What a marathon game. If you thought there wouldn’t be anymore four-hour games (NLDS game 3) then you were in for a real shock. The Phillies were able to stay on top of the Dodgers with timely hitting, winning the first game, 8-6.
Cole Hamels was a little shaky but got the job done and Chan Ho Park and Brad Lidge were clutch in the late innings to seal the win. Hamels’ line through 5.1 IP: four runs on eight hits and a walk, and four strike outs. He surrendered home runs to James Loney in the second and Manny Ramirez in the 5th.
Loney got the offense going with his solo shot in the third. The Phillies then answered in the top of the 5th, putting up five runs on a three-run homer by Carlos Ruiz and a two-run double by Ryan Howard. After Howard’s double, Clayton Kershaw was yanked. Kershaw got knocked around for five runs on four hits and five walks in 4.2 IP. Kershaw also became the first pitcher to throw three wild pitches in one inning, doing so in the 5th.
The Dodgers immediately answered in the bottom half, getting a huge three runs back off a shot by Ramirez, who stared down the Phillies dug out after his shot. After a few scares on the mound, the Phillies came up in the top of the 8th. Howard and Jayson Werth absorbed back-to-back walks for Raul Ibanez, who took George Sherrill deep to make it an 8-4 game. Ibanez’s shot was the first homer Sherrill allowed to a lefty since mid-2008.
Ryan Madson came in to pitch in the bottom of the 8th and the wheels fell of his bus again. He allowed a pair of runs on four hits but got out of the inning. Lidge came in to pitch the ninth. He allowed an early base runner, got a double play ball, walked Loney, and then got Ronnie Belliard to pop up to end the game.
It was a nail biter the whole way through. My only concerns are Madson’s reliability. Hamels will be fine and the offense turned it on like usual. If they keep this up, my playoff beard will get even longer.
Next Game: Friday in Los Angeles, 4:07 EST
Series: Phillies lead 1-0
Probables: Pedro Martinez (0-0, -.–) vs. Vicente Padilla (1-0, 0.00)
Game day discussion: Liberty Bell Sports
Vicente Padilla threw seven shut out innings in game three of the NLDS versus St. Louis. Pedro Martinez hasn’t pitched since Sept. 30 versus Houston. If the Phillies can get a 2004 effort from Martinez, they could very well go into Philly with a two-game lead. The Phillies bats can heat up at any time and so can the Dodgers’.
This game is important more so for LA than Philly. You want to win every game but if the Dodgers fall behind 2-0 like last year, they won’t have a home field to fall back on. It’s cold and loud in Philly and the Dodger’s don’t want to go there already in the hole.