

The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.

Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.

National League Championship Series: Game 3: Dodgers knock out Jamie Moyer early on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Phillies. Phillies now own a two games to one lead in the series.

The Dodgers came out smoking against Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first inning and scoring six runs off of him before he is finally removed in the second, as the Dodgers defeated the Fightins’, 7-2.

The Phillies lead in the National League Championship Series is now two games to one. The Dodgers attack Moyer early in the bottom of the first as Rafael Furcal would get on base with a single. Andre Ethier would follow with a single, moving Furcal to second base. Manny Ramirez would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Furcal and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Ethier and Ramirez would both move up to third and second respectively on Pat Burrell’s throw to home, which would get past Phillies’ catcher Carlos Ruiz, which was a mistake as Burrell should’ve thrown to third, keeping the runners at second and third. Moyer, after getting ahead in the count, would hit Russell Martin on the right knee, loading the bases, with still nobody out. Nomar Garciaparra would strike out looking for the first out of the inning. Casey Blake would then follow with a single, scoring Ethier to make it 2-0 Dodgers, while Ramirez and Martin would both move up a base, leaving the bases loaded. Moyer would then strike out Matt Kemp looking, for the inning’s second out. He would then get ahead of Blake DeWitt with two quick strikes, before the count evens out at 2-2. DeWitt would then hit the ball down the right field foul line for a three-run triple, knocking in Ramirez, Russell and Blake, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda to ground out, 5-3. The Phillies would get a run back in the top of the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier doubled and would move to third on Jayson Werth’s fly out to center, making it 5-1 Dodgers. The Dodgers would get that run back as Furcal would hit a lead-off home run off of Moyer, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead. In the top of the third inning, with no one on and two men out, Kuroda would throw the first pitch behind Shane Victorino’s head for ball one. This would lead to an exchange between first Victorino and Martin and then Victorino and Kuroda, with Victorino constantly pointing at his head and ribs, indictating that if he was going to hit him, Kuroda should be aiming for his ribs and not his head, while the home plate umpire would give Kuroda (and every pitcher who would later enter the game) a warning that if he believes that he was intentionally aiming at a batter, he would be thrown out of the game. Two pitches later, Victorino would ground out to the first baseman, Garciaparra, with Kuroda covering. Victorino would continue the argument about the ball being thrown at his head while both benches would clear out. Thankfully no blows were thrown, although Ramirez ended up being restrained by several of his teammates as he still believes that Brett Myers had tried to hit him with a pitch in game two although Myers has denied it. In the fourth, the Dodgers would make it 7-1 as, with two men on, and two outs, Garciaparra would hit an RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has earlier walked and has moved to second on Martin’s walk. But the inning would end as Burrell would throw to third, catching Martin in front of third base, who is then caught in a run down, before being tagged out by Jimmy Rollins, 7-5-6. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh, as, with runners on the corners and no outs, Pat Burrell would get a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled, and would move to third on Howard’s single, making the score 7-2 Dodgers, while moving Howard up to second. But, that would be the best that the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen would then shut them down for the last three innings, with Jonathan Broxton ending the game with a Feliz’s pop up to second, with Werth on first base, and two men out.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, his second straight bad start in the post-season, as he is only able to go one and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits and a hit batter, while striking out two. His series record is presently 0-1 with a rather high 40.50 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and walking one. J.A. Happ would pitch three innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits and a two walks, while striking out two. Steve Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch an inning of scoreless ball, giving up between them no hits, two walks (Durbin (1), Romero (1)), and a hit batter (Durbin) and four strikeouts (Durbin (2), Romero (2)). Hiroki Kuroda would get the win as he would pitch six strongs innings plus three batters, as he gave up only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Cory Wade would pitch two shut out innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out two. Jonathan Broxton would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, while striking out one.

The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead in the series to 2-1 as the Dodgers went to work early on Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first as they scored five runs, with DeWitt’s three-run triple being the major blow. But the Phillies’ bullpen, after Moyer’s removal in the second after giving up a solo home run to Rafael Furcal, would shut down the Dodgers, only giving up one more run in six and two-thirds innings of work. Meantime, the Phillies’ batters would be once again unable to do anything against Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda before the seventh inning, when three straight hits by Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell would finally chase him out of the game. Sadly, it would a case of too little, too late. If there is any silver lining in all this, it is that it looks like Howard is finally coming out of his post-season slump, as he had a double and a single, scoring a run, and helping to set up the other Phils’ run. Now, if Jimmy Rollins’ bat would finally wake up, and if Shane Victorino would use last night’s incident as a motivator for the rest of the series, the Dodgers will be in a lot of trouble.

The National League Championship Series will continue tonight with Game 4. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton, who is coming off an excellent start against the Brewers on October 5, as he pitched the Phils into the championship series by pitching six innings of strong ball, giving up only an earned run on five scattered hits, while striking out seven, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. During the regular season, his record was 9-12 (4-0 as a Phil) with a 4.69 ERA (4.20 as a Phil) in 197 and two-thirds innings, striking out 111 batters while walking only 66. He has faced the Dodgers twice already this year, getting a no-decision in both starts, as he pitched a combined total of eleven innings, giving up just five earned runs on fifteen hits and six walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying for his fourth straight win and his second win in the post-season, while trying to give the Phillies their first win this year in Los Angeles as well as a three games to one lead in the series. He will be opposed by first game starter Derek Lowe, who lost game one as the Phillies ended up knocking him out of the game in the sixth inning, after having them under control for the first five, as he gave up two home runs to Chase Utley and Pat Burrell after Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal’s two-base error on Shane Victorino’s ground ball shifted the game’s momentum over to the Phillies. In five and a third innings of work, Lowe would give up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Dodgers 2-1 lost. His series record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He will be trying to rebound from the lost, as he tries to tie the series up at two games apiece.