The Phillies got off to a good start last night, scoring 2 runs off Derek Lowe who was pitching on 3 days rest. Lowe only lasted 5 innings but by then the Dodgers were up 3-2.
Manny Ramirez plated the second Dodger run in the fifth with an rbi single. I don't like to make too much about a single players performance in a series like this but Ramirez has been something. He is batting .500 with 6 rbis and something like 5 walks. He might be the series MVP even if the Dodgers lose (ok, not likely).
Joe Blanton started for the Phillies and he also only lasted until the 5th. His and Lowe's pitching line look very similar, except that Blanton had given up one more run. This game came down to the bullpens.
The Phillies ran 5 relief pitchers out there: Durbin, Eyre, Madson (who got the win), Romero, and Lidge (who got his 3rd save of the series). Together they only gave up one run.
The Dodgers ran 6 pitchers out there: Kershaw, Park (who got a blown save), Beimel, Kuo, Wade (who got the loss and the 2nd blown save of the game), and Broxton. Together they gave up 5 runs.
Then, of course, there were the two big home runs. Shane Victorino, apparently enjoying being the villain in Dodger Stadium, belted a line drive into the Phillies bullpen off of Wade.
After Wade gave up a single to Ruiz, Manuel sent in Matt Stairs to hit for Madson, Torre then brought in his closer, Broxton. Stairs promptly crushed the ball to deep right field giving the Phillies a 2-run lead. It was Stairs' first at bat of the post season and his first at bat since September 14! This is his 1993 Score Select rookie card, the only card of his I had at hand. The Phillies acquired him from the Blue Jays in September, but I don't know the details of the transaction.
And what more needs to be said of Brad Lidge. He came in the game with 2 outs in the 8th, only the second time all season he's pitched in the 8th inning. He was brought in to pitch to Manny, who got a double. The next guy struck out on a wild pitch and made it safely to first. Loney then flied out. The ninth inning went 1-2-3.
He is now 5 for 5 in save opportunities in the playoffs this year, after 41 saves, vs. no blown saves in the regular season.
The next game is Wednesday night. Cole Hamels will be pitching for the Phillies with Chad Billingsley for the Dodgers.
Phillies in 5 sounds good to me.