Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Dodgers

Season Preview: NL West

San Francisco Giants

Expectations: What else is there to say other than expectations are high for the former World Series Champions. The Giant’s 2010 playoff run was extremely similar to the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series explosion. Both the Phillies and the Giants stampeded their competition, somewhat unexpectedly, and took home the hardware as the league’s best.

Key Addition: Miguel Tejada – Replacing shortstops Edgar Renteria and Philly-killer Juan Uribe, Tejada will bring some more veteran experience to the world champs. With Baltimore and San Diego in 2010, Tejada posted 15 home runs and 71 RBI’s, while batting .269. The acquisition is not earth-shattering, but sometimes the small, solid moves end up paying dividends in October.

Key Loss: Juan Uribe – The loss of Juan Uribe has been silenced by the addition of veteran, Miguel Tejada, but surely, fans will miss one of their many 2010 heroes. Playing two seasons for the Giants, Uribe drove in a total of 140 RBI’s and 40 home runs in 2009 and 2010. For post-season pitchers, Uribe’s bat was big and loud, resulting in clutch hits and runs batted in. Uribe landed in Los Angeles (Dodgers) during the off season.

Projected Record: 88-74

2010 proved that momentum is a dominant force leading into the post season. Getting hot at the right time will lead to wins, and lost sleep for the opposing teams. Smashing through the post-season like a bowling ball through helpless, white pins, the Giants flexed their muscles and exhibited the importance of excellent pitching, as well as impressive facial hair.

Although the Philadelphia Phillies acquired one of the league’s nastiest pitchers, Cliff Lee, to go along with H2O, the Giants’ rotation is not far behind. Going into the post-season in 2010, all the talk was about how the Giants didn’t have enough bats to make enough noise. Clearly, great pitching can make mediocre offense look highly above average. Look for Lincecum to have another strong year.

A question mark is beside Matt Cain, due to injury, but if he can gain his health and 2010 dominance, expect another strong season. Also, Madison Bumgarner and his promising, young left arm may throw a coming-out party. Similar to Cain Cain, if Brian Wilson can stay healthy throughout the season, then continue to fear the beard.

Colorado Rockies

Expectations: For the Colorado Rockies, the biggest news over the off season wasn’t a hot stove blockbuster, or the departure of an all-star, but the fact that they were able to lock up two of their top offensive pieces to long-term deals. Both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki headlined the Winter news for Colorado (with the exception of Melo trade rumors). This coming season could be another playoff run in the making. The main ingredient for the Rockies team, notorious for streaky play, is their team chemistry. If Colorado can buckle down, and jell as a unit, then the San Francisco Giants may be in for a battle.

Key Addition: Ty Wigginton – The addition of veteran Ty Wigginton isn’t a splash, heard around the majors, but it is a move that could quietly help the Rockies in 2011. Coming off a down season with the Baltimore Orioles, Wigginton only batted .248, but he knocked in 76 RBI’s and smashed 22 home runs. Imagine his impact if he batted for a better average. Collecting 143 home runs over his long career in the majors, watch out for his 14th season. It may be a difference maker.

Key Loss: Jeff Francis – Jeff Francis spent seven years with the Colorado Rockies, playing in six of them, due to an injury, which kept him out of the rotation in 2009. To some people, Francis is a walking one-hit wonder. His strong 2007 season, where he won 17 games and lost only nine, has given hope to the Royals for the coming season, with hopes that the 30-year-old lefty can regain his 2007 form. Along with the loss of Francis, the departure of catcher, Miguel Olivo will be another key loss for the mountain-high sluggers.

Projected Record: 85-77

Thanks to the splendid play of outfielder, Carlos Gonzalez, the Colorado Rockies threatened to make the playoffs in 2010, but failed to grab a spot. They finished the season on a roll, which could have made it scary for other teams throughout the entire playoffs. We learned with the Phillies (2008) and Giants (2010) that it isn’t always the most talented teams that win the World Series, but the hottest.

Troy Tulowitzki, who missed almost a third of the 2010 season, will be a huge impact player, along with his fellow offseason signee, Carlos Gonzalez. If they can stay healthy and the pitching staff can win a heaping handful of games of offensive off days, then we may see the Rockies sneak in with a wildcard birth. 85 wins seems reasonable for the Rockies, being that they are slightly improved, compared to last season, where they finished with 83 wins.

San Diego Padres

Expectations: Last year’s 90-win season was a giant step forward for the usually boring and predictable San Diego Padres. Unfortunately for the Fathers, they lost their franchise player, Adrian Gonzalez, who signed with the Boston Red Sox during this Winter’s boiling, hot stove. Although Gonzalez and his big bat left southern California to play in Fenway, the Padres filled in some offensive holes in their lineup. Cameron Mayben, Jason Bartlett, and Orlando Hudson were all acquired, with hope that their presence is capable of scaring away the ghost of first baseman’s past.

Key Addition: Cameron Maybin – At the beginning of Maybin’s career, he was seen as one of the brightest youngsters in all of baseball. Living up to the hype can be difficult for some ball players, but fortunately for the Padres and Maybin, he is still a child. At 23-years-old, Maybin has only hit 46-points above the Mendoza line, along with a mere 13 home runs and 45 RBI’s through four seasons. Although he has a suspect arm, he can field with the best, due to gazelle-like speed. A glaring confusion about Maybin that stands out like Mike Tyson’s tattoo is the fact he has only stolen 19 bases in 4 years. With speed like Maybin’s, unacceptable would be a good way to describe that number. Don’t expect him to hit his way into hero-status, but who knows. He has plenty of time to grow.

Key Loss: Adrian Gonzalez – Lifetime .286-hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, packed his five seasons as a Padre up, and jetted to Beantown, with hopes of much deserved success. Over the past 4 seasons with the Padres, Gonzalez didn’t once dip below 30 homeruns in a season, (30, 36, 40, 31) and is only 100 hits away from reaching 1,000 for his career. Losing Gonzalez is much more than fantastic numbers vanishing in thin air, but it is also a burden for the fans. The Padres finally reached 90 wins for what seems like the first time since the creation of oxygen, and a second later, their star player is gone.

Projected Record: 83-79

To me, the San Diego Padres’ 2011 season is a huge question mark. I estimated 83 wins, generously, because of the ripple effect of losing their best player. It is just so hard for teams to bounce back from a letdown of this magnitude, after a 90-win season, resulting in no playoffs. Who knows what damage they could have done in the playoffs. Something like that could have been huge for the franchise, and maybe it could have kept Gonzalez with San Diego, but more than likely not.

Players will need to step up for the Padres if they hope to make a run at the playoffs for a second straight season. The X-factor for the Padres’ offense in 2011 will be outfielder, Ryan Ludwick. When he gets hot, it is nearly impossible to strike this guy out. He will wear the base-path out. My favorite on their pitching staff is not a starter, but it is their closer, Heath Bell. Expect the Padres to play in many close games this season. Bell’s performance will determine the outcome of more than enough games to impact their position in the standings come October.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Expectations: I’m just not feeling the Dodgers in 2011. They seem to be one or two players shy of noise making status. They finished 2010 with 80 wins, falling way short of the NL wildcard. A few players here and there swapped around during the offseason, but not nearly enough to put this team back towards the top, competitive enough to make another legitimate run at the National League Championship Series.

Key Addition: Ted Lilly – This was a tough decision, but in this case the importance of pitching is what tilted the balance beam towards Ted. Throughout the years, Lilly has proven to be a reliable pitcher; not great, but reasonably trustworthy. Alongside Billingsley, Kershaw, Garland, and Kuo, (I believe this is their projected lineup) Lilly fills out one of the more solid rotations in the NL.

Key Loss: Russell Martin – Things just didn’t work out for Martin in the city of angels. Ending up on the New York Yankees during the offseason, Martin brings a bat with him that has caused a few moans and groans through the past few seasons. After Martin’s solid first three years with the Dodgers, where he batter over .280 in each season, (.282, .293, .280) he dipped down to .250 and .248 in 2009 and 2010. Whether or not those numbers are misleading, none of us will know until he puts on the pinstripes and swings away for New York’s approval, which can be quite difficult.

Projected Record: 81-81

If the Dodgers want to even think about winning 81 games this season, they are going to have to help their pitchers out a little bit. Without their starting rotation, I would see Los Angeles as a sub-500 team, but I feel that an even split is a realistic ending. If the Dodgers have dreamt about the post-season yet this year, the names Billingsley, Kershaw, and Broxton would most likely come to mind first; Billingsley and Kershaw for all the right reason’s, and the opposite for Broxton.

Not many teams have a player that an throw heat like Broxton, but his reputation of choking in the clutch still gives Dodgers fans a headache, while Matt Stairs smiles in the background. L.A. basically has the same offense as last year, and if they can get it into gear, then big things may be popping in Hollywood. The biggest change on their offense is most likely the acquisition of Rod Barajas, who has replaced the plummeted, Russell Martin.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Expectations: Coming off a 65-win season, and a record-breaking strikeout fiasco, it will be hard for the Diamondbacks to dip any lower. A few polishes and shift later, Arizona looks to clean up their act, and make something happen in 2011.

Key addition: J.J. Putz – In 2010, the Diamondback’s bullpen ERA was a dismal 5.74, which was last in the NL. (1.02 higher than 15th place, Chicago Cubs) The addition of Putz will most likely decrease the noise of late-inning leather poppers, resulting in runs for the opposition. Putz posted a 2.83 ERA for the White Sox in 2010, along with 7 wins and 3 saves.

Key loss: Mark Reynolds – Although Reynolds has a horrible reputation of swinging and missing, there are some bright spots to his game that will be missed by Arizona. In his 4 years with the Diamondbacks, Reynolds has tallied 121 home runs and 346 RBI’s. Unfortunately, those solid numbers are anchored down to the deep end due to a repulsive 767 strikeouts in 4 years. His whiffs are the reason Reynolds was dealt to Baltimore, and Adam LaRoche’s option was declined due to the exact reason. Overall, anyone would miss production that Reynolds is capable of providing.

Projected Record: 72-90

Some teams just have a bad season here and there. For the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2010 was merely a symbol that the Luis Gonzalez’s gum-dropping legacy is far faded in the rear-view mirror. Collecting only 65 wins, Arizona made a few changes this off season to wipe up the mess left behind by last year’s overall raunchy performance.

Hoping to cut down team strikeouts, the D-Backs sent team strikeout leaders, Adam LaRoche and Mark Reynolds packing, along with their whiff-a-ball bats. Coming off a team record-breaking strikeout total, it is safe to say that change was necessary. Along with their horrid offensive output, Arizona’s bullpen equaled the offense’s ineptitude. Hoping to make a few swing-and-misses go down for the opposing team, the Diamondbacks added pitchers J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, and Kam Mickolio. 72 wins seems realistic, but unfortunate for Arizona fans.


2010 Moment: #6 Broxton Meltdown Part III

To the Phillies fans, it was a game to remember. For Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, it was a night from hell.

First there was Matt Stairs, who crushed the go-ahead homer in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS in Los Angeles off Broxton that eventually helped them win the series. Then in Game 4 of the NLCS the following year, Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off two-run double lifted the Phillies again over Broxton.

First it was Matt Stairs. The Jimmy Rollins. Now Carlos Ruiz became the third Phillies in three years to victimize Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.

There wasn’t anything on the line in this game. It was August, not October. Broxton was entering the ninth with a three-run lead against an offense that was hot and cold all year. Surely he would fail to record an out and let the Phillies steal another one from the Dodgers.

It was an ugly game from the start for the Phillies. Joe Blanton took the hill and allowed three runs in the first inning. By the time Blanton was pulled with two outs in the sixth, the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead. LA then feasted on an at-the-time struggling bull pen. They got five runs, three earned off of Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, and Jose Contreras in the next 2 1/3 innings.

Leading 9-2 built off of a monster game by Matt Kemp, the Dodgers were set to put the Phillies away. But heading into the eighth inning, the Phillies offense took life. Placido Polanco and Mike Sweeney hit back-to-back singles and moved up on a wild pitch by Ronald Belisario. Jayson Werth, hit a two-run single with the runners in scoring position to make it a 9-4 game. Ben Francisco then doubled in Werth and later scored on a Wilson Valdez single to bring the Phils to within three.

After a 1-2-3 inning by Danys Baez, Broxton entered the game to close out the Phillies. He was greeted by the loud fans of Philadelphia, very well aware of Broxton’s post season success, or lack there of, against the Phillies. Broxton, who’s control issues cost him Game 4 of 2009, couldn’t hit the plate again. He hit Polanco with a pitch and then walked Sweeney and Werth.

Francisco then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He hit a hard double-play ball to third baseman Casey Blake, but Blake let the ball scoot between his legs and into left field, scoring Polanco and Sweeney. The score was 9-8 and Carlos Ruiz, who is no stranger to clutch hitting, stepped up to the plate. He sent Broxton’s 1-1 offering over the head of Kemp in center field to score Werth and Francisco for the walk-off double.

*moment submitted by (@DealNCali)
Top 10
10. Chooch’s walk-off HR against St. Louis
9. Taser bro
8. Moyer’s CG/SHO
7. Hamels dominates Reds

Chasing Doubles

Roy Oswalt’s hot August carried into September as the right-hander kept the Dodgers bats cold on a hot SoCal day. Oswalt allowed one hit in his outing and Chase Utley hit three doubles in the Phillies 5-1 win Wednesday day.

The Dodgers didn’t get their only hit off Oswalt until the sixth inning when Casey Blake singled with two outs. Oswalt was shockingly wild today and his 115 pitches forced his early exit as he allowed a hit and six walks while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings of work.

But the offensive surge came from Utley, who desperately needed to bust out of the little slump he was in coming off the DL. The second baseman ripped three doubles and drove in two runs.

Jimmy Rollins started it all with the second pitch of the game. He sent Clayton Kershaw’s 0-1 offering into the bleachers to give the Phils an early 1-0 lead. Shane Victorino then did the same thing in the second inning to give the Phils a 2-0 lead. Rollins and Victorino each had a pair of hits and Rollins crossed the plate three times.

The Dodgers finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth on a James Loney single. His hit was their third and final hit of the game.

Oswalt has been amazing for the Phillies, allowing only one earned run in his last 21 1/3 innings pitched. He’s been something special for the Phillies after he settled in and will be a key part to their playoff run.

Also, Phillies killer Rod Barajas had his 12-game hitting streak against the Phillies snapped today. He had one more chance in the ninth but Brad Lidge struck him out.

2B: Utley 3 (18), Howard (18), D. Brown (3). HR: Rollins (7), Victorino (16).

WP: Oswalt (10-13). LP: Kershaw (11-9).


Phils Find Bats

It’s amazing when Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels don’t get any run support but a pitcher like Kyle Kendrick does. The Phillies will take the support anyway as they used it to beat the Dodgers 8-4 a day after being one-hit.

Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the month, a huge three-run blast in the third inning that helped boost the Phillies. He finished the night 1-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs, and two runs scored.

The other five runs came from the catcher’s position. Brian Schneider ripped a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Carlos Ruiz then pinch hit for him and hit a two-run single of Jonathan Broxton in the seventh.

The Phillies chased Carlos Monasterios in the third inning. The Dodgers starter allowed five runs in two-plus innings of work. Kendrick left after fine innings of okay work, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk.

2B: Werth (43), Ibanez (28). HR: Schnieder (4), Howard (24).

WP: Kendrick (9-7). LP: Monasterios (3-5).

Oh Where, Oh Where Were the Bats?

Hiroki Kuroda was close to a no-no. But Shane Victorino thwarted the Japanese righty’s no-hit bid with only five outs to go in the game. Kuroda still got the last laugh, shutting down the Phillies and leading the Dodgers to a 3-0 win Monday night.

Kuroda was damn-near unhittable until Victorino’s single in the eighth. Kuroda didn’t finish the inning, lasting 7 2/3 innings while only allowing four base runners: a hit, two walks, and a hit batter.

Roy Halladay again fell victim to a lack of offense, pitching seven solid innings of work while allowing three runs on 1o hits and a walk while striking out four. It was Halladay’s 10th loss of the year while deserving probably only half of them.

Andre Ethier, Casey Blake, and Jamey Carroll all had two hit games off Halladay. Also the usual Phillies killer, Rod Barajas, hit a solo homer in the fifth inning to make it a 3-0 game.

WP: Kuroda (10-11). LP: Halladay (16-10).


Series Preview: Dodgers

PHI: 73-57, 2nd in NL East
LAD: 67-64, 4th in NL West
Where: Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Roy Halladay (16-9, 2.22) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (9-11, 3.56)
Tuesday: Kyle Kendrick (8-7, 4.64) vs. Carlos Monasterios (3-4, 3.54)
Wednesday: Roy Oswalt (9-13, 3.12) vs. Clayton Kershaw* (11-8, 3.01)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 10:10: CSN
Tuesday, 10:10: CSN
Wednesday, 3:10: CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – Andre Ethier: He is pretty much LA’s finest. Ethier is batting .295 with 22 homers and 74 RBIs. He had some time off with an injury earlier in the season and picked up where he left off but he hasn’t swung well as of late. He’s had a couple multi-hit games in the past week that were separated by a bunch of 0-for’s.

Series Overview – The Phillies lead the season series 2-1, which was played earlier this month. The third game of the series featured another monumental melt-down by closer Jonathon Broxton against the Phils in which Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run walk-off double to cap-off a four-run ninth. The ninth followed a four-run eighth in which the Phils started down 9-2.

The Dodgers, despite their season struggles, have kept alive with their record at home. They’ve compiled a 39-27 record at home. The Phillies used their sweep in San Diego to pull themselves to .500-ball on the road at 31-31.

The Phillies are 17-9 in August, their best month of the season (surpassing May’s 16-12 record).

The starting pitching has been absolutely tremendous in the Phillies’ last seven games in which they were 3-4. The starters have posted a 2.20 ERA (12 earned runs in 49.0 IP) and have gone at least six innings in each start.

The Phillies have won 14 of their last 16 games against teams from the NL West. I think it’s safe to say they have a leg up on the Dodgers already.

Manny Ramirez is no longer a Dodger, leaving the team a lot lighter in the hair department and headache free. It also leaves them short on a bat, something they will need going up against the Phillies starting pitching.

Broxton Melts Down Again

The Phillies come back was capped off by Carlos Ruiz's two-run walk-off double in the ninth inning off Dodgers closer Jonathon Broxton. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

What do Matt Stairs, Jimmy Rollins, and Carlos Ruiz all have in common? They have all made a mental mess out of Jonathon Broxton. Ruiz ripped Broxton’s no-out fastball off the top of the right-centerfield wall to drive in both Jayson Werth and Ben Francisco to lead the Phillies to a 10-9-come-back win over the Dodgers.

The game was at one point out of reach and it looked like the Phillies were not going to be able to take the series from a struggling Dodgers team. But with four runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth, the Phillies capped off another memorable comeback and drama-filled win off of the Dodgers and closer Broxton.

With the score at 9-2, Placido Polanco and Mike Sweeney singled to start the eighth. Werth then drove them both in to make it a 9-4 game. Francisco then drove Werth in with a double and Wilson Valdez later drove in Francisco to make it a 9-6 heading into the ninth.

Danys Baez held fort in the ninth inning to keep the score at 9-6. With Broxton still in from the end of the eighth, he hit Polanco to lead-off the ninth. He then walked Sweeney and Werth in back-to-back chances. With no outs, Francisco hit a would-be double play ball that went through third baseman Casey Blake’s legs to score two and make it a 9-8 game. Then Chooch stepped up and smoked a ball off the padding in right-center to score. Werth and Francisco easily to cap off the dramatic come back.

Ruiz’s walk-off double capped off a 3-for-5 night with three RBIs and a run score. Polanco, Sweeney, Werth, and Valdez also added two-hit games while Werth and Francisco each drove in two runs.

Raul Ibanez’s 18-game hitting streak was finally snapped tonight. The left-hander grounded out in the eighth inning in his final attempt to finish the night 0-for-5. He batted .409 (27-for-66) with 15 runs, five doubles, four homer and 17 RBIs in that 18-game span.

The Phillies are now two games back in the division and one game back in the wild card race. They travel to New York tomorrow for a three game series against the troubled Mets.

2B: Valdez (10), Francisco (11), Ruiz (19).

WP: Baez (3-3). LP: Broxton (4-4).


Oswalt Earns First Win As A Phil

Raul Ibanez is streaking – in a good way –  for the Phils. The left-hander had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 18 games as he helped lead the Phils to a 2-0 win over the Dodgers. The win kept them in pace with the Braves, whose win today will help keep them at three games in first.

Roy Oswalt was dealing in tonight’s win, his first in red pinstripes. The right-hander went seven scoreless innings, allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out five. Ryan Madson dominated the eighth and Brad Lidge went 1-2-3 in the ninth to nail down the Phils for the 63rd win of the season.

Ibanez went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Domonic Brown drove in the first run of the game in the fourth inning with a ground out to short with the bases loaded that allowed Placido Polanco to score. Wilson Valdez also tripled for the third time this season.

Lidge has been smoking hot in his last six appearances since I wanted to know why he was still Charlie’s guy. He has five saves and a 0.00 ERA in 5 1/3 innings pitched while allowing only two hits and striking out six.

2B: Gload (5), Ibanez (23). 3B: Valdez (3).

WP: Oswalt (7-3). LP: Billingsly (9-7). S: Lidge (15).


Brown Homers in Forgetful Game

The moment Phillies fans have been waiting for finally arrived. Too bad the memorable first home run by Domonic Brown will be lost in a game that the Phillies and fans would love to soon forget. Andre Ethier had himself a game to remember and the Dodgers put up a few mult-run innings en-route to a 15-9 win over the Phillies.

The Dodgers had 18 hits on the night. Ethier went 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs and many others had multi-hit and run producing nights as well. Ross Gload had himself a monster game for the Phillies, going 3-for-5 with two homers, three runs scored, and five RBIs.

Brown’s solo home run in the sixth inning off of Ronald Belisario was the first of hopefully many for his career. He also doubled and drove in four runs in the game, a young career high.

It was an ugly game for starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick and (surprise!) the bull pen, including Antonio Bastardo, David Herndon, and Danys Baez. Kendrick was chased after 3.1 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits and two walks.

Raul Ibanez had one more chance to extend his hitting streak to 17 games in the bottom of the ninth and he delivered with a liner into right field.

HR: Gload 2 (6), D. Brown (1).

WP: Padilla (6-3). LP: Kendrick (7-5)


Series Preview: Dodgers

PHI: 62-49, 2nd in NL East.
LAD: 58-54, 4th in NL West.
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Tue: Vicente Padilla (5-3, 3.09) vs. Kyle Kendrick (7-4, 4.37)
Wed: Chad Billinglsy (9-6, 3.82) vs. Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.50)
Thu: Clayton Kershaw (10-7, 3.19) vs. Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.65)

Tue: 7:05, CSN
Wed: 7:05, CSN
Thu: 7:05, MyPHL17

Hot (last 7 games)Jayson Werth: .367 (11-for-10), 5 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, .441 OBP, .600 SLG.
Not – Greg Dobbs: He hasn’t had a hit since July 26, an 0-17 drought.

Player to Watch – Andre Ethier: He’s the real deal, LA’s finest. Ethier is batting .296 with 18 homers and 63 RBIs. He had some time off with an injury earlier in the season and picked up where he left off but he hasn’t swung well as of late. He’s batting .244 in his last 10 games with two homers and four RBIs. The Dodgers will need him to pick up his game if they want to make this a series.

Series Overview: The Dodgers are coming to town for a three-game series. As they have been made the Phillies’ whipping mule in the NLCS the past two years, fans will surely be reminding their group of “followers” of Matt Stairs’ and Jimmy Rollins’ playoff heroics the past two seasons.

This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. They will meet again at the end of the month in Los Angeles.

Raul Ibanez is in the middle of a 16-game hitting streak. That’s a career high for the left-handed hitting outfielder and is also the fifth highest since 1990 for the Phillies.

The Phillies love playing in their park, compiling a 36-19 record at The Bank. LA doesn’t exactly play well in other teams’ homes. It shows as they are 22-30 on the road.

The Phillies have won 14 of their last 17 games and 13 of their last 14 home games.

Manny Ramirez has been on the DL for a while and hasn’t played since July 16. His bat is sorely missed in LA.