Monday, October 13, 2008

Shane, Stairs Power Phils

The Phightin' Phils came back from a two-run deficit late in Game 4 to come back and win by a score of 7 - 5. The win allowed the Phils to take a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the best-of-7 NLCS with the Dodgers.

The Phils came out of the gate quickly in the 1st inning, with Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth both getting on with singles. Then, Chase Utley dropped the bat head on a ball and drove a double down the right field line, scoring Rollins and putting Werth on 3rd. Werth came home on a Ryan Howard ground out to make the score 2 - 0, but the threat ended when Shane Victorino grounded into a double play.

Phils starter Joe Blanton gave one of runs back in the first, off of a James Loney double, which scored Rafael Furcal, making the score 2 - 1.

The game coasted along until the 5th inning, when Phils starter Joe Blanton put the first two men on base and gave up an RBI single to Manny Ramirez, tying the score at 2. A Russell Martin ground out gave the Dodgers a 3 - 2 lead. Blanton got out of the jam by inducing Blake DeWitt into a double play.

The Phils fought back in the top of the 6th, putting men on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, but could only get Ryan Howard home on a Chan Ho Park wild pitch, tying the game at 3. Only a great play by Andre Ethier out in right field kept the game tied at 3, as he made a sliding catch on a So Taguchi blooper.

The tie was short-lived, however, as Casey Blake greeted Chad Durbin in the bottom of the 6th inning by going deep to break the tie and give the Dodgers a 4 - 3 lead. The Phils coughed up another run on a Ryan Howard throwing error when the Dodgers were trying to give the Phillies an out on a sacrifice. The thowing error allowed Juan Pierre came around to score to make it 5 - 3 Dodgers. Ryan Madson was able to stop the bleeding, when he induced Russell Martin to line out to Chase Utley, who deftly dove to second base to double the runner off of second base.

The 8th inning saw the Fightin' Phils pound their way back from a deficit. After a Ryan Howard single and a Pat Burrell pop out, Shane Victorino hit Cory Wade's first offering over the right field wall for a 2-run shot to tie the game at 5. Then, after a Carlos Ruiz single, pinch hitter Matt Stairs hit an absolute titantic shot out to right field off of reliever Jonathan Broxton to put the Phils up 7 - 5.

The back-end of the Phillies bullpen took over from there. JC Romero got Andre Ethier to ground into a double-play setting the stage for Brad Lidge to record his first 4-out save as a Phil.

The series continues tomorrow night, with Cole Hamels facing Chad Billingsly at 8:22 pm.


- Another big, tough Dodger threw a temper tantrum in the dugout; this time, it was Derek Lowe after he gave up 2 runs in the first.

- Phils put Manny on first base in the 1st inning....I'm actually OK with it, as long as they are confident they can get Russell Martin out on a regular basis. Especially with the crazy numbers Manny has against Blanton. Ramirez hits at a .560 clip in 25 career at-bats against Blanton.

- For what it's worth, both Manny Ramirez and Hiroki Kuroda got fined a nominal amount of money for last night's stupidity.

- Jimmy Rollins has to come up with that ball in the 2nd inning off of Derek Lowe.

- Ryan Howard's defensive woes continue.

- The Shane Victorino homer underscored the stupidity of having Victorino bunt the runners over in the 6th inning. Yeah, Howard came around to score in that inning, but could Victorino have done more damage?

- Utley went 3 for 5 with an RBI....Phils could use the April and May version of Utley right now.

- Matt Stairs is a Philadelphia folk hero if the Phils hold on in this series.

- Notice Shane Victorino glaring menacingly at the Dodgers from his dugout after the homerun? Big hits like the one Victorino got should be how you make a team pay for throwing at your head.

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