Results tagged ‘ NLCS ’

Staying Alive; Phillies Pull Out A Win And Head Back To Philly

Everyone expected Roy Halladay to come out firing tonight with the Phillies season on the line.  Instead, he walked the first batter he faced and allowed a run to score.  The entire 6 innings he pitched were uncomfortable, at best.  He did only allow 2 runs total; the second one, of course, off the bat of Cody Ross with an RBI-double.  But he never looked settled, fell behind in counts and ended with 2 walks and only 5 strike outs.PA163444AR.jpg

While Halladay’s entire outing was a nail biter, he did battle through it and kept the Phils in the game.  Tim Lincecum only had one bad inning through 7 and that was the 3rd.  The Phillies scored 3 runs in a very odd sequence of events.  Raul Ibanez, back in the line-up after being sat yesterday, singled to start the inning.  That was his first hit this entire series.

Lincecum then hit Carlos Ruiz to put two men on base with no outs.  Halladay bunted what looked like a foul ball but the umpire, much to everyone’s surprise, called it fair.  The base runners moved up as Pablo Sandoval at third missed the bag while Ibanez slid in.  Halladay just stood at home looking confused as he was thrown out at first on a foul ball.

But it worked out for the Phillies as an error by Aubrey Huff allowed both Ibanez and Ruiz to score.  Placido Polanco singled to score another run.  But then with runners on first and second, needing a simple sac fly to score again, Ryan Howard struck out…again.  Howard has zero RBI’s this series.  Jayson Werth flied out to end the inning, stranding 2 runners.

You had to wonder if these stranded runners would cost the Phillies both the game (again) and the season.  They headed into the 7th clinging to the slim 3-2 lead.  Jimmy Rollins singled and then stole 2 bases to land on 3rd with Ruiz on 1st and only one out.  But again, the Phillies failed to score.  Pinch hitter Ross Gload hit a line drive right to 1st.  Huff caught the ball and stepped on 1st for the easy double play.

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In the middle of the 7th, the Giants sent this strange thing out to sing God Bless America; I think that is a small village on her head?  Weird.

So it would be up to the bullpen to keep the series going and send it back to Philly.  Jose Contreras and JC Romero took care of the 7th.  Ryan Madson was tossing 95mph bullets in the 8th, despite having pitched the last two games.  He struck out the side, including our old friend Pat Burrell.  Remember when a Burrell strike out was SO frustrating?  Not so much anymore ;o)

Giving the Phillies a little extra breathing room in the 9th, Werth hit a monster homer over the huge right field wall.  Brad Lidge had a 4-2 lead to work with and got the first out quickly with a shallow fly ball.  Next out, an easy ground ball. (Biting my nails…) Pinch hitter, whose name no one can pronounce…Travis Ishikawa…IsHeWaWa?  IshiMama?  IdunnoA?  Whatever.    He struck out, so who cares.  Phillies win, 4-2!!!  LIDGE gets it DONE!

With the win tonight, the NLCS series heads back to Philadelphia with the Phils trailing 2 games to 3.  They have an off-day tomorrow for travel and will play Game 6 on Saturday, either at 3:57pm or 7:57pm, depending on the Rangers – Yankees series results tomorrow.  I assume Roy Oswalt is still slated to pitch; we should know for sure tomorrow.  Whatever happens, I am excited to go to the game on Saturday; this team may still have life in them yet.

UPDATE: Halladay apparently pulled his groin early in the game last night during either the 1st or 2nd inning.  Manuel said 2nd, but also said it was during the Buster Posey at-bat, which was in the 1st.  At any rate, he pitched basically the whole game injured.  Halladay will have an MRI today to determine how bad the pull is.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Series Tied 1-1 As Phillies Offense Returns

After last night’s disappointing loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS, it was a huge relief to see the offense return for the Phillies in Game 2 tonight.  The Phillies have done very badly against pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in the past.  But now they can put those performances exactly there…in the past.




P8248836 Rollins cr2.jpgWhile it was not a major explosion at first, the Phils took advantage of Sanchez’s wildness in the first inning where he loaded the bases and Jimmy Rollins took a walk for an RBI.  They scratched out 2 more runs off Sanchez, although one was unearned.  But with a little patience, they drew 3 walks, forced his pitch count up and chased Sanchez out of the game early in the 7th inning.

When the Giants bullpen took over in the 7th, so did the Phillies.  Pitcher Roy Oswalt singled off Sanchez which is what brought on the pen.  Another single from Placido Polanco plus a double steal from Polanco and Chase Utley kept things moving.  Jayson Werth was intentionally walked and then Jimmy Rollins had another chance to get back in the swing of things.  J-Roll whacked a bases clearing double!  Finally, Rollins looks like the light has turned on in his head.

Oswalt was brilliant on the mound, as well as at the plate.  In fact, through 8 innings, the only run he allowed was from the Phillies new nemesis, Cody “The Devil” Ross.  Ross has no idea that this is his new nickname as I have not-so-anonymously assigned it to him.  But I think it fits.  In 2 games, Ross has seen 3 fastball sent middle-in to him; all 3 times, he sent the ball out of the yard.  Two homers were off Roy Halladay yesterday and one off Oswalt today.  So it is official…he is the devil.

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But as we all know, the Devil does not always win.  And tonight, it was Oswalt and the Phillies offense that came out on top.  Rollins collected 4 RBI and his first 2 hits of the series.  Polanco had 2 RBI, Ryan Howard had 2 hits and Utley walked twice.  The only batters who looked totally lost at the plate today were Raul Ibanez and Werth who both struck out twice.

Ryan Madson pitched the 9th inning and kept the 6-1 score intact.  So the series is tied at 1 game each and both teams will travel to San Francisco for the next 3 games.  Monday is an off-day with the series resuming on Tuesday.  Cole Hamels will pitch against Matt Cain; game time is 4:00pm.

 

Rollins photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

NLCS Game 1: Disappointment For The Phillies

I feel like I have a hangover, but I did not have anything to drink.  The Phillies 4-3 loss to the Giants last night was the kind of life-sucking let down that leaves you wishing you had stayed in bed.  Where was the big comeback?  Where was the timely hitting?  And more importantly, where was the pitcher’s duel we were promised?  The raucous crowd used all their energy to try and will this team to a victory.  But when Shane Victorino struck out to end the game, all the air went out of the balloon.

Neither Roy Halladay nor Tim Lincecum pitched very well and both were visibly annoyed by the home plate umpire, Derryl Cousins, who had a moving strike zone.  Cousins only called hitters out on strikes twice all night and one of those was Lincecum.  Although, if you count the time he tried to call Jimmy Rollins out when he only had 2 strikes on him, I suppose he went for 3.
101610 PITCHING.jpg  Ex-Phil Pat Burrell was out in the 6th inning on a strike right down the middle, but the idiot in blue didn’t call it, which led to 2 more runs.  Of course, Raul Ibanez probably should have caught this ball that Burrell hit; and there was no need to scale the wall like he did either:

101610 Ibanez.jpg

The Phillies offense had opportunities to score but did not capitalize.  Ryan Howard led off the 2nd inning with a double and then never moved until the inning was over.  In the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a homer.  Halladay then singled and it looked like the Phillies had a real shot at rattling Lincecum.  But then Victorino stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play to kill all the momentum.  Still, Placido Polanco and Chase Utley kept the inning going only to have Howard strike out to end it.

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It was that kind of up and down drama that never materialized into runs.  Jayson Werth, the only Phillies batter with 2 hits in the game, nailed a 2-run homer in the 6th to give the Phillies a chance at a comeback.  But despite the defensive efforts and pitching to keep it a 4-3 game, the Phils offense never stepped up and got it done.

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For the Giants, Cody Ross was getting it done.  I never liked Ross when he was a Marlin and last night’s game certainly has not changed that as Ross hit not one, but two home runs off Halladay.  In fact, I now believe that Ross is pure evil; the spawn of Satan.  I swear he is the brother of Chucky, the most despicable of all Satanic spawn.  He must be stopped before he steals our souls.  Exorcism, anyone?  Ugh.

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By the way, has anyone else noticed that despite Rollins’ claims he is healthy that he looks like he could not hit the broad side of a barn right now?  I hope Charlie Manuel watches film of his at-bats and holds him out of the game if he is not right.  It is the playoffs; they do not have time for Rollins to work his way back.  Love ya Jimmy, but please do not hurt the team by trying to tough it out.

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PA163801CU.jpgOne fun note from the game was the whistling and catcalling directed at Lincecum and his long hair.  Some fans shouted that he looked like a girl and then the whistling began, as if being directed at a pretty girl.  Lincecum was asked if he noticed and he said, “I was thinking I must have a really nice butt.”  Sorry Timmy, you actually have no butt at all.  I have photographic evidence.

And here is the full Photo Album from the game, which includes pre-game ceremonies, a shot of VP Joe Biden in the crowd and some Phanatic fun to cheer you up.

So tonight the Phillies will lean on Roy Oswalt to get a win.  They will also try to do something they have never done before; hit Jonathan Sanchez.  Cross your fingers…game time is 8:00pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

NLCS Rotation Announced

Manager Charlie Manuel has announced the Phillies starting rotation for the NLCS which is set to begin on Saturday.  There are really no surprises here:

Game 1:  Roy Halladay

Game 2:  Roy Oswalt

Game 3:  Cole Hamels

Game 4:  Joe Blanton

Game 5:  Roy Halladay

Game 6:  Roy Oswalt

Game 7:  Cole Hamels

Manuel could have switched Oswalt and Hamels, but there should not be much difference.  Also, Hamels usually pitches well on the road.  The Giants have named their first 3 starters: Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain. Lefty Madison Bumgarner is penciled in as the 4th starter.

I was thinking about the Game 1 match-up of Halladay and Lincecum and realized, if you look beyond the stats, these are two very different individuals.  Take a look at the comparison:

Halladay

Lincecum

Age – 33

Age – 26

230 pounds

170 pounds soaking wet

Short, cropped hair

Long, wild hippie hair

Is an awesome Daddy

Has an awesome Daddy

Super polite

Drops F-Bombs on camera

Loves kids

Is a kid

Thinks “pot” is something you cook noodles in

Thinks about “pot” and wants to eat lots of noodles

Has a web page dedicated to him called “I Want To Go To The Zoo With Roy Halladay.”

Has a baby monkey named after him at the SF zoo (see photo)

Nickname – “Doc”

Nickname – “The Freak”

Most spoken phrase/word – “Win”

Most spoken phrase – “I don’t know”  In 1 Q&A session, he said it 8 times.

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And if you enjoyed that, here is another fun tidbit.  During the NLDS against the Reds, the Phillies players were so relaxed, that even the usually serious Roy Oswalt had a little fun in front of the camera’s during an in-game interview with pitching coach Rich Dubee:

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Yes, that is Oswalt cheesing it up for the viewing public.  Nicely done, Roy 2.0.

 

Zoo photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Phillies Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Advance To NLCS With Sweep Of The Reds

The third game of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Reds was not terribly action packed.  Both teams pitched well and hits were at a premium.  But while the game was not super exciting, the outcome certainly was.  With a victory, the Phillies swept the Reds right out of the playoffs.

As the chosen starter for game 3, Cole Hamels was anxious to show what he could do after an unbelievable no-hitter by Roy Halladay in Game 1.  Hamels pounded the strike zone all night and sent Reds back to the dugout one by one.  He allowed 5 hits while striking out 9 batters for a complete game shut-out.  No quite a no-hitter, but Hamels was amazing.  Plus, the final out was made by ex-Phillie Scott Rolen; icing on the cake.

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As for the offense, the Phillies got off to an early lead thanks to another Reds error.  As a team, the Reds have committed 7 errors in 3 games of this NLDS.  Tonight it was an Orlando Cabrera throwing error after Jayson Werth put the ball in play that cost them a run.  Cabrera had a sore rib cage and was not supposed to play.  But after some magic massages today, Cabrera was in the line-up.

About the massages, Cabrera said, “The guy’s name is Andy. I don’t know his last name.”  Do you think afterwards Cabrera left a few dollars on the bedside table and left?  Poor Andy must feel cheapened by the encounter ;o)  But we are all thankful that Cabrera felt well enough to play.  Thanks, Andy…you deserve some credit as well.

The other run for the Phillies came off the bat of Chase Utley who sent the ball to right center; it snuck over the wall for a homer.  Replay was used to verify the homer as the Reds claimed a fan interfered but ultimately, the run counted.

With Hamels holding down the Reds, the two runs were all they needed.  With the 2-0 win, the Phillies will advance to the NLCS against either the Giants or the Braves, depending on the outcome of that series.  The Giants currently lead the series, 2-1.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

The Joys Of The Post-Season Media

So, did we all thoroughly enjoy the Phillies TBS TV coverage this post-season?  No?  Oh, come on now, they were mildly entertaining, right?  Let us examine some of the broadcasting highlights:

 - These guys are brilliant; just check out this quote about Raul Ibanez: “He’s not 37 because he started his career late.”  Really?  Wow…the true fountain of youth; late bloomers.

- On a 2-base hit: “It’s an inside-the-park double.”  You know, as opposed to the out-of-the-park double.

- During Game 1 of the NLDS, 2nd inning: “There has been great defense in this ballgame and in this series.”  Yes, all 2 innings of it.

- About the catcher: “All the game calling is to make the pitcher comfortable.”  The catcher calls pitches to make the pitcher comfy?  Not to get outs?  Ok then.  Genius.  Sheer genius.

- During a bunt to the pitcher with a runner on first: “He is thinking about second base because it is right behind the mound.”  Is it?  I never would have noticed…thanks, TBS!  Baseball geography lesson 101.

- On Clayton Kershaw after he gave up a 3-run homer, allowed to 2 more runners on base and was then pitching to Ryan Howard: “This is a grow-up moment (for Kershaw).”  No more little league for you buddy!

But wait, there’s more!  Did you see the main sponsor for TBS during commercial breaks?  Avocados.  Yes, the disgusting, slimy, green fruit is THE big money maker for this station.  Awesome.

And how about the commercials for the new TBS series “Men of a Certain Age.”  It is October – this series is set to begin in December.  Not only will we have forgotten about it by December, but with the thousands of previews shown, we have already seen the series in its entirety.  No need to tune in then in December….we already know that Ray Romano plays a moron with a dirty mind; Scott Bakula is a man-sl*ut; and Andre Braugher is sad because he cannot live up to his daddy’s high expectations.  Think that about covers it.

So how about some media video highlights!  Here ya go; let us begin with Buck Martinez, who has NO idea which team he is watching…he mentions the Yanks and the Red Sox before he figures out it is the Phillies:

Chase Utley is also annoyed with the media coverage…watch his reaction as a media member pulls a Kanye West:

And my favorite clip of the Comcast Sportsnet coverage…Ricky Botallico flips out during the Jimmy Rollins 9th inning game winning hit in Game 4 of the NLCS:

Classic.

Hope you all enjoyed these broadcasts as much as I did :O)

By the way, if anyone is looking to sell a ticket (1) to Game 3 of the World Series (the Saturday game, home opener), please email me.  I cannot afford the Stub Hub prices so I am looking for anyone to take pity on me and sell me a ticket at face value or just above it.  I cannot do standing room, but am open to other seating arrangements.  Thank you and Go Phillies! :O)

Phillies Return To The World Series

Phillies win!!!  And for the second consecutive year, they will return to the World Series!DSCF3011 WS.jpg

 

The chance to pull off the most amazing feat in baseball is upon us:  The repeat!  Can the Phillies become the new Big Red Machine?  We will see.

 

The 10-4 win over the Dodgers tonight had a multitude of highlights.  Here are just a few:

 

- Jayson Werth smashed not one, but two home runs!  Those homers accounted for 4 RBI.  Oh, and he hit a single too, just for good measure.

 

- Shane Victorino, who has been sick with a nasty cold all week, had 3 RBI in the game including a 2-run homer and a double.

 

- The Phillies bullpen which has been through the ringer this year, came through again this post-season with 4 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  Chad Durbin was spectacular!  Chan Ho Park had 1 good inning but got into trouble in the next inning; Ryan Madson bailed him out.  And Brad Lidge pitched the 9th; it was a non-save situation but he got the job done.

 

- The Phillies batters finally figured out Vincente Padilla; 6 runs were charged to Padilla on 4 hits and 2 walks.

 

- With this win, the Phillies have scored 55 runs in 9 post-season games.  Nice.

 

- Even better, the Phillies are now the first National League team ever to record 16 wins in 20 post-season games.  The only AL team to do it is the Yankees and it is likely that the Phils will face the Yankees in the World Series; they are up 3 games to 1 over the Angels so far.

 

The not so great news from this clinching game was Cole Hamels, who still cannot seem to remember how to pitch.  Hamels lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing 3 solo home runs to the Dodgers.  Two of those homers came after Hamels had 2 strikes on the batter which is the really disturbing part.  With 2 strikes, why is tossing cookies right down the middle of the plate?  Hamels clearly cannot be counted on this year; it will be very interesting to see what Charlie Manuel does with the rotation for the World Series.

 

But I do not feel like thinking about that right now…it is time to celebrate!  Put on your party hat and have a drink!  The Phillies are going back to the World Series!!!

 

Fireworks photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Unbelievable 9th Inning Comeback

Down 4-5 in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, the Phillies were down to their last out and their last 2 strikes when Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate with 2 runners on.  Win, and the Phillies would have a huge 3-1 games advantage.  Lose, and the series would be tied 2-2.  What took place next was not only improbable, but it absolutely stunned the Dodgers.

Things looked good when the game started and Ryan Howard nailed a 2-run shot in the 1st inning.  But the bats went quiet as ex-Phillies Randy Wolf bore down and kept the Dodgers in the game.  Joe Blanton started for the Phillies and got roughed up a bit in the middle innings.  By the end of the 6th, Blanton had allowed the 2-run lead slip away into a 2-4 deficit.

The bullpen took over in the 7th and held the Dodgers to those four runs.  Chan Ho Park, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge got the job done.  However, the offense still seemed sleepy after that 11-0 rout the previous day, so a comeback was looking unlikely.

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But then Matt Stairs stepped the plate with one out in the 9th and everyone began hoping for the same miracle that occurred in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS: Stairs nailed a 2-run homer in the 8th inning of that 2008 game to give the Phillies the lead.  Could this be a repeat performance?

Well, not quite.  Facing the very same pitcher he got that hit off in 2008, Jonathan Broxton, Stairs felt confident.  Broxton may not have felt quite as confident as he threw Stairs four straight balls.  Eric Bruntlett was put in as a pinch runner.  Broxton then proceeded to hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch.101909b.jpg 

But Greg Dobbs lined out for the 2nd out and things were looking good for the Dodgers J-Roll stepped to the plate with one final out remaining and 2 runners on base.  With a 1-1 count, Rollins whacked a line drive into the hole in right-center field.  Bruntlett and Ruiz tore up the base path, scoring 2 runs to win the game for the Phillies.  Phillies fans screamed in celebration while Dodgers fans squirmed in agony.

As amazing and uplifting as this win was for the Phillies, on the other side of the spectrum it was equally as painful and gut-wrenching for the Dodgers.  This was a killer blow, putting the Phillies at a 3-1 advantage; they now need only one more win in 3 possible tries to lock up a second consecutive trip to the World Series with a chance to repeat.

This win also shows why the Phillies are the defending World Champions.  They believe they will win, they support one another and they never give up until the final out is recorded.  To be able to witness this is the greatest joy of any fans life.  Repeat or no repeat, Phillies fans should be proud of their team!  What a year this has been…and it is not over yet.

Here is the Photo Album from the game…Go Phillies!!!

PS:  Thank you to all my readers for making Phillies Phollowers the#1 Phillies fan blog on the MLB site for the entire 2009 season!  And I am #8 overall for ALL fan blogs!  Your support is greatly appreciated; it is an honor to bring you the Phillies through my eyes…Thank you!

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Dodgers Freeze In Chilly Philly

The Phillies bats came alive tonight early in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers in an 11-0 win.   In the first inning, it appeared the Phils were taking batting practice off a rusty Hiroki Kuroda, who had not pitched in a while due to injury.  Ryan Howard drove in 2 runs with a triple and Jayson Werth followed with a 2-run homer to center.  That hit by Howard broke yet another record for the slugger; Howard became the 1st player ever to drive in runs in 7 straight post-season games within the same year.

The Phils tacked on 2 more runs in the 2nd with doubles from Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins plus an RBI ground out from Howard.  chooch1.jpgRuiz has been the unsung hero this post-season.  Hitting in the 8-hole, Ruiz has come up with clutch hits in nearly every game.  Ruiz is 9 for 21 so far with 7 RBI; 2 of those hits and 1 RBI came in tonight’s game.  This team has been riding the Chooch Train all October.

The overall offensive highlights included 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs.  11 hits and 7 walks combined for 11 runs.  Every Phillie in the line-up except Raul Ibanez, who was struggling a bit, had at least one hit.  It was a total team effort.

Chase Utley bounced back after a shaky defensive performance in the first 2 games.  He appeared to be back to normal in the field and continued to produce at the plate.  Utley’s 1st inning single helped kick off a big inning for the team; he had another hit and a walk as well.

The impressive offensive output tonight was matched by superb pitching from Cliff Lee.  Lee tossed an 8 inning, 3 hit shut-out and even had a single at the plate.  This man could do no wrong and the excited crowd cheered him on all night long.  Hate to repeat myself but, thank-you Cleveland!  Chad Durbin pitched the 9th despite the opportunity for a Lee complete game as it was more important to preserve Lee’s arm for future games.  Durbin sent the Dodgers down in order.

With the 11-0 win tonight, the Phillies go up 2 games to 1 in the series.  Joe Blanton will pitch tomorrow at 8:07pm in chilly Philly against a familiar face, Randy Wolf.  I will be there in full winter gear and, assuming my hands do not freeze and fall off, I should be back with photos!  Go Phillies!

Ruiz photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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